Will high whitelist row count adversely affect performance?

Dennis Willson taz at taz-mania.com
Fri Sep 22 01:16:16 IST 2006

Actually if you do "default" whitelisting you can certainly create 
holes. I mostly do (there are only a few exceptions) IP whitelists and 
Specific from and to whitelists. Meaning the whitelist must have a 
specific fully qualified to address to accompany the from address or 
domain. That way only one user can get slamed by their request. 
External peoples (not my users) cannot request (actually gets ignored) 
any whitelisting. 

By using mailwatch and allowing the users to manage their own 
whitelists, it (mailwatch) forces the To: address to be theis and they 
can't change that. So a single user and mess themselves up, but not 

On Fri, 22 Sep 2006 01:53:36 +0200
  "Glenn Steen" <glenn.steen at gmail.com> wrote:
>On 21/09/06, donald.dawson at bakerbotts.com 
><donald.dawson at bakerbotts.com> wrote:
>>We are running MailScanner 4.52.2 and Spamassassin 3.1.1 and are 
>>wanting to
>>increase our white list for known valid addresses.
>>Currently we have about 10k rows in the file, but want to know if 
>>it to 30k will adversely affect performance.
>>We use HP DL boxes with 2 CPU's and 2 GB of memory.  We currently do 
>>have any performance issues.
>Out of curiosity, are you whitelisting by email address(es)? And are
>these observed to FP, or are they just "blanket safeguards"?
>Reason I ask is because if the answer to the first is "yes" and the
>second "the latter", you might be setting yourself up to fail. (wait
>while I get my asbestos underwear on... who knows, this might be a 
>too opinionated for some:-).
>When I started out with MailScanner, my PHB pestered me into
>configuring that kind of massive "safeguards"... and I rather naively
>went along with it. Until untagged spam started sneaking by as being
>See, it's extremely simple to fake email sender (both envelope and
>header), and if you whitelist by it, things like SPF wont come into
>play (unless you do them at MTA level). The only somewhat safe
>whitelisting one can do is by IP address, which make whitelisting a
>pain... But there it is.
>Since then I've removed practically all whitelisting and haven't
>looked back. I'll probably be adding some idiots^H^H^H^H^H^Hsenders
>over at Lehman, since they consistently outdo themselves to "earn" SA
>points... but that will be at the most 4-5 IP addresses total.
>To me the solution has always been to trim SA/MS as best one can. 
>it isn't perfect, but one can get it to be pretty darned close.
>And using the quarantine for the very few that would trigger a
>spamaction, one can be reasonably safe, and even though most users
>don't appreciate the nature of email (glorified postcards, with no
>guarantees as to when they will be delivered), they wont notice 
>(when you need release their mail) that often:-):-).
>Being in the finacial sector I rather often get requests from senders
>to whitelist their domains/sender addresses "just to be safe". I
>always ignore them. The PHB and my users (who often are asked by the
>sender to pass on the requests to me) all "see the light" when
>presented with this argument, and some stats on how the ones asking
>have been scored so far ("What, so they never got a score above
>Wow, that got a bit long... Sorry for that. It's just that a 10k
>whitelist seems quite unreasonable, unless you have more than 500k-1m
>-- Glenn
>email: glenn < dot > steen < at > gmail < dot > com
>work: glenn < dot > steen < at > ap1 < dot > se
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Dennis Willson

taz at taz-mania.com

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