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SpamAssassin: Covers Version 3.0

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2004

    Many drawbacks

    A comprehensive description of the many features of SpamAssassin [SA] and how it can be integrated with the major mailing programs sendmail, postfix, qmail and Exim. Certainly, the free and open source nature of SA will appeal to some. But the problem with the book is that it never seriously analyses the many flaws of SA. The most glaring is how it used blacklists. It only applies these against various header fields. Yet it is well known that spammers forge arbitrary sender addresses. Which greatly reduces the efficacy of the blacklist. Also, the book devotes attention to how SA uses Bayesians. It says how you need a corpus of spam and one of non-spam, to train the Bayesian. Yet this has proved to be a severe constraint on actual usage. The book never says how these corpuses are to be found. In practice, this is done manually. Even worse, the book does not point out that spammers can and are poisoning Bayesians, with innocuous non-sequitur words in their messages. This means that a Bayesian must be continually retrained on new corpuses, that have been manually gathered. Very labour intensive. Few users are willing and able to do so.

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