For those of us that feel strongly that email should be a reliable transport medium.

David Hooton david at PLATFORMHOSTING.COM
Wed Feb 11 02:50:12 GMT 2004

> -----Original Message-----
> From: MailScanner mailing list [mailto:MAILSCANNER at JISCMAIL.AC.UK] On
> Behalf Of Admin Team
> Sent: Wednesday, 11 February 2004 6:49 AM
> Subject: Re: For those of us that feel strongly that email should be a
> reliable transport medium.
> My sigh is out of frustration and for the work that is coming for me. When
> we discovered MailScanner and started using it and offering it to our
> clients, we quickly learned what worked and what did not work with our
> client base. Based upon what we learned we implemented standards and
> procedures around that. Since we have very high profile clients who rely
> upon email being delivered to them in a timely manner, they required some
> sort of assurance in this respect. So we implemented procedures where we
> bounce lower scoring SPAM so as to notify senders in case one senders was
> an actual valid email address with good intentions. Now, that you've
> changed things, I need to figure out other procedures that may not work
> for my client base and in our company Philosophy, you don't tell the 
> client how you are going to inconveinence them. Businesses that do this 
> don't stay in business very long. 

Here's how we do it by default for our customers..

High Scoring Spam = delete
Low Scoring Spam = attachment deliver forward spamsort at
Non Spam Actions = deliver

We do run these values from a ruleset however so that a customer can opt to
use whatever options they wish - we have never offered or allowed bounce

We have the scoring system pretty majorly altered to help avoid false
positives, high scoring spam is spam that we know is spam from more than one
source - ie. not just one RBL etc.  Generally we have seen the spam or
spammer before and block based on that.

Low scoring spam accounts for 2 - 4% of all our mail traffic, we ask
customers to tell us weather they feel the message is spam or not by
forwarding it to an email address.  When they forward it, we find the
corresponding copy that is stored in our database via the forward action in
Low Scoring Spam = and we feed it to BAYES and also write a spamassassin
rule to catch it if that is needed.

Our customers are very happy with our service, we don't bounce messages, we
don't get complaints from our customers, mail is configurable for those that
wish to be setup differently, porn _VERY_ rarely gets through as low

As far as bounces go..  We have a customer who has been joe jobbed for the
last month by one very persistent spammer.  He currently gets in excess of
500 bounces per hour from other companies spam filtering software, something
that he as the customer is paying for, something which neither he nor us can
stop, something which someone else is making him pay for.  Over the last 2
weeks this has risen to about 700 bounces per hour as the anti virus vendors
are throwing in their 2 bob.

I believe that bouncing viruses and spam these days is not a service to your
customers it is an abuse of the goodwill of the greater internet community.
Please be a little more creative than bouncing messages, you could even
provide customers with a "quarantine" mailbox that you forward all low
scoring spam to, you could even go one step further by making mail only stay
in the mailbox for 30 days or whatever you choose - sounds like a great
service to me.

Have a great week guys, but spend some of it thinking about ways to be
better internet citizens, you might not notice the cost now, but if you're
ever joe jobbed you will I promise.



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