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Fighting SPAM Spamassassin. Statistical based on factors such as banned words and acronyms None plane text or strange ascii coding in mail header HTML body with pictures and links. Sending/Recieving User exists

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fighting spam spamassassin
Fighting SPAM Spamassassin
  • Statistical based on factors such as

banned words and acronyms

  • None plane text or strange ascii coding in mail header
  • HTML body with pictures and links.
  • Sending/Recieving User exists
  • File attachement, extra inspection by external program for viruses and trojans
  • Black DNS, blacklisted domains/IP/hosts
  • E-Mails per second, DOS/SPAM
  • Email Relaying and hops
  • Help from external databases like: Pyzor Razor
  • Spamassassin does not delete mail, it marks mail as SPAM and classify the severity
downloading and installing spamassassin rpm
Downloading And Installing Spamassassin RPM
  • From sources:
  • From rpm:
  • Starting Spamassassin at boot
  • Startup Spamassassin
  • Spamassassin configuration sit in /etc/mail/spamassassin and /usr/share/spamassassin/ and init.pre

  • Spamassassin comes preconfigured
  • If you install from sources, dont install from RPM first!

# rpm –ivh perl-Digest-HMAC-1.01-495.i586.rpm

# rpm –ivh perl-HTML-Tagset-3.04-3.i586.rpm

# rpm –ivh perl-HTML-Parser-3.45-3.i586.rpm

# rpm –ivh perl-Net-DNS-0.48-3.i586.rpm

# rpm –ivh perl-spamassassin-3.0.2-4.i386.rpm

# rpm –ivh spamassassin-3.0.2-4.i386.rpm

# rpm –ivh spamassassin-3.0.2-4.i386.rpm

# insserv spamd on

# /etc/init.d/spamd start

configuring spamassassin
Configuring Spamassassin
  • The spamassassin main configuration file is named
          • /etc/mail/spamassassin/
  • A full listing of all the options available

in the file can be found in the

Linux man pages using the following


  • The spamassassin plugins file init.pre
  • Spamassassin searches /etc/mail/spamassassin and /usr/share/spamassassin for .pre and .cf files to read in
  • All users home can contain $HOME/.spamassassin/
  • Spamassassin is written in PERL
  • Spamassasin is 2 components the server spamd and client spamc

required_hits 5.0

whitelist_from *

rewrite_subject 1

subject_tag *****SPAM*****

report_safe 1

use_terse_report 0

use_bayes 1

auto_learn 1

skip_rbl_checks 0

use_razor2 1

use_dcc 1

use_pyzor 1

ok_languages en

ok_locales en sv fi

# man Mail::SpamAssassin::Conf

loadplugin Mail::SpamAssassin::Plugin::URIDNSBL

loadplugin Mail::SpamAssassin::Plugin::Hashcash

loadplugin Mail::SpamAssassin::Plugin::SPF

testing spamassassin
Testing spamassassin
  • Test the validity of your and the other files
  • Startup spamassassin
    • If you installed from ”source” you will need to write a proper start and stop script yourself
  • Tuning spamassassin by adjusting the required_hits value in the file
  • Sample mail header tagged by spamassassin, here nigerian scam

# spamassassin -d –lint

Created user preferences file: /root/.spamassassin/user_prefs config: SpamAssassin failed to parse line, skipping: use_terse_report 0 config: SpamAssassin failed to parse line, skipping: auto_learn 1 lint: 2 issues detected. please rerun with debug enabled for more information.

# /etc/init.d/spamd start

required_hits 5.0


the rules du jour spamassassin tool
The Rules du Jour Spamassassin Tool
  • Rules Du Jour is a script who downloads filtering rules for Spamassassin.
  • The script is available here: it is intended to be run from a cron job on daily basis.
  • The /etc/rulesdujour/config Configuration File
    • SA_DIR path to spamassassin
    • MAIL_ADDRESS who recieves status messages
    • SA_RESTART howto restart spamassassin after new rules is installed
    • TRUSTED_RULESETSspace delimited line with filter rules to use


installing rules du jour
Installing Rules du Jour

1) Download the rules_du_jour script with the wget command, make it executable and place it in the /usr/local/bin directory. The script is available here: it is intended to be run from a cron job on daily basis.

2) Create and edit your /etc/rulesdujour/config configuration file.

3) Run the rules_du_jour script, and then run spamassassin in lint mode to test for errors. There should be none.

4) The final step is to add /usr/local/bin/rules_du_jour to your cron table. In this case, crontab –e

# wget

# chmod 700 rules_du_jour

# mv rules_du_jour /usr/local/bin

# mkdir -p /etc/rulesdujour

# vi /etc/rulesdujour/config

# /usr/local/bin/rules_du_jour

0 23 * * * root /usr/local/bin/rules_du_jour

setting up procmail for spamassassin
Setting up procmail for spamassassin
  • Procmail is a mail processor it can search the mail header and body for patterns, keys and attributes
  • Procmail uses regular expressions to find or extract keys
  • Procmail can move/trunctate/delete andmake calls to external programs based on conditions
  • Procmail has a mandatory file used in situations where individual users does not have one, /etc/procmailrc
  • The user configurable procmail file is $HOME/.procmail
  • Procmail ”home” is very helpful tolearnmoreabout the powerful procmail:
getting procmail installed
Getting procmail installed
  • Install procmail from RPM
  • Download procmail source
  • Build procmail source
  • Inspect procmail builded appz
  • Install procmail sources (all the new/ -files)

# rpm –ivh procmail-3.22-41

# rpm –ivh procmail-debuginfo-3.22-41

# cd /usr/local/src ; wget

# cd procmail-3.22 ; make

. . .

# make install

# ls new/

# make install-suid

Or type

# make install

procmail configuration for spamassassin
Procmail configuration for Spamassassin
  • Procmail comes unconfigured as RPM and Sources
  • If you install procmail from source you have sample configuration to start with in the sourcetree /usr/local/src/procmail-3.22/examples
  • You will need to modify the sample config or re do everything from scratch
    • Here we first copy one of the examples to the mandatory procmail settings
    • Secondly we copy it into user root’s personal settings
  • Procmail haves to configuration sets:
    • Mandatory default procmailrc
    • Personal .procmailrc

# cp examples/3procmailrc /etc/procmailrc

# cp examples/3procmailrc ~root/.procmailrc

procmail mandatory etc procmailrc
Procmail mandatory /etc/procmailrc
  • Procmailrc has a number of settings & enviroment vars
    • DROPPRIVS =YES lower priviledges to recieving user level
    • VERBOSE=ON log level details
    • MAILDIR=$HOME/Mail User home maildir
    • DEFAULT=$MAILDIR/mbox User home mail database file
    • LOGFILE=$MAILDIR/from where to log procmail activities
    • LOCKFILE=$HOME/lockmail protect procmail processing
    • COMPANY=PHW General enviroment variable
  • Procmail is driven by regular expressions

This very first rule starts spamc if email

size is less than 256000 bytes

The last rule will move the 

Email if X-Spam-Status: Yes

is set in the email header


* < 256000

| /usr/bin/spamc -f






* ^X-Spam-Status: Yes


procmail userdefine home procmailrc
Procmail userdefine $HOME/.procmailrc
  • This rule will move all files with lastnames to directory illegal-attach
  • All email less than 250K is

processed by spamc

  • All email marked with

spamlevel greater than 15

is moved to directory


  • All mail who accumulated

more than required_hits

is moved to directory probely-spam

  • All mail who has subject

*****SPAM***** is moved to

directory subject-spam

:0 B

* ^Content-Type:.*

* ^.*name=.*\.(hta|com|pif|vbs|vbe|js|jse|exe|bat|cmd|vxd|scr|shm|dll|SCR)



* < 256000

| /usr/bin/spamc -f


* ^X-Spam-Level: \*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*



* ^X-Spam-Status: Yes



* ^Subject: \*\*\*\*\*SPAM\*\*\*\*\*


procmail is now ready for action
Procmail is now ready for action
  • Now it is left to add procmail support in /etc/mail/
  • Procmail specified attributes (optional)

-t try later, do not bounce

-YBerkeley mailbox format

-a argument added from sendmail enviroment

-d delivery mode, set userid $u (from sendmail)

  • Make the
  • Last add the .procmailrc to /etc/skel
    • So all future users added will have

.procmailrc as default




FEATURE(local_procmail,`',`procmail -t -Y -a $h -d $u')dnl

# cd /etc/mail ; m4 >

# rcsendmail restart

# cp ~root/.procmail /etc/skel

using greylisting
Using Greylisting
  • Spammers try to send email as quickly as possible
  • Bouncing mails is removed from their mailing lists
  • Mailserver can ask the sender to try again later if mails coming in tofast
  • Spam emails that need to be resent are usually abandoned
  • With greylisting, sources are just asked to resend and thereby getting rid of spam
  • The most popular greylist mail filter (milter) products is the milter-greylist package
  • Drawback is mail-flow can become slower
downloading and installing milter greylist
Downloading and Installing milter-greylist
  • You will have to first install the sendmail-devel software package
    • You already have it if you installed sendmail from sources
    • You can get it as optional RPM, as we installed in beginning of this chapter
  • Download greylist-milter
  • Untar milter-greylist
  • Configure and make milter-greylist
  • More info can be found at:

# cd /usr/local/src

# wget

# tar -xzvf milter-greylist-2.0.2.tgz

# ./configure && make && make install

configuring milter greylist
Configuring milter-greylist
  • Add the milter-greylist statements listed in the README file to your /etc/mail/ file:
  • Copy the correct version to your /etc/init.d and prepare it to start at boot
  • Edit the /etc/mail/greylist.conf configuration file, add modify:

Here we set the “try again later” to five minutes

Deactivate the timer for trusted networks so that mail is delivered immediately

  • Start the milter:

INPUT_MAIL_FILTER(`greylist',`S=local:/var/milter-greylist/milter-greylist.sock') define(`confMILTER_MACROS_CONNECT', `j, {if_addr}') define(`confMILTER_MACROS_HELO', `{verify}, {cert_subject}') define(`confMILTER_MACROS_ENVFROM', `i, {auth_authen}') define(`confMILTER_MACROS_ENVRCPT', `{greylist}')

# cp /etc/init.d/milter-greylist

# chmod 755 /etc/init.d/milter-greylist

# insserv milter-greylist

greylist 5m

acl whitelist addr

# ln –s /etc/init.d/milter-greylist /usr/sbin/rcmilter-greylist

# rcmilter-greylist start ; rcsendmail restart

configuring milter greylist contined
Configuring milter-greylist, contined
  • The /var/log/mail* files should be used to determine what is happening to your mail
  • A request is sent to the sender to resend the email in five minutes
  • Here email from a source is autowhitelisted for 24 hours
  • We are now done with milter greylist setup!

Dec 24 00:32:31 mail sendmail[28847]: jBO8WVnG028847: Milter: to=<>, reject=451 4.7.1 Greylisting in action, please come back in 00:05:00

Dec 23 20:40:21 mail milter-greylist: jBO4eF2m027418: addr from <> rcpt <>: autowhitelisted for 24:00:00

installing your pop imap server
Installing Your POP/IMAP Server
  • There are several much more powerful IMAP/POP servers than the one we install. This is for demonstration only. Usally we install UW-IMAP or similar.
  • Install the dovecot IMAP/POP server
  • Activate dovecot at boot
  • Start dovecot now
  • Pop and Imap is purposed to serve users and clients with centralized email in a comfortable way.
  • Pop and Imap can be both run as cleartext and cryptated

# rpm –ivh dovecot-debuginfo-0.99.14.rpm

# rpm –ivh mysql-shared-4.1.10a-3.i586.rpm# rpm –ivh postgresql-libs-8.0.1-6.i586.rpm

# rpm –ivh dovecot-0.99.14-3.i586.rpm

# insserv dovecot

# rcdovecot start

configuring your pop imap server
Configuring Your POP/IMAP Server
  • Protocol selection in /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf
  • Check that dovecot is listening:
  • Going from insecure pop/imap to secure, make the certificate
  • Change settings to

secure pop/imap

# Protocols we want to be serving:

# imap imaps pop3 pop3s

protocols = imap pop3

netstat -a | egrep -i 'pop|imap'

tcp 0 0 *:pop3 *:* LISTEN

tcp 0 0 *:imap *:* LISTEN

# cd /usr/share/doc/packages/dovecot

# chmod a+x ; ./

protocols = pop3s imaps

ssl_disable = no

ssl_cert_file = /etc/ssl/certs/dovecot.pem

ssl_key_file = /etc/ssl/private/dovecot.pem

ssl_parameters_file = /var/run/dovecot/ssl-parameters.dat

disable_plaintext_auth = no

login_chroot = yes

auth_mechanisms = plain

secure your pop imap server
Secure Your POP/IMAP Server
  • Check that dovecot is listening on the secure ports:
  • Troubleshooting POP Mail, this example starts and makes a successful secure POP query from a remote POP client

netstat -a | egrep -i 'pop|imap'

tcp 0 0 *:pop3s *:* LISTEN

tcp 0 0 *:imaps *:* LISTEN

Aug 11 23:20:33 bigboy ipop3d[18693]: pop3s SSL service init from

Aug 11 23:20:40 bigboy ipop3d[18693]: Login user=labmanager [] nmsgs=0/0

Aug 11 23:20:40 bigboy ipop3d[18693]: Logout user=labmanager [] nmsgs=0 ndele=0

Aug 11 23:20:52 bigboy ipop3d[18694]: pop3s SSL service init from

Aug 11 23:20:52 bigboy ipop3d[18694]: Login user=labmanager [] nmsgs=0/0

Aug 11 23:20:52 bigboy ipop3d[18694]: Logout user=labmanager [] nmsgs=0 ndele=0

how to configure your windows mail programs
How To Configure Your Windows Mail Programs
  • All your POP e-mail accounts are really only regular Linux user accounts in which sendmail has deposited mail.
  • You can now configure your e-mail client such as Outlook Express to use your use your new POP/SMTP mail server quite easily.
  • To configure POP Mail, set your POP mail server to be the IP address of your Linux mail server.
  • Use your Linux user username and password when prompted.
  • Next, set your SMTP mail server to be the IP address/domain name of your Linux mail server.
  • You can use similar setup for IMAP
  • For secure IMAP/POP you have to select SSL in advanced settings for incoming e-mail.
  • Sendmail is the most used mailserver
  • The macrofile is used togeather with m4 to make
  • Sendmail configuration lives in /etc/mail
  • The mailserver keep all users inboxes in /var/spool/mail
  • To prevent SPAM and unauthorized access RELAY is used for allowed sites in /etc/access
  • You have to type make and newaliases after editing sendmail configuration
  • Sendmail can use dns blacklists to prevent spam directly
  • Spamassassin can be used to wash mail from SPAM, but Spamassassin does only MARK and classify mail.
  • Rules Du Jour can update Spamassassin filters automatically
  • Procmail is used to process the mail, like dropping, moving, trunctating and is driven by regular expressions
  • Greylisting is a complementing SPAM blocking mechanism based on email resend due to heavy load messages.
  • IMAP/POP can be used to server users with centralized e-mail in a comfortable way.