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The Ultimate in Spam Fighting

Friday, January 24th, 2003 · No Comments

Imagine a world without any spam. Ahh…the peace, the quiet. Think that’s impossible? Well, even with software like SpamAssassin installed on my server, I still have to go into my spam directory to clear it out from time to time and make sure no real messages ended up there. I also get a number of spam messages sneaking into my inbox every once in a while.

Some time ago, I read about this reverse spam-filtering technique from Nancy McGough, which sounded really good, but she doesn’t share her “whitelist” script.

Then today I saw the same concept in action. I got an email from someone that required me to respond to it to verify that I’m a real person rather than a spambot. That guy is using a script coupled with procmail that requires anyone who sends you mail (except people or domains you approve in advance) to verify that he or she is a real person. It’s ingenious, really. And after someone has confirmed that he or she is a person, he or she will automatically be added to a “whitelist” or accept list and will not have to confirm in the future.

I’m seriously considering implementing this script:

Rejecting spam with a procmail accept list

My initial hesitation was that some people might not understand the need to reply to verify, but this script allows you to check the queue or cache of pending messages and either clear them out or approve selected messages/addresses.

I think it’s great. What better way to fight spam? (Aside from abstaining from ever using your email address anywhere online, of course.)

Tags: technology