Thoughts on Barracudas?

Scott Silva ssilva at
Tue Aug 22 18:06:20 IST 2006

Alex Neuman van der Hans spake the following on 8/21/2006 5:43 PM:
> My two cents:
> I've noticed that the effectiveness of a system using MailScanner *will*
> degrade as spammer tactics change, unless you properly feed and care for
> it. This is true however, for any system.
> There are markets for every kind of gadget available, and that's a fact
> of life. If they are willing to spend money on an "appliance" (only a
> different box with some different software, but in the end
> *everything's* an appliance), they will go ahead and do it.
> I *have* noticed, however, that there are *some* people out there in the
> IT field that lack the resourcefulness that is sometimes required when
> you're dealing with technology. These people will go out of their way to
> buy "appliances" not because it saves them money or resources (that
> *will* be their stated "reason", but you and I know it's their covert
> *excuse*), but because they can blame someone else when it breaks,
> instead of fixing it.
> Spam will leak through eventually in any system. You have to train your
> users so that they don't engage in spam-attracting activities (giving
> out their e-mail address, writing it on a webpage or a forum, using
> those crappy "remind me of my birthday" address harvesters, etc.), you
> have to train your system (using bayes or whatever), you have to keep
> upgrading your protection (including more clever ways to detect spam),
> and in general, be proactive.
> That said, MailScanner is like the stone in the "stone soup" tale. It
> uses third party AV scanners, third party content scanners (spamassassin
> et. al), third party MTA's (with their own milters or whatever), and
> basically scans for bad content if any of the other pieces missed
> something. It's probably the best example of a program being "much more
> than the sum of its parts".
> Without knowing the specifics of the situation these few people are in,
> I'm reminded of many of my relatives who, after a year or two using
> their brand new car, realize they have to do things like realign their
> tires, change their oil, check their batteries, etc. - "I thought it
> just ran on unleaded!!". You know the type. We used to call them
> "flashing 12s" in the 80s. :-)

I haven't heard "flashing 12's" since the 80's! Thanks for the memories!!
I'll have to add that back into the "one liner's". ;-)


MailScanner is like deodorant...
You hope everybody uses it, and
you notice quickly if they don't!!!!

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