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SpamAssasin OR BoxTrapper?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ozmo, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. ozmo

    ozmo Active Member

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    What do you use?

    SpamAssasin or BoxTrapper? or Both?

    Is one better than the other?

    Do they play nicely together?

    Is there any advantage to enabling both?

    Cheers,

    ozmo
     
  2. cPanelDavidG

    cPanelDavidG Technical Product Specialist

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    SpamAssassin and BoxTrapper work in completely different ways. I always use SpamAssassin, does a great job of keeping my inbox here at cPanel, Inc rather clean of spam :). Think of SpamAssassin as a spam filter that you would typically expect to see. It's something that identifies something as spam then marks it as spam (or if it's very blatantly spam, you can set things up to discard it before it reaches your inbox).

    BoxTrapper is one of those things you either love it or hate it. In my time working here, I've encountered only 1 person that had a neutral opinion about it. BoxTrapper, unlike SpamAssassin, is a challenge-response system. With BoxTrapper, if you are not on the user's "white list" then you are sent an email to which you must simply click "reply" and "Send" in your mail client to confirm you are indeed a human being and thus the original email is received by the target individual.

    Some like it because it is a fairly effective system, even if it can annoy everyone trying to email them. Some hate it because it annoys other users, can cause extra mail load when dealing with spam and for other reasons.
     
  3. ozmo

    ozmo Active Member

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    Perfect David. Thanks for the descriptive, uhh.... description :rolleyes:
     
    #3 ozmo, Jul 11, 2007
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2007
  4. velda

    velda Well-Known Member

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    Here's another vote for spamassassin :) I've got my personal email box tweaked to the point where almost no spam makes it through. Anything marked as spam over 10 points gets deleted on the server, and anything under 10 points but still marked as spam gets delivered and filed away for me by Thunderbird. On the rare occasion I find a false positive, a little rule tweak fixes that, and we're good to go again.

    The only problem with spam assassin is that there's a bit of a learning curve for the client if they want it to work really well, but it does fairly well 'as is' too.

    Box trapper bothers me on many levels, but the main reason we don't offer it is because it uses up too many resources if a site's being heavily spammed.
     
  5. sparek-3

    sparek-3 Well-Known Member

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    The issue with boxtrapper or any challenge response system is that you run the risk of your server being flagged as spam, just for sending those challenge response messages.

    If you have a challenge response system and a spammer sends you a message, they will typically use a fake e-mail address or an e-mail address that is not their own. Say for argument's sake they are sending you a spam message to you@yourdomain.com and they are sending the message from fake@aol.com.

    Your server will accept the message but will note that fake@aol.com is not on its list of whitelisted senders, so it will send a challenge response back to fake@aol.com to request confirmation. This is where the trouble lays, your server is sending out this challenge response system. The headers and everything concerning this message points back to your server.

    Now fake@aol.com is going to receive this challenge response message. Except, they didn't send you a message, they don't even know who you are. So they just hit that little button "This is spam" to get rid of the message. Now the tally against your server saying that your server is sending out spam has been incremented by one. I don't know how many it takes for AOL, and other providers will be differently, but I can't imagine it is very many, all of a sudden your server is blacklisted at various mail servers across the world.

    I'm not doubting that a challenge response system like this could be very useful. But you've got to understand how e-mail works and how spammers work. After you understand this, you begin to understand why the challenge response system is a flawed idea. Ideally, if everyone was sending out e-mail from their real e-mail address, then a challenge response system would be a great way to weed out unwanted e-mails. However that is not currently the state of things and I really don't see that changing, ever.
     
  6. heyjohnboy

    heyjohnboy Well-Known Member

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    A few points...

    The cpanel documentation says that you can't use BOTH spam assassin AND boxtrapper. I don't know why it says this, because from our experience with both turned on, there does not appear to be any problem. It's possible that one simply overrides the other, but if that's the case, boxtrapper must override SA. However, it SEEMS to me that they are both working. Boxtrapper definitely works with spam assassin also turned on.

    Also, boxtrapper is not JUST a challenge/response system. It can be used as a simple whitelist system that does not send out email challenges by turning off the "auto-whitelist" feature. When you do that, anything you whitelist in boxtrapper will get through, while anything that's not whitelisted will be sent to your queue. From there you can check your blocked email and whitelist or delete as you see fit.

    There are two enhancements we would LOVE to see:

    1. Spam Assassin enabled on a per-email account basis instead of a per-domain basis.
    2. A Boxtrapper feature that sends a summary email of what was blocked every day.
     
  7. cPanelDavidG

    cPanelDavidG Technical Product Specialist

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    That's inaccurate, you most definitely can use BoxTrapper and SpamAssassin. If you can drop me an email to sales@cpanel.net noting where precisely you saw this, I'll bring this to the attention of our documentation folks on your behalf.

    Additionally, always feel free to submit feature requests to http://bugzilla.cpanel.net
     
    #7 cPanelDavidG, Jul 13, 2007
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2007
  8. jayh38

    jayh38 Well-Known Member

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    I like spamassassin as well. Lately it has been very impressive. I have an account which has no tweaks directly but system wide I have basic filtering via spamhause and some very moderate settings. My inbox spam ratio is pretty much nil.

    My spam box never seems to have legit mail either so im very happy with accuracy just with default settings.
     
  9. wefrank

    wefrank Member

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    Found the place in cPanel 11 (It is on the User SpamAssasin configuration page), and emailed the link. Just got a reply this will be fixed in a future cPanel 11 build...
     
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