February 1st, 2005

This is getting beyond a joke

Okay, so I have some customers for whom I installed an anti-spam/anti-virus solution a few months ago. The breakdown in terms of anti-spam functionality works roughly as follows:

  • Mail to (a list of) unknown mail addresses is bounced
  • Other incoming mail is filtered through SpamAssassin:

    • High-scoring spam is deleted
    • Mail marked as spam but not reaching the high-score threshold is filtered into a specific mailbox
    • Mail not marked as spam is delivered to their local mail server

With me so far? Good. Now, it's the job of one of my contacts at the customer to just run an eyeball over the specific mailbox into which assumed-spam is filtered, to make sure no false-positives have wound up in it.

He spent much of the afternoon doing this (many tens of thousands of messages and no false positives at all, hurrah), so the spam mailbox was empty as of about 1730 this evening.

It's 2150 or so now, and it's already got another 785 messages in it.

Total count of emails bounced for unknown users in approx. 17 hours (since the log file last rotated): upwards of 130,000. (Dictionary spam, basically.)

This isn't an ISP, nothing like that; they're a firm with a long-established online presence (eight or nine years).

Madness. Complete bloody madness.