Apache SpamAssassin with sa-learn off - Some basic info please - I appreciate your help.

1611mac

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I have a certain mail account that is 90% spam. This is a shared hosting account (HostGator) running SA 3.3.1.

I'm trying to learn SA and I have a basic question. (I've read all the SA docs, wiki, etc but I guess I'm still missing what must be a simple point.)

How does SA "learn"? On this implementation the host has "sa-learn" turned off and it's not an option to turn it on. I understand that "tests" can be tweaked (I've done some of that) but I'm still missing something.

I know that SA is checking mail against a set "tests" (rules)... but without "sa-learn" can it learn? I'm seeing a LOT of spam with scores of zero. It seems that if I tweak "tests" to get some higher scores on spam, ham also gets marked so I have to bump the "tests" down again.

Without "sa-learn", is there anything I can do to help SA identify spam? It seems that it does not monitor a spam folder or any such thing. It just runs it's test and puts the appropriate info in the header.

Am I missing something? Your knowledge and expertise is very much appreciated.
 

cPanelMichael

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Apr 11, 2011
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Re: Spamassassin with sa-learn off - Some basic info please - I appreciate your help.

Hello :)

I recommend consulting with your hosting provider regarding this issue because posts on their forums indicate they can enable the ability for SpamAssassin to learn or provide you with an alternate method of enabling that functionality.

The following document is a good place to start for understanding how SpamAssassin learns:

Bayes Introduction

Thank you.
 

1611mac

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Re: Spamassassin with sa-learn off - Some basic info please - I appreciate your help.

Hi, thank you very much for responding...

Sadly, the hosting provider seems dis-interested in helping. They seemed to indicate to me that "sa-learn" could not be turned on (used too much resource.) But I'll approach them again.

Other than Bayes (sa-learn) is there anything else I can do? ie: I turned auto-whitelisting off because it seems to me that if spam is scoring as zero auto-whitelist is only going to make the problem worse.

Without sa-learn all SA is doing is running it's "tests" and "scoring" (writing header)... correct?

ONLY way to change anything is to change a "test value." Correct?
 

cPanelMichael

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Apr 11, 2011
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Re: Spamassassin with sa-learn off - Some basic info please - I appreciate your help.

You may want to consider using the "Account Level Filtering" option in cPanel. It's documented at:

Account Level Filtering

You can create custom filters based on tendencies you notice in the specific SPAM messages delivered to your inbox.

Thank you.