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Advanced Inbound Spam Filtering Using SpamAssassin

SpamAssaSSin Advanced Inbound Spam Filtering

We use SpamAssassin and combine several spam & virus fighting techniques in order to keep your inbox safe and clean. Our technology is extremely accurate and eliminates most of spam & viruses before reaching your inbox while not generating false positives.

SpamAssassin Inbound Email Filtering
What is SpamAssassin?

SpamAssassin is an extremely versatile open source spam filtering technology for eliminating unsolicited emails (spam) from your incoming mail. Using a wide range of rules and filtering methods, it accurately detects spam emails. SpamAssassin does not require you to install any software on your computer. Instead, it runs on the server side, scanning and filtering email before it reaches your mailbox. It is the industry standard for filtering emails and has been voted by many as the #1 spam blocker on the market.

How Does It Identify Spam?

It runs each email message through hundreds of tests that analyze headers, text, and HTML coding and checks domains and IP addresses against blocklists and filtering databases. When a message flunks a test, it scores points. If a message scores too many points, SpamAssassin marks it as spam.

The Point System

SpamAssassin uses a point based system called "hits" to label spam. It screens each incoming email message and assigns points to it based on its spam characteristics. These points adds up to the total spam score of the email. If the email exceeds spam score limit, it is flagged as spam.

The lower the limit you set, the more email will be caught as spam. For example, a setting of 1 means that only one hit needs to be flagged against an email for it to be considered spam. If you set the score higher, more hits will be required on an email for it to be marked as spam. So, the lower the score, the more emails should be flagged as spam.

How Does SpamAssassin Work?

SpamAssassin can be set up to work in a vast number of ways, and is very customizable specifically to each of your email accounts. Spam filtering supplied by this utility works with all webmail, POP3, and IMAP email hosting protocols.

Levels of Spam Tests

SpamAssassin subjects every incoming email to three levels of spam tests:

Header Analysis

Spammers often forge return addresses, and add bogus entries to the headers of their emails. This is done both to fool you into thinking that the email is valid, and to make it harder to determine the actual source of the email. Spam Assassin knows what to look for in these headers, and can quickly identify false, invalid, or misleading information.

Text Analysis

Spam emails often have characteristic styles, phrases, and disclaimers in them. SpamAssassin attempts to spot some of these clues.


SpamAssassin compares each email to the lists maintained on major RBLs. If an email is sent from a domain or server in one of these blacklists, there is a good possibility that it is spam.

Rules of Spam Tests

Each test uses hundreds of rules that indicate whether an email might be spam. There are several ways that SpamAssassin makes up its mind about a message:

Message Header

The message headers can be checked for consistency and adherence to Internet standards (e.g., is the date formatted properly?).

Suspicious Phrase & Elements

The headers and body can be checked for phrases or message elements commonly found in spam (e.g., “MAKE MONEY FAST” or instructions on how to be removed from future mailings).

Message Checksum

The headers and body can be looked up in several online databases that track message checksums of verified spam messages.

Sender IP

The sending system’s IP address can be looked up in several online lists of sites that have been used by spammers or are otherwise suspicious.

Blacklist & Whitelist

Specific addresses, hosts, or domains can be blacklisted or whitelisted. A whitelist can be automatically constructed based on the sender’s past history of messages.

Message Retraining/HAM

SpamAssassin can be trained to recognize the types of spam that you receive by learning from a set of messages that you consider spam and a set that you consider not spam. (SpamAssassin and the spam filtering community often refer to non-spam messages as ham. )

Email Authorization

The sending system’s IP address can be compared to the sender’s domain name using the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) protocol ( to determine if that system is permitted to send messages from users at that domain.

SpamAssassin’s behavior is controlled through system wide configuration and per user configuration.

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