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SpamAssassin scores and 12-letter domains

 

 

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ben at indietorrent

Aug 5, 2012, 10:13 AM

Post #1 of 12 (1343 views)
Permalink
SpamAssassin scores and 12-letter domains

Hello,

As an owner of a 12-letter domain, and someone who is unable to post to
any of the Apache mailing lists due to messages being rejected as SPAM
(I'll be surprised if this one if any different), I have to ask, what is
the rationale for the infamous 12-letter-domain-ding?

How many 12-letter domains exist? A few million? I can't think of a less
useful metric, nor one that is more likely to yield false-positives.

There is hardly any published information on this subject, so perhaps
one of the experts here will weigh-in. Apparently, I'm not the only one
who feels this "feature" needs to die:
http://spamassassin.1065346.n5.nabble.com/FROM-12LTRDOM-high-scored-remove-td100710.html
.

Thanks for any insight.

-Ben


me at junc

Aug 5, 2012, 10:48 AM

Post #2 of 12 (1310 views)
Permalink
Re: SpamAssassin scores and 12-letter domains [In reply to]

Den 2012-08-05 19:13, Ben Johnson skrev:

> There is hardly any published information on this subject, so perhaps
> one of the experts here will weigh-in. Apparently, I'm not the only
> one
> who feels this "feature" needs to die:

X-ASF-Spam-Status: No, hits=4.8 required=10.0
tests=FROM_12LTRDOM,SPF_HELO_PASS,SPF_PASS,URI_HEX

as you see there is long way to 10

>
> http://spamassassin.1065346.n5.nabble.com/FROM-12LTRDOM-high-scored-remove-td100710.html

this is the url that hits hex


michael.scheidell at secnap

Aug 5, 2012, 11:30 AM

Post #3 of 12 (1298 views)
Permalink
Re: SpamAssassin scores and 12-letter domains [In reply to]

On 8/5/12 1:48 PM, Benny Pedersen wrote:
> Den 2012-08-05 19:13, Ben Johnson skrev:
>
>> There is hardly any published information on this subject, so perhaps
>> one of the experts here will weigh-in. Apparently, I'm not the only one
>> who feels this "feature" needs to die:
>
> X-ASF-Spam-Status: No, hits=4.8 required=10.0
> tests=FROM_12LTRDOM,SPF_HELO_PASS,SPF_PASS,URI_HEX
>
default is 5.0, not 10.0

> as you see there is long way to 10
>
.2 points to go to 5.0

and:
score FROM_12LTRDOM 0.099 3.499 0.099 3.499

is a HUGE difference, any score over 2.75 points should be suspect.


>>
>> http://spamassassin.1065346.n5.nabble.com/FROM-12LTRDOM-high-scored-remove-td100710.html
>>
>
> this is the url that hits hex
>


--
Michael Scheidell, CTO
o: 561-999-5000
d: 561-948-2259
>*| *SECNAP Network Security Corporation

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______________________________________________________________________
This email has been scanned and certified safe by SpammerTrap(r).
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______________________________________________________________________


me at junc

Aug 6, 2012, 5:01 AM

Post #4 of 12 (1302 views)
Permalink
Re: SpamAssassin scores and 12-letter domains [In reply to]

Den 2012-08-05 20:30, Michael Scheidell skrev:

>> X-ASF-Spam-Status: No, hits=4.8 required=10.0
>> tests=FROM_12LTRDOM,SPF_HELO_PASS,SPF_PASS,URI_HEX
> default is 5.0, not 10.0

why did ASF change it ?, did thay only change reguired ? :=)

>> as you see there is long way to 10
> .2 points to go to 5.0

irrelevant on ASF

> score FROM_12LTRDOM 0.099 3.499 0.099 3.499
> is a HUGE difference, any score over 2.75 points should be suspect.

spamassassin is opensource, scores is not hardcoded

i think what is more needed is just more comiters with ham and spam to
the public corpus scores is generated from, dont fight rules, change
scores if one is not comitter

this rule does not hit ham here


ben at indietorrent

Aug 6, 2012, 8:25 AM

Post #5 of 12 (1288 views)
Permalink
Re: SpamAssassin scores and 12-letter domains [In reply to]

On 8/6/2012 8:01 AM, Benny Pedersen wrote:
> Den 2012-08-05 20:30, Michael Scheidell skrev:
>
>>> X-ASF-Spam-Status: No, hits=4.8 required=10.0
>>> tests=FROM_12LTRDOM,SPF_HELO_PASS,SPF_PASS,URI_HEX
>> default is 5.0, not 10.0
>
> why did ASF change it ?, did thay only change reguired ? :=)
>
>>> as you see there is long way to 10
>> .2 points to go to 5.0
>
> irrelevant on ASF
>
>> score FROM_12LTRDOM 0.099 3.499 0.099 3.499
>> is a HUGE difference, any score over 2.75 points should be suspect.
>
> spamassassin is opensource, scores is not hardcoded
>
> i think what is more needed is just more comiters with ham and spam to
> the public corpus scores is generated from, dont fight rules, change
> scores if one is not comitter
>
> this rule does not hit ham here
>

Thanks for the replies thus far.

Benny, it bears mention that not all of ASF's servers/mailing lists are
configured the same way.

The Apache HTTP Server mailing list requires 5.0. My best guess is that
they cranked-up the threshold for the SpamAssassin mailing list because,
by nature, the discussion contains a lot of "spammy" content and
false-positives were becoming a problem.

The fact that SpamAssassin is open-source is what's irrelevant; I have
no control over how ASF configures its servers, and therefore no ability
to disable the ridiculous 12-letter-domain check. ASF would have to
change its configuration if my messages are to be accepted.

Better still would be to remove this "feature" from SpamAssassin
altogether, as it is completely useless. That way, the problem would
disappear as soon as ASF updates to a version of SpamAssassin in which
the 12-letter-domain check is removed.

The fact is that nobody has articulated the rationale behind the
12-letter-domain check speaks for itself. If a rule is deemed to be
useless, why is it not removed? It is wasting CPU cycles and affecting
genuine ASF mailing list subscribers adversely (by rejecting their
messages without basis). Further, it's not as though ASF's servers are
the only ones using FROM_12LTRDOM; this ridiculous issue is affecting my
ability to communicate across the Internet at large.

Given that ASF has no other public support channel, and no way to
contact anybody to request that the filters be adjusted, what choice do
I have beyond pushing to have the software modified?

Thank you,

-Ben


jhardin at impsec

Aug 6, 2012, 8:39 AM

Post #6 of 12 (1287 views)
Permalink
Re: SpamAssassin scores and 12-letter domains [In reply to]

On Mon, 6 Aug 2012, Ben Johnson wrote:

> Better still would be to remove this "feature" from SpamAssassin
> altogether, as it is completely useless. That way, the problem would
> disappear as soon as ASF updates to a version of SpamAssassin in which
> the 12-letter-domain check is removed.

When we get enough masscheck corpora to generate an update, the scores
will go down to advisory. If sufficient masscheck corpora were available
for regular score updates this issue would have been resolved a month
ago.

> The fact is that nobody has articulated the rationale behind the
> 12-letter-domain check speaks for itself.

Someone observed a noticeable amount of spam coming from twelve-letter
domain names, and the rule for such performs well against the current
masscheck corpora.

> If a rule is deemed to be useless, why is it not removed?

The masscheck corpora size is hovering just below the threshold for
generating updates. There are various reasons for this.

http://www.chaosreigns.com/dnswl/tot.svg

It's possible that fixing this rule is important enough to spur releasing
a manual rules update. However, masscheck rule scores based on starved
corpora may actually be _worse_ overall than the effects from this one
rule. If we _do_ generate a manual rules update to fix just this rule, it
should really be a manual update to fix just this rule, for example by
manually altering 70_scores.cf in the update tarball to adjust just the
scores for this rule.

I will mention this on the dev list.

--
John Hardin KA7OHZ http://www.impsec.org/~jhardin/
jhardin [at] impsec FALaholic #11174 pgpk -a jhardin [at] impsec
key: 0xB8732E79 -- 2D8C 34F4 6411 F507 136C AF76 D822 E6E6 B873 2E79
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Gun Control laws aren't enacted to control guns, they are enacted
to control people: catholics (1500s), japanese peasants (1600s),
blacks (1860s), italian immigrants (1911), the irish (1920s),
jews (1930s), blacks (1960s), the poor (always)
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me at junc

Aug 6, 2012, 10:02 AM

Post #7 of 12 (1288 views)
Permalink
Re: SpamAssassin scores and 12-letter domains [In reply to]

Den 2012-08-06 17:25, Ben Johnson skrev:

> Thanks for the replies thus far.
>
> Benny, it bears mention that not all of ASF's servers/mailing lists
> are
> configured the same way.

fair

> The Apache HTTP Server mailing list requires 5.0. My best guess is
> that
> they cranked-up the threshold for the SpamAssassin mailing list
> because,
> by nature, the discussion contains a lot of "spammy" content and
> false-positives were becoming a problem.

so senders can now get more help on maillist with spam, this is
intended, but if still some samples is rejected one can pastebin
problems or register an account to show problems with default rules,
remember scores is regnerated so in praktical there is no static scores
in default spamassassin, this is why i still say that the rule are ok,
but the corpus miss more ham to that rule

> The fact that SpamAssassin is open-source is what's irrelevant; I
> have
> no control over how ASF configures its servers, and therefore no
> ability
> to disable the ridiculous 12-letter-domain check. ASF would have to
> change its configuration if my messages are to be accepted.

do you really need to send so much spam to spamassassin lists ?

> Better still would be to remove this "feature" from SpamAssassin
> altogether, as it is completely useless. That way, the problem would
> disappear as soon as ASF updates to a version of SpamAssassin in
> which
> the 12-letter-domain check is removed.

arg i dont agree, removeing one rule does not make a fix

> The fact is that nobody has articulated the rationale behind the
> 12-letter-domain check speaks for itself.

nope i dont think it does, it could very well thay dont have the
problem

> If a rule is deemed to be
> useless, why is it not removed?

it depends on who and where you send it, spamassassin maintainers dont
control the whole world of spamsassin servers that use there software,
same way as mta maintainers does not say why config one have in main.cf
in postfix, thay only suggest defaults in postconf -d

> It is wasting CPU cycles and affecting
> genuine ASF mailing list subscribers adversely (by rejecting their
> messages without basis).

make an account on ASF, and report the problem with sample

> Further, it's not as though ASF's servers are
> the only ones using FROM_12LTRDOM; this ridiculous issue is affecting
> my
> ability to communicate across the Internet at large.

this is how rules works, but local admins can compensate to free use of
spamassassin, maybe users just need to drop spamassassin and find
something better ?

if servers have enough ram it seems others just dont give a damm and
install spam signatures into clamav and reject at mta stage, better ?

> Given that ASF has no other public support channel, and no way to
> contact anybody to request that the filters be adjusted, what choice
> do
> I have beyond pushing to have the software modified?

should we start asking them for there paypal account ? :=)

> Thank you,

remember i am just a free user aswell


axb.lists at gmail

Aug 6, 2012, 10:32 AM

Post #8 of 12 (1285 views)
Permalink
Re: SpamAssassin scores and 12-letter domains [In reply to]

On 08/06/2012 05:25 PM, Ben Johnson wrote:

> Given that ASF has no other public support channel, and no way to
> contact anybody to request that the filters be adjusted, what choice do
> I have beyond pushing to have the software modified?

bare in mind: SpamAssassin is a framework and VERY flexible.
It's aiming to be the global solution for spam filtering.

The SpamAssassin project delivers a set of rules and scores.

These may not fit all types fo traffic, globally - with minimal skills
you can modify the ruleset to work for your setup.


ben at indietorrent

Aug 6, 2012, 11:00 AM

Post #9 of 12 (1284 views)
Permalink
Re: SpamAssassin scores and 12-letter domains [In reply to]

On 8/6/2012 1:32 PM, Axb wrote:
> On 08/06/2012 05:25 PM, Ben Johnson wrote:
>
>> Given that ASF has no other public support channel, and no way to
>> contact anybody to request that the filters be adjusted, what choice do
>> I have beyond pushing to have the software modified?
>
> bare in mind: SpamAssassin is a framework and VERY flexible.
> It's aiming to be the global solution for spam filtering.
>
> The SpamAssassin project delivers a set of rules and scores.
>
> These may not fit all types fo traffic, globally - with minimal skills
> you can modify the ruleset to work for your setup.
>

Thanks, Axb.

Yes, I understand that SpamAssassin is very flexible. The problem I'm
describing, however, is not with my SpamAssassin configuration (in which
case I would simply adjust it); it is with Apache Software Foundation's
configuration (over which I have no control).

I raised this issue because ASF's SpamAssassin configuration --
specifically, the 12-letter-domain check -- causes my messages to its
various mailing lists to be rejected more often than not. This list is
very forgiving in that the required score is 10.0, but other ASF lists
require only 5.0.

All of that said, it sounds like this issue will be discussed among the
developers, so maybe something will be done and not all 12-letter-domain
owners will be blacklisted throughout the Internet.

Best regards,

-Ben


giles at coochey

Aug 7, 2012, 6:48 AM

Post #10 of 12 (1280 views)
Permalink
Re: SpamAssassin scores and 12-letter domains [In reply to]

On 06/08/2012 19:00, Ben Johnson wrote:
> All of that said, it sounds like this issue will be discussed among
> the developers, so maybe something will be done and not all
> 12-letter-domain owners will be blacklisted throughout the Internet.
> Best regards, -Ben
At risk of being slight unnervingly pedantic...

Spamassassin does not blacklist, spamassassin does not block. All
spamassassin does (on its own) is classify. Certain implementations, in
this case, the ASF's, will block emails that have been classified to a
certain confidence level.

The default scores are not manually set, but (in my understanding) are
evaluated against databases of spam and non-spam emails and
statistically evaluated to optimum scores. There is long considered an
issue of the amount of non-spam emails contained within this evaluation
(getting 'typical' private emails for this purpose can pose certain
difficulties).

The dev's can discuss the bigger issues, but for your immediate problem
I would approach and continue to approach ASF on the actions of their
spam block according to spamassassin's classification, blocking at 5
points is un-necessarily harsh, and many implementations have the
ability to block at (say) 12 points, tag at say 5 points (which could be
implemented to leave messages in a moderation queue) and release
everything else.


--
Regards,

Giles Coochey, CCNA, CCNAS
NetSecSpec Ltd
+44 (0) 7983 877438
http://www.coochey.net
http://www.netsecspec.co.uk
giles [at] coochey
Attachments: smime.p7s (4.85 KB)


KMcGrail at PCCC

Aug 7, 2012, 6:53 AM

Post #11 of 12 (1282 views)
Permalink
Re: SpamAssassin scores and 12-letter domains [In reply to]

It's a good point and I sent a recommendation to ASF infrastructure.

On 8/7/2012 9:48 AM, Giles Coochey wrote:
> On 06/08/2012 19:00, Ben Johnson wrote:
>> All of that said, it sounds like this issue will be discussed among
>> the developers, so maybe something will be done and not all
>> 12-letter-domain owners will be blacklisted throughout the Internet.
>> Best regards, -Ben
> At risk of being slight unnervingly pedantic...
>
> Spamassassin does not blacklist, spamassassin does not block. All
> spamassassin does (on its own) is classify. Certain implementations,
> in this case, the ASF's, will block emails that have been classified
> to a certain confidence level.
>
> The default scores are not manually set, but (in my understanding) are
> evaluated against databases of spam and non-spam emails and
> statistically evaluated to optimum scores. There is long considered an
> issue of the amount of non-spam emails contained within this
> evaluation (getting 'typical' private emails for this purpose can pose
> certain difficulties).
>
> The dev's can discuss the bigger issues, but for your immediate
> problem I would approach and continue to approach ASF on the actions
> of their spam block according to spamassassin's classification,
> blocking at 5 points is un-necessarily harsh, and many implementations
> have the ability to block at (say) 12 points, tag at say 5 points
> (which could be implemented to leave messages in a moderation queue)
> and release everything else.
>
>


--
*Kevin A. McGrail*
President

Peregrine Computer Consultants Corporation
3927 Old Lee Highway, Suite 102-C
Fairfax, VA 22030-2422

http://www.pccc.com/

703-359-9700 x50 / 800-823-8402 (Toll-Free)
703-359-8451 (fax)
KMcGrail [at] PCCC <mailto:kmcgrail [at] pccc>
Attachments: pccc_logo.gif (10.2 KB)


KMcGrail at PCCC

Aug 7, 2012, 7:07 AM

Post #12 of 12 (1279 views)
Permalink
Re: SpamAssassin scores and 12-letter domains [In reply to]

On 8/7/2012 9:53 AM, Kevin A. McGrail wrote:
> It's a good point and I sent a recommendation to ASF infrastructure.

FYI, Infra gave a good response which basically boils down to small
changes in the threshold equals LOTS of issues for them. They likely
get a LOT of spam. We need to focus on fixing the rule/score.

Regards,
KAm

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