Spam avoidance

Neil Schemenauer nas at
Wed Mar 22 06:40:28 CET 2006

Tim Peters <tim.peters at> wrote:
> [Douglas Alan]
>>> I've noticed that there is little to no spam in comp.lang.python
>>> and am wondering how this is accomplished.
> [Skip Montanaro]
>> Most mailing lists which originate on have SpamBayes
>> filtering in front of them.
> BTW, uses other gimmicks too, right?  For example, I think
> Greg Ward set up some other gimmicks to weed out obvious viruses.

I'm mostly the guilty party at the moment.  Incoming mail on goes through an SMTP server implemented in Python.
The server uses SpamBayes to filter spam.  We disallow attachments
with executable filenames (e.g. .scr).  That kills almost all virus
mail.  We use a number of realtime blackhole lists; they also block
quite a lot of virus junk and some spam.  There is a set of manually
maintained message patterns; those kill some annoying junk that's
hard to block in other ways.  We do greylisting (two different
kinds, actually).  Some IP addresses get blackholed using iptables
(e.g. zombie machines blasting out virus junk).  If SpamBayes is
unsure about a message to a list then it gets held for moderation.

I suspect there are people working behind the scenes to cleanup the
NNTP feed.  The short answer to Douglas's question: good tools and a
fair amount of elbow grease. :-)


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