[spambayes-dev] RE: [Spambayes] VERY confusing...

Tony Meyer tameyer at ihug.co.nz
Tue Mar 16 19:32:17 EST 2004


[Bethanie]
> I have version 4 and to be frank I don't have a clue as to
> what I may have done after installing it...all I know is that
> Norton halts the mail because of spam(and this only began 5
> days ago) and yes when I turn off Norton email scanning my
> mail comes through fine. I want virus scanning though!

I'm not really clear on the details here, but it sounds like this problem
doesn't involve spambayes at all.  Did you have this problem before using
spambayes?  If you don't use spambayes (change your mail program back to
connecting to the mail server, rather than to "localhost"), do you still
have the problem?

What do you mean by "halts the mail"?  Does Norton stop the mail being
displayed?  Stop it being filtered by spambayes?  Stop the delivery of that
one message?  Stop all mail delivery?

> Interacting with 
> virus scanners can be a pain.  Norton may be snatching the 
> mail out from under the POP3 Proxy's nose when it's not 
> expecting it, though I thought Tony had some checks in the 
> code to handle those situations.

We've gone through a few things here.  TimS (IIRC) originally had the proxy
ignore problems where messages disappear from under its nose, and (for some
valid at the time reason) I (IIRC) modified that to continue on, printing
out an error, but not displaying any missing messages in the review page.

> Another possibility - more for Tony Meyer's eyes - is to 
> consider obfuscating the cached messages so they don't look 
> like virus candidates to Norton.  Perhaps perform a simple 
> rot-128 of the contents of the messages or xor them with a 
> known string before writing them, or write them gzipped. 
> Anything which you can fairly easily reverse when reading 
> them but which will defang them enough to fool Norton.

I've wondered about this too (people reporting the "file is missing" error
is relatively common), although being able to read the message files as
plain text, without using spambayes at all, is nice, IMO.  I hadn't thought
about gzip, though - you can set the cache to gzip all the messages already
(something Richie added way way back, maybe?).  I don't know if that would
stop virus checkers identifying the cached messages or not, though you're
probably right that it would.  I don't have any handy to test on.

The appropriate option is exposed on the "Advanced Configuration" page of
the web interface.  Bethanie could try turning that on, and seeing if that
makes a difference.

=Tony Meyer

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