[Spambayes] RE: Eliminating many malformed spams

Steve Holden sholden at holdenweb.com
Thu Jun 19 14:47:42 EDT 2003

> On Thu, 2003-06-19 at 12:30, Steve Holden wrote:
> > Hi. Time for my latest observation, which is that while spambayes is
> > great (especially when integrated with Outlook, for this
> Windows user)
> > there seem to be a number of automated mailing systems that generate
> > malformed messages. I am beginning to suspect they may do it
> > deliberately to foil attempts at despamming.
> If that was truly the case, and we could count on proper RFC
> compliance
> by all legitimate mailing systems, then you could just throw all
> non-parseable message into the spam folder and be done with it, right?
Yes, and I've even considered doing that, but I'm reluctant to trust
that all legitimate mailers will be RFC-compliant. I'm also reluctant to
draw conclusions from any particular characteristics of the
malformation - once you start doing that, spammers will start using it
as a way to misinform your filtering process.

> Still, I understand there are times when you really want to be able to
> parse any random stream of characters <wink> into a mail message
> object.  Anthony Baxter is hard at work on a more lenient parser that
> should improve the rate of parseable messages.

That's good news. More strength to his arm! At present I'm getting about
300 mails per day. About twenty of these are legitimate, I usually get
about ten "unsure" (of which 98% are spam) and twenty or so unparseable.
Sn I'm hoping in the meantime that my little tweak will reduce my
workload somewhat.

>                                             I think any
> application
> though has to be prepared to handle un-parseable messages, as we'll
> never get it to 100%.

Steve Holden                                 http://www.holdenweb.com/
Python Web Programming                http://pydish.holdenweb.com/pwp/

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