Spam Mail Filter

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Revision as of 07:46, 16 August 2017 by Ephraim (Talk | contribs) (Legitimate mail in spam folder)

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Personal spam folder

All the user's suspected spam is put in a personal mail file—/cs/spam/login (e.g. /cs/spam/george). Note that each message in this file will have an extra header, X-Spam-Reason, explaining why it was caught.

Users that have their mail automatically forwarded to mail.huji.ac.il (see mail.huji.ac.il accounts) will not have their mail spam-filtered before forwarding.

In order to view the folder from any CSE Linux machine, the user can do:

pine -if /cs/spam/login

E.g.

pine -if /cs/spam/george

Legitimate mail in spam folder

Sometimes the heuristic spam-catching algorithm errs and legitimate e-mail is caught in one's spam folder. In such a case, you should put the sender address of the legitimate e-mail in your ~/.nospam personal exception database described in the next section.

Personal exception database

Since legitimate e-mail can sometimes be caught in /cs/spam/login , the user can create a personal exception database ~/.nospam with a list of sender addresses to pass through to the user's main mail inbox without being put in /cs/spam/login —note that the sender address can be extracted from the Return-path: header of the message (visible in full header mode).

Example contents of ~/.nospam :

haim@eng.tau.ac.il
*@wildnose.com
*@*.huji.ac.il
jody@*
jay@natlib.com
melody@math.gmu.edu

The above ~/.nospam file allows both individual addresses such as jay@natlib.com and groups of addresses such as all users from the wildnose.com domain and all users in subdomains of HUJI plus the login jody from any domain.

An entry of '*' (asterisk) will cause all suspected spam to pass through to your regular mailbox effectively disabling spam filtering.

Example:

echo '*' > ~george/.nospam

Spam folder cleanup

Any message left for more than 30 days in /cs/spam/login will be automatically deleted.

Hint: if you are going away for more than a month, it's a good idea to disable spam filtering (as explained above) during that time in order to avoid losing legitimate messages caught in the spam filter.

Spam e-mail that isn't caught

Since the spam-catching algorithm is heuristic, it doesn't catch all spam and some spam e-mailings manage to get through. If spam reaches your regular mailbox (and, of course, you haven't turned off spam filtering in your ~/.nospam file), then you should bounce ('b' in Pine) or forward the spam message to the address spam@cs to update the global spam database.