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What happend to my spam?

Greylisting - or what makes spammers different.Spammers deal with a lot of emails every day. Most of them send several millions on a daily base. In other words - as many as they can get out. When quantity counts, retries are a costly option. Most spammers will opt out of retries.

Greylisting is great filter for many reasons :
  • Very low false positive casualties
  • Costs spammer bandwidth trying to get around it
  • Easily maintained by the administrator
  • Creates no non- delivery notices to spoofed senders

The Greyfilter is based on the simple fact spammers don't waste time resending email but mail server by RFC standard retry a connection many times . When XWall sees a message with an unknown triplet it will issue a temporary message handling problem (5.4.1). In other words it tells the other side, "I can't take your message right now - try again." RFC-based mail servers have no problem with that. Spammers, however, seldom retry sending messages. Estimates are this filter can get rid of 80% of the spam.

A triplet is a composition of e-mail sender, e-mail receiver and sending host ( server). Xwall stores the triplet information. It can identify each incoming triplet as new or seen before. It even knows how long ago it saw the triplet.

Graylisting's criteria
  • The IP address of the host attempting the delivery
  • The envelope sender address
  • The envelope recipient address


Pitfalls:
If you consider implementing the Greylist filter, you need to assess your current situation or may experience negative effects. It happened to me even knowing well how it works. I'm talking about backup and redundancy mail servers. I Use that great service form Zoneedit. They offer a store and forward mail service or overflow buffer for as little as $10.00 a year. So I implemented the Gray filer and it started doing its job. But looking at the ESATAdmin report my overall spam catching was diminished. What happened? The backup mail service did what it was supposed to do. It buffered the mail and sent it to XWall. Now coming from a "good" host it even passed the spam services like spamhaus.org. (That of course can be prevented by checking the headers). S, if you plan on using the Greylist filter and you have a backup server you MUST make sure the backup mailserver uses a XWall as well.

ESATInformer report shows greylisting

The greylisting filter is so effective many will worry about loosing good mail. Actually the filter is very reliable. There may be some newsletters that simply don't re-send. These could be blocked. They would show up in the ESATInformer email report. The user can spot them with ease and the admin can place an exclusion. ESATInfomer also helps the user to understand address spoofing better by showing the origination country and host of the originating email server. In most cases that will calm down the Boss when finding his wife on the report and then realizing she does not live in Korea.