Roumazeilles.net

Collateral damage from SPAM

Back from my Summer vacations, a little surprise was waiting for me with more than 20,000 messages stored in the verious mailboxes I use daily. First, I thought that I had been receiving a mere flood of SPAM (I get easily 300 SPAMs a day, so in a period of 10 days it could have been some surge of the common plague). But the reality appears to be even sicker: Some not-so-nice spammer decided to inform his victims that my domain (roumazeilles.net) was the origin of his ugly SPAM work.

So, I received thousands of error messages from all over the world. They told me about people having left for holidays (and their return date), overflowing mail boxes, ISP sentries able to recognize and reject the messages as SPAM (and returning them to me. Thanks a million!) :-(

After a few more hours, I finally could read my email. Again, I congratulates myself for using two excellent email tools:

  • Pegasus mail: A VERY powerful mail reader. It has been free for years and tends to favor security and efficiency rather than pure user confort (quite the opposite of the Microsoft Outlook family). There are extensions to have it speaking various other languages (French and German immediately come to my mind).
  • K9: an automated statistical SPAM-detection filter that seats between the mail reader and the POP3 mail server. It merely marks the SPAM messages for the mail reader to delete or sort them out.

Out of 20,000 messages, K9 only missed 2 SPAMs I had to remove manually. It also misfired on a message I sent myself from my vacation location (but it was so abtruse and specific that the filter could not fail to think it was SPAM).

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