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Old 3 Jan 2004, 10:46 PM   #1
karpov
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can't understand

hello again,
a new day -- a new question

1. What is 'detect junk mail'. Actually, what is junk mail?
as far as i undestand it is some sort of spam-letters. but why then can't i just set up detection of junk mails without creating the white list just like i do with virus protection.
2. what is rejection? is it the same as repairing? or deleting?
and why the rejection can be impossible? ('reject if possible')
3. what will happen if the virus is found? it will be removed without notifying me? and if the repairing is impossible?

thanks,
karpov
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Old 3 Jan 2004, 11:30 PM   #2
carverrn
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Re: can't understand

Hi karpov

1. What is 'detect junk mail'. Actually, what is junk mail?
as far as i undestand it is some sort of spam-letters. but why then can't i just set up detection of junk mails without creating the white list just like i do with virus protection.

Junk mail is SPAM and UCE (Unsolicited Commercial Email).

You certainly can use the Junk Mail/SPAM Filter without setting up a White List.

What the White List does is to tell the Junk Mail/SPAM Filter that email from addresses listed in the White List are not to be flagged as SPAM even if the email "looks" like SPAM to the Junk Mail/SPAM Filter.


2. what is rejection? is it the same as repairing? or deleting?
and why the rejection can be impossible? ('reject if possible')

The option "Yes, reject if possible" tells the Junk Mail/SPAM Filter to send an email back to the sender indicating that the message was rejected because it was identified as SPAM.

Rejecting the message is only possible if there is a return address specified in the message.

You probably should never use the "Yes, reject if possible" option. Most SPAM doesn't even have a valid return address in the message so sending a rejection message is useless.

Also, many sources suggest that you should never respond to a SPAM message, even to request removal, since this verifies that your email address is valid.

Just use the "Yes, save to" and specify a folder to move the SPAM message. You can even specify the Trash folder if you don't want to double check the flagged messages first.


3. what will happen if the virus is found? it will be removed without notifying me? and if the repairing is impossible?

If a message containing a virus is detected a rejection message will be sent back to the sender if there was a return address. The rejection message will indicate that a virus was detected in the message they sent. You will not receive the message and you will not receive any notice that a message was rejected.

The virus scanner does not attempt to repair/remove the virus. It will only reject the message.


Regards,
Rich

Last edited by carverrn : 4 Jan 2004 at 02:46 AM.
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Old 5 Jan 2004, 03:36 AM   #3
karpov
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thankyou for the answer.
it was an exhaustive one.
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Old 5 Jan 2004, 03:40 AM   #4
karpov
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and what is really wonderful: i've just checked my new-created 'junk' folder and found there...what?... 3 spam letters sent today! and they were blocked!!!
lala-lala-la...
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Old 5 Jan 2004, 10:07 AM   #5
sigurdur
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Re: Re: can't understand

Quote:
Originally posted by carverrn

2. what is rejection? is it the same as repairing? or deleting?
and why the rejection can be impossible? ('reject if possible')

The option "Yes, reject if possible" tells the Junk Mail/SPAM Filter to send an email back to the sender indicating that the message was rejected because it was identified as SPAM.

Rejecting the message is only possible if there is a return address specified in the message.

You probably should never use the "Yes, reject if possible" option. Most SPAM doesn't even have a valid return address in the message so sending a rejection message is useless.

Also, many sources suggest that you should never respond to a SPAM message, even to request removal, since this verifies that your email address is valid.
Rich
That's actually not entirely correct.

'reject' means that if a mail during delivery to Runbox is flagged as spam it will be rejected during delivery.

The way email is delivered is through a dialog between two mail servers. That dialog goes something like the following, with the recieving server writing all the lines opening with a three digit number and the sender the other liines:

(I've changed my email address to be at 'invalid.domain'', otherwise this is an authentic dialog)

220 head.linpro.no ESMTP Exim 4.14 Mon, 05 Jan 2004 01:46:13 +0100
HELO fjb-dhcp418.studby.uio.no
250 head.linpro.no Hello fjb-dhcp418.studby.uio.no [129.240.107.195]
MAIL FROM: sigurdur@some.domain
250 OK
RCPT TO: sigurdur@some.domain
250 Accepted
DATA
354 Enter message, ending with "." on a line by itself
Subject: Test email to show SMTP dialog

Here the email body and the rest of the headers go.

.
250 OK id=1AdItV-0000Ts-97
quit
221 head.linpro.no closing connection


After the line with 'DATA* the content of the email, including several headers come. This are the primary data used by the anti-spam system to decide if this is spam or not. The single '.' finishes this section off and the mail server can then start to decide whether this is spam or not.

if it is spam and then user has chosen to reject spam the dialog is finished with the mail server saying "I will not accept this email, I think it's spam" and the sending server will treat it almost like it does if the email was rejected because the recipient address not exists on the system.

If on the other hand the email is not spam or the recipient has not chosen reject the mail server will respond with "250 OK" and an ID for that email, just like you see in the example.

If several users get the same spam at the same time we can only do reject if all of them has chosen to use reject. That's why it says "Reject if possible".

So reject does not require a valid return address.

And this does not reveal whether this is an actively read address, which is the reason one shouldn't reply to spam messages.

Kind regards,

-sig
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Old 5 Jan 2004, 10:43 AM   #6
Liz
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Thank you to both for detailed replies, and welcome to the forum, sigurdur! For everyone's information, he is one of Runbox' sysops, from Linpro.

Liz
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Old 5 Jan 2004, 10:49 AM   #7
carverrn
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Hi sig,

Thanks for the correction. It's not quite what I understood it to be.

A lot of my SPAM addressed to my Runbox account is also addressed to other Runbox accounts.

If any of them don't use the "reject if possible" option, the message will not be rejected and it will end up in my Inbox since I can't specify both "reject if possible" and a SPAM folder.

So I would still say don't use the "reject if possible" option.

Regards,
Rich
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Old 5 Jan 2004, 11:05 PM   #8
sigurdur
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Quote:
Originally posted by carverrn

[...]
A lot of my SPAM addressed to my Runbox account is also addressed to other Runbox accounts.

If any of them don't use the "reject if possible" option, the message will not be rejected and it will end up in my Inbox since I can't specify both "reject if possible" and a SPAM folder.

So I would still say don't use the "reject if possible" option.
If you add a filter that moves email with
X-Spam-Flag: YES
in the headers to your spam folder that should do the trick, and let you reject spam too.

Another bonus of using reject is that it is easier on Runbox' servers -> faster mail delivery for the users

So I'm still all for rejecting.

-sig
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Old 6 Jan 2004, 12:00 AM   #9
carverrn
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Hi sig,

Yep, you're right! Got me again!

So setting it to "reject if possible" and adding a filter to move SPAM to a folder would be the best approach.

I'll give it a try.

I'm curious though. Since the SPAM scanning (message analysis, black list checking) is performed before sending the "OK" to the message transfer, doesn't this cause a longer transfer? Could this cause some servers to timeout and delay delivering the message until the server trys again at a later time?


Regards,
Rich
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Old 6 Jan 2004, 02:01 AM   #10
sigurdur
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Quote:
Originally posted by carverrn

[...]
I'm curious though. Since the SPAM scanning (message analysis, black list checking) is performed before sending the "OK" to the message transfer, doesn't this cause a longer transfer? Could this cause some servers to timeout and delay delivering the message until the server trys again at a later time?
The delay is very small (Runbox recieves more than 100 mails/sec in peak periods - if scanning took a long time that would be impossible) and poses no problem.

-sig
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Old 6 Jan 2004, 02:52 AM   #11
carverrn
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Thanks for the details. It's interesting to "see what's behind the curtain".

Rich
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Old 6 Jan 2004, 07:31 AM   #12
karpov
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Quote:
Originally posted by sigurdur
If you add a filter that moves email with
X-Spam-Flag: YES
in the headers to your spam folder that should do the trick, and let you reject spam too.

-sig
plenty of opportunities...
but it's the first time i hear about 'X-spam-flag'
what other reserved names exist?
(or where to find a list of them?)

karpov
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Old 8 Jan 2004, 09:17 AM   #13
sigurdur
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Quote:
Originally posted by karpov
plenty of opportunities...
but it's the first time i hear about 'X-spam-flag'
what other reserved names exist?
(or where to find a list of them?)
As you might know an email contains a set of headers and then the actual mail body (or payload if you like).

Some headers you already know, 'To: ', 'From: ', 'Subject: '' etc, but you can add almost any header you want. 'X-spam-flag: ' is just added by the spam checker program we use on the Runbox systems. Some people even have their workstations set up to add an header like 'X-playing-now: '' which tells what music they listened to while writing the email:)

If you hit the "view source" link when reading an email at Runbox you get to see the entire email, including all the headers.

Hope this clarified things a bit and sorry for the delayed answer.

-sig
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