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How do you guys deal with this?

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    Posted: 13 April 2006 at 10:37am

I have been told by my senior management that my IT services, mostly the spamfilter is hindering our business. Specifically they are saying customers and important suppliers cannot email us.

They also said other companies do not have this quarantine thing and do not ask users to go check the spam themselves, and they have no problem with spam or virus, nor do they have problems with their customers.

I want to hear what you guys' opinions are? In my view, there no system that would not generate any false positive. I cannot think of any solution to that either.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JohnD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 April 2006 at 11:58am

Obviously we ultimately do what management wants, however they have hired you because of your expertise and as such aught to be able to rely on your judgement.  If you have explained all the dangers of opening things up and they still insist on doing it, then I suggest you open things a little until they complain about all the spam etc they have to deal with.  Sometimes a child has to fall aleast once before they believe you that it hurts. 

In our case, the web interface works great.  Most of the time the customer calls in because of the rejection email they get back from SF.  Then the sales person goes to the web interface and forces it through.  Most of our sales people have learned to read the reason why it was originally rejected and the customer either fixes thing at thier end (Reverse DNS) or calls me for assistance.  In the end, you are stuck with either dealing with the complaints about false positves or too much spam getting through.  Unfortunately until everyone is playing be the rules there will be issues like this. 

 

John

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stupid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 April 2006 at 12:10pm

John, really appreciate your input.

Is this true that other companies have no such issue?

I was thinking to open doors for some complaints, but SF does not allow me to pick what filters apply to which person - would be nice if it is that way.

Explanation does not work. When I try to explain, the response I get is "I have no time listening to you, just let me have all the emails". Well, obviously if I did let him have all, he would be bombarded with virus and spam, and I would be the one who would have to clean the mess. So I stood my ground, then he fired emails to all senior management members etc.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kspare Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 April 2006 at 12:34pm

I ran into this with some of my customers. Effectively what it boils down to is making the webinterface as simple as possible.

We ended up writing our website to do hourly and daily notifications from 6am to 6pm mon-fri

The email that is generated has a link the user clicks and it logs them in automatically. no username or passwords to remember. We then utilize the autowhite list function and eventually it works it self out.

Our code works so well that you can actually create a link right in outlook so they can just click it just like any other mail folder and they are in the spam interface to check for spam. It literally take zero effort.

 

I may consider selling my code if anyone is interested.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stupid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 April 2006 at 12:42pm

Yeah, I have that too, kspare.

Selling? I have been giving them out for free.

Maybe I'll consider every two hours notification rather than daily.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Derk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 April 2006 at 5:17pm

you might offer to loosen the reins slightly by using the Custom Domain Matrix.  Explain what each type of protection is available and let them choose.  We have a couple of customers that don't want Bayesian filtering.  However, we continue to block SPF, bad files, missing reverse DNS, missing FROM, blacklist, etc.

regarding notification; we allow the customer to choose the frequency.  below is a screenshot of the settings our customers can make per account/login:

settings

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lyndonje Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2006 at 5:44am
Hi Derk,

Are you selling your web interface? Or do you hand it out freely? The screenshot also mentions associated aliases which I think is a useful feature.

We have in house developers that could provide me with these features but they're obviously busy with customer projects. If you selling, my boss would have to weight up whether we paid for somebody else's source code to 'butcher', saving us time in writing from scratch. Or he may just decide he doesn't want to do either and do without the features :)

Regards,
Lyndon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vrspock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 April 2006 at 1:51am

Our clients are initially in "filter shock" when they first use our filter.  Our filters are considered "agressive", but after a little tweaking with the white lists, such as finding out who their important vendors are (i.e. those with their own domain names), we will add those domains to our white lists.  Also the auto-white list on force deliveries has really helped in the web interface.  Some of our clients were getting over 200 spams per day per mailbox and once things have been tweaked for them, they are more happy with the email being filtered out than they are upset with having to deal with spam quarantine, etc.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 April 2006 at 4:38am

Quote They also said other companies do not have this quarantine thing and do not ask users to go check the spam themselves, and they have no problem with spam or virus, nor do they have problems with their customers.

 

you DO realise that you are beeing told a blatant lie, or are faced with ignorance of epic proportions right?

 

 

Anyone who is capable of getting himself made president, should on no account be allowed to do the job. D.Adams
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stupid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 April 2006 at 5:05pm

No, I don't realize that because they said this was from their IT manager from their old jobs, and they offered me to talk to the IT manager.

 

Originally posted by Marco Marco wrote:

Quote They also said other companies do not have this quarantine thing and do not ask users to go check the spam themselves, and they have no problem with spam or virus, nor do they have problems with their customers.

 

you DO realise that you are beeing told a blatant lie, or are faced with ignorance of epic proportions right?

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MikeS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 April 2006 at 8:04pm
Whoever told you that was certainly wrong.  What do they think the "Bulk" folder is in Yahoo! Mail, or the  "Spam" folder is in GMail, or the "Junk Email" folder is in Hotmail or MS Outlook?  These are all examples of Quarantines, and are not only essential in preventing loss of legitimate email through false positives, but also in finely tuning any spam filter to increase it's accuracy.  Since NO spam filter can have 100% accuracy, the obvious question is would they rather a larger number of spam slip through the filter, or a larger number of false positives that are flagged as spam (and deleted forever if no quarantine exists).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 April 2006 at 9:27am

As long as there is money to be earned for spammers, spam will keep polluting the internet, it's as simple as that. Every major ISP, and allmost all companies are fighting spam, they get rid of 95% of the garbage for their users. But unfortunately a couple of legit mails get caught in the crossfire every now and then. Tell your users that what they want is impossible, no matter how good an it-manager is, things will never go 100% right.

One major step in the right direction has been made recently, with the SFDB-collective, i see this filter catch more and more spam, no false positives so far.

 

Anyone who is capable of getting himself made president, should on no account be allowed to do the job. D.Adams
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stupid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 April 2006 at 6:24pm
How do I use SFDB?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LogSat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 April 2006 at 11:04pm
Just ensure you're using the latest v3.x version available, the new SFDB filter is enabled by default.
Roberto Franceschetti

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rifleman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 April 2006 at 1:55pm
Derk,
 
Is that interface for sale or available?
 
Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rifleman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 April 2006 at 1:56pm
Roberto,
 
Please explain how SFDB works exactly please.
 
Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Derk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 April 2006 at 2:01pm

My boss doesn't want to sell the interface at this time.  Sorry guys.  I would be happy to answer some questions or give you tips as long as it is not directly supplying code.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LogSat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 April 2006 at 4:04pm
From the updated readme.html help file is the best description so far:

SFDB Filter - SpamFilter Distributed Blacklist

The SFDB filter uses a very powerful resource to stop spam:
The entire global SpamFilter ISP user community.

Anytime an IP address is added to SpamFilter's local IP blacklist cache, the SFDB filter updates our Distributed Blacklist centralized database. This allows the SFDB filter to have access to a huge repository of spammer's IPs, updated in realtime by all the SpamFilter ISP users in the world. IP addresses from the database are automatically aged and removed from the database within 24 hours if they receive no further reports.

The SFDB filter detects spam by checking IP addresses against the SFDB database. The "network reliability" level tells SpamFilter how many different users must have reported a specific IP in order to classify it as spam.

The SFDB filter will reject IPs if there are *currently* in the database more that a minimum number of reports for a certain IP. This threshold is the "Network Reliability". Enter 0 to disable the SFDB filter.



Originally posted by Rifleman Rifleman wrote:

Roberto,
 
Please explain how SFDB works exactly please.
 
Thanks
Roberto Franceschetti

LogSat Software

Spam Filter ISP
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stupid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 April 2006 at 3:46pm

For you guys who are interested in the website, please see:

 

http://www.logsat.com/spamfilter/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID= /5338&PN=1

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