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  1. #1
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    Spam filtering: MIT study says you can't do it

    MIT study shows you cannot filter spam in the net/cloud or anywhere before the end user.

    If you do you risk throwing away good messages.

    My friend lost out on a job offer when his ISP started 'helping' by filtering messages without telling him and they tossed a critical email with a job offer.

    The only proper way to filter spam is at the end user.

    and black lists of isps or even domains often harm many innocent users because one hacker had a bot on a pc there that spewed out spam. worse than killing flies with atomic bombs.

    white/black lists work best. but serious police action against the top spammers would help too.
    yes you do have to check the spam folder daily to see if something good needs to be moved to the white list but that is not all that hard to do .

    with any of the 'smart' filters you have a lot of errors and some spam slips through while it tosses out good emails. using them is not recommended if you are doing anything serious on the net. for the casual housewife forwarding stupid jokes to a bazillion people then it might be okay.
    Last edited by RetiredGeek; 2013-07-04 at 13:24.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Most ISPs allow you to look at the spam folder via web access. If you periodically look at it you should be able to whitelist false positives. I will agree this is more inconvenient than turning off ISP filtering and handling it in your email client for pop email, but it is possible to properly manage it. For Imap accounts, you see the spam folder, so if you check it periodically, its easy to whitelist false positives.

    Jerry

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedball View Post
    The problem with spam filtering - MIT study says you cannot do it ..

    MIT study shows you cannot filter spam in the net/cloud or anywhere before the end user.
    Got a link? (or did RG delete it?)

    MIT use plenty of spam filtering: http://ist.mit.edu/spam

    Bruce

  4. #4
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    When I was looking for a job, this almost happened to me. Fortunately I was viewing my spam folder periodically.

  5. #5
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    Who picks the threads to feature in Kathleen's list in the newsletter? Rubbish like this front and center does WindowsSecret's credibility no favors.

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    BruceR (2013-07-11)

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    Try the "MIT Guide to Lock Picking". If you can't stop spam, maybe just pick it.

  8. #7
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    With all due respect to those smarter than me, why is the thread "rubbish"?

    Dick

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I also am not sure how this relates to the original OP's post. Perhaps I'm missing something here. I do not see any mention of Kathleen's list in the original post, and also do not believe this is "rubbish". After all one person's "rubbish" is another person's "treasure"!
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  12. #9
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    Kathleen listed this thread as "most interesting". But we don't know where this MIT study is, how old it is, or what it really says. (Or why the first post was edited by a moderator.)

    The last MIT Spam Conference seems to have been more than three years ago: MIT Spam Conference 2010. But MIT recommend server-based filtering for their own users.

    So "using them is not recommended" is only interesting because it's not supported by anything.

    Bruce
    Last edited by BruceR; 2013-07-14 at 09:58.

  13. #10
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    only works when they forward the so called spam

    only works if they forward ALL the emails
    then you can filter it yourself
    and check the spam folder

    in this case the isp deleted what they believe is spam
    even though it could be valuable content to you

  14. #11
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    rubbish ? wtf ??

    @mike feury

    whoa there fella !!!!

    this is NOT rubbish

    you need to stop being so arrogant that if you dont like something that is TRUE and disagrees with you that you say such things

    this is valuable info about what can happen to your emails that you want
    and why the isps ASSuming they can filter it is incorrect

    the study was from MIT (i think security oriented dept)
    and is separate from whatever MIT IT folks actually do
    as well as any conferences
    Last edited by speedball; 2013-07-18 at 15:52. Reason: ident the original being replied to and typos

  15. #12
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    was not a conference

    the study is very old

    but the FACTS do NOT CHANGE

    you can NOT accurately filter spam inside the net
    it can only be done correctly at the end points

    if all you do is forward jokes and phishing attempts
    then you dont care

    but if you want ALL your actual content delivered
    then you cannot allow the isp to throw any of your emails away

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    Kathleen listed this thread as "most interesting". But we don't know where this MIT study is, how old it is, or what it really says. (Or why the first post was edited by a moderator.)

    The last MIT Spam Conference seems to have been more than three years ago: MIT Spam Conference 2010. But MIT recommend server-based filtering for their own users.

    So "using them is not recommended" is only interesting because it's not supported by anything.

    Bruce

  16. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedball View Post
    the study is very old
    Could you give us some hint of a reference to it? Like which decade? Because MIT do lots of filtering on their own email servers now.

    Bruce

  17. #14
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    i am guessing that it is about ten years old
    but it could be 15. just going by memory on this item.

    what MIT IT weenies do does not reflect what the security experts in the course 6 research know

    I had all my personal info hacked at GMU. they had the HR department !!! do a new database design. no surprise it ran late and had problems. In the meantime the old data had no firewall and no passwords. The security honcho said they cant make any professors follow security procedures so they dont try to use them.

    what a uni actually does has no relation to real security or what some professors know

    as noted earlier i lost email from my isp when they decided to filter my email on their own without any notice

    i have to keep telling them to turn off the filters and let me do it

    my old office mate from the uni lost a job offer when his isp did the same thing
    no warnings
    they just do it

    we have to discover we are losing emails and then track the isp or relay down and make them stop deleting what they think is spam but we think is content

  18. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedball View Post
    what MIT IT weenies do does not reflect what the security experts in the course 6 research know

    what a uni actually does has no relation to real security or what some professors know
    My take from that is that spam filtering may not work perfectly in theory, but in practice it has to be used.

    Bruce

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