Spamassassin timeouts - Just an observation

Kai Schaetzl maillists at
Mon Jan 19 13:31:19 GMT 2009

Gareth wrote on Mon, 19 Jan 2009 12:01:56 +0000:

> I checked our system as we use virtually all of the sare rules.
> These are the top 2 usefull rules (some match as much spam as ham so I
> have ignored them).
> SARE_HTML_USL_OBFU 422 11 2.6 411 97.4
> SARE_BOUNDARY_LC 408 2 0.5 406 99.5
> So the top rule catches 411 out of 24000 spams (last 3 months) which is
> 1.7%. Given thats the two best rules its showing that SARE has become
> very little benefit for us.

Interesting if compared to my hits, see below.

First a word of caution. Although I'm with you that the SARE rules don't 
provide too much benefit nowadays one needs to be cautious to just go by 
the "top" hitters. Using that same "algorithm" one would probably have to 
throw out 90% of the stock/updated SA rules as well ;-) The strength of SA 
lies also in the fact that it has so many rules for so many diverse spam 
schemes. It's obvious that most of these rules won't ever exceed 1% of 
hits or so, but they still add value.
But I think that many of the SARE rules are either obsolete or have been 
incorporated in the main SA rules in some way, so that their value in 
addition to the main rules is much lower than it used to be.
The most effective way of using SARE today would probably be to have an 
excerpt of, say, 50 of the top rules in one file/channel.

Now, to what I called "interesting" first.

SARE_HTML_USL_OBFU hit exactly 10 of some 15.000 spam messages on the 
machine I checked
SARE_BOUNDARY_LC didn't hit any, either I didn't have it in my rules or it 
really didn't hit any.

Seems I have completely different spam than you get, which is not so much 
a surprise ;-)

The ones (of the top 100 rules) that hit for me are:
SARE_HEAD_8BIT_SPAM hit nearly 10% of spam
SARE_HTML_A_BODY hit about 3% of spam
SARE_GIF_ATTACH good portion of FPs
SARE_MSGID_LONG40 all FPs it seems

These ten are among the top 100 hitting rules. Means 10% of the rules that 
hit in the top 100 are SARE, or, 90% are not ;-)


Kai Schätzl, Berlin, Germany
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