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How spamassassin works.

How spamassassin works.

Check out its feature on how it works.
There are several ways that SpamAssassin makes up its mind about a

  • The message headers can be checked for consistency and adherence to
    Internet standards (e.g., is the date formatted properly?).
  • The headers and body can be checked for phrases or message elements
    commonly found in spam (e.g., MAKE MONEY FAST or instructions on how to be
    removed from future mailings)-in several languages.
  • The headers and body can be looked up in several online databases that
    track message checksums of verified spam messages.
  • The sending systems IP address can be looked up in several online lists
    of sites that have been used by spammers or are otherwise suspicious.
    Specific addresses, hosts, or domains can be blacklisted or whitelisted.
    A whitelist can be automatically constructed based on the senders past
    history of messages.
  • SpamAssassin can be trained to recognize the types of spam that you
    receive by learning from a set of messages that you consider spam and a set
    that you consider non-spam. (SpamAssassin and the spam-filtering community
    often refer to non-spam messages as ham. )
  • The sending systems IP address can be compared to the senders domain
    name using the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) protocol (
    to determine if that system is permitted to send messages from users at that
    domain. This feature requires SpamAssassin 3.0.
  • SpamAssassin can privilege senders who are willing to expend some extra
    computational power in the form of Hashcash (
    Spammers cannot do these computations and still send out huge amounts of
    mail rapidly. This feature requires SpamAssassin 3.0.

Most of SpamAssassins behavior is controlled through a systemwide
configuration file and a set of per-user configuration files. The per-user
configuration can also be stored in an SQL database.

How to Configure it ? : –

You can easily customize how SpamAssassin tags and identifies spam by
creating a spamassassin/user_prefs file. You can customize the number of
“spam points” required to identify a message as spam, create new rules, and
re-weight existing rules. Here is a sample user_prefs file. It raises the
threshold for identifying spam from 5 to 6, disables including spam warnings
in the subject and body, reweights a known rule, and adds several blacklist,
whitelist, and header rules.

Listing 1. A typical user_prefs configuration file


#How many hits before a mail is considered spam?
required_hits 6

#Don’t mangle the messages so badly
rewrite_subject 0
use_terse_report 1

#whitelist and blacklist
whitelist_from *
blacklist_from [email protected]

#reweight an existing rule
score BASE64_ENC_TEXT 3

#add some new rules
header KNOWN_LIST List-Id =~ /a-mailing-list-i-like/
score KNOWN_LIST -3

body EVITE /This invitation was sent to you by .* using Evite/
describe EVITE Looks like an eVite
score EVITE -3




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