[Beowulf] Apologies for the spam/virus yesterday

Douglas Eadline deadline at clustermonkey.net
Thu Feb 9 06:21:01 PST 2006

I would hate to see this resource change into another form. It truly
is an *incredibly valuable resource* with a high signal to noise ratio and
virtually spam free - thanks Don.

I would also be willing to bet that the collective minds of this
list can figure out a way to keep it intact. Whether it be
more automated control or the assistance of some trusted
members to do the "Turing Test" work.


> After having a near-perfect record of keeping out spam and virus
> email, one slipped through yesterday.
> It's a good example of why mailing lists can't be auto-moderated.
> The current elaborate system requires heavy human moderation, and this
> message still slid past everything and was automatically approved.
> The message appeared to come from a subscribed user, so it passed the
> first check.  (This is actually common: spammers and viruses use pairs of
> addresses from the same source, so evil mail is likely to come from
> someone you have heard of.)
> The message passed both ClamAV and SpamAssasin (although a compressed
> zip file should have triggered something).  It didn't have any of the
> keywords that are configured in Mailman's "hold" rules.  And finally, that
> user was approved for auto-post for messages that passed all of the
> previous rules.
> Please keep this event in mind before you complain that your message was
> held for moderation.  95-99% (depending on the day) of inbound mail to the
> mailing lists is immediately discarded as obvious viruses and spam.
> Only very low scoring mail from approved subscribers is eligible for
> auto-approval  The rest is held for manual moderation. Only about 2% of
> those held messages are valid postings.  That means about 50 messages
> manually discarded for each manually approved posting.  And except for a
> few weeks scattered over the history of the list, I've been the sole or
> primary moderator.
> The bottom line is that we are considering a message board format to
> replace the mailing list.  It would have required logins to
> post, and retroactive moderation to delete advertising and trolls.
> Any opinions?
> --
> Donald Becker				becker at scyld.com
> Scyld Software	 			Scyld Beowulf cluster systems
> 914 Bay Ridge Road, Suite 220		www.scyld.com
> Annapolis MD 21403			410-990-9993
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