We are Grey. We stand between the darkness and the light. March 25, 2006 at 6:49 pm

[ Viewing: “Babylon 5 – The Complete Fourth Season” (Tony Dow) ]

Yeah, I’ve been running through B5 again, and have it on the brain.. watching season 4 now… but…

I finally had a chance to take a real crack at installing Grey-Listing on our colo box (which also serves as MX for several of us), and holy crap does it make a difference. I got it up and running at 2:45PM on Thurs (Mar 23rd, 2006) and already it’s had a massive effect. In just over 48 hours now, the database the program uses already has 4037 records of mails that never properly tried to resend again (most likely spam) vs 365 mails that have properly resent after the initial delay (most likely not spam). Just goes to show that most spam is just blasted out from hosts that are hacked or setup just for spamming and they don’t want to deal with the bandwidth required to retry.

On top of that, I found I had a bug in spamassassin that was allowing it to pass quite a few spams into my inbox (and my sister’s as well) because the mail was never actually scanned properly. Only when I went to test a mail by hand to see why it hadn’t been flagged as spam (by cat’ing it into spamc myself) did I see the error, then I grep’d a ton out of the mail logs. The error was:
Mar 23 23:46:07 www spamd[15003]: error: Can’t locate object method “new” via package “Net::DNS::RR::TXT” at /usr/lib/perl5/vendor_perl/5.8.5/x86_64-linux/Net/DNS/RR.pm line 240._ , continuing

I looked on google and saw mention of updating that pkg, which I did. It had no effect. Then I started to noticed that the above has version 5.8.5 in the path, and I’d updated perl to 5.8.7 previously (back in Jan). Turns out the spamd process had been running for months… well back into 2005. So a quick restart of the daemon, now using the updated perl (and modules) and it fixed the problem. So spamassassin is catching more mails, which, coupled with grey-listing, has dropped spam down to almost nothing. I used to get 50+ spams in my inbox a day (on top of what spamassassin filtered out) and in the last 2 days I’ve had 2!

I even setup a cron job to graph the number of filtered spam vs inbox (vs 2 lists I’m on) here. Should be interesting to see how low the spam levels stay over the next few weeks. I notice that I’m still getting some spam, but spamassassin is filtering off so much more. Some of that is stuff that I signed up for long ago and forgot, or that I was signed up automatically for by using some website… working on getting off those lists as well.

Man it’s nice to have mailboxes that are more manageable again.

The quote from B5 is really fitting though.

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