Whitelist/verification spam filters

Mark McEahern marklists at mceahern.com
Wed Aug 28 06:10:56 CEST 2002


[Me]
> The appeal, to me, of the whitelist technique is that for the addresses in
> my whitelist, there will be no false positives.

[Peter Hansen]
> Not entirely true if I understand what you mean.  Among other problems,
> SMTP has no authentication standard.  If you are using a typical server,
> somebody can connect and say they are sending mail from <whitelisteduser>
> when in fact they are not.

I thought that false positive in the context of spam filtering means
something is falsely classified as spam.  So, by definition, the very narrow
scenario I described (someone is one your whitelist and they get classified
as spam) simply cannot happen.

The scenario you point out--someone masquerading as a member of your
whitelist in order to send you spam--is certainly a valid scenario.  I guess
I'd call that a false negative.

Of course, I'd be delighted if someone could correct my reading of these
terms.

Cheers,

// mark

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