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September 15, 2004

Update to latest SpamAssassin and a spam learning mechanism

Some time ago, around the time SpamAssassin 2.5 was released, Pete installed it on our mail server and we did some configuring to reduce the spam getting through to the inbox, redirecting spam into a designated folder (in case we want to periodically review to make sure there's no "real" mail getting flagged as spam).

It didn't take long for spam to start getting through again, and I've dealt with deleting spam for some time. The number of spam getting into my inbox has risen gradually and I guess the other day I'd had enough because I took the time to upgrade.

I noticed there was still some spam getting through, so I decided to take one more proactive measure and create a semi-automatic learning mechanism.

I created a folder ThisIsSpam, and set up a cron to regularly use mail in that folder to "teach" SpamAssassin.

/usr/bin/sa-learn --mbox --spam /home/mike/mail/ThisIsSpam
I scheduled this to run regularly, so as spam does get into my inbox I move it to the folder for SpamAssassin to learn.

I don't know the details about how it learns but the output from sa-learn gives me confidence that it's doing something:

Learned from 10 message(s) (16 message(s) examined).
More importantly, in just the past two days of learning I've noticed a considerable improvement in the filtering.

Posted by mike at September 15, 2004 7:21 AM