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schwern (1528)

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Schwern can destroy CPAN at his whim.

Journal of schwern (1528)

Wednesday January 26, 2005
08:52 AM

Some spam numbers.

[ #22894 ]

I recently retrained my spam filters (sa-learn) by the simple expedient of pulling down about three weeks worth of mail and hand sorting it. It came out something like this:

Ham: 960 messages ~6 megs
Spam: 4100 messages ~120 megs

Out of the ham there was about 50 I actually kept to read. The rest was mailing list threads I wasn't particularly interested in.

Realize this is *after* my mail is filtered through's RBL-based filtering. That knocks out between 5000 to 10,000 messages a month (6700 in the last 30 days).

I always assume I get an uncommonly large amount of spam. My address is over six years old and is posted all over the Internet via mailing lists and Perl documentation. This is why I usually scoff when someone suggests "just use's built-in filtering" whenever my email toolchain has a hiccup.

Do other folks see this much crap?

PS If you ever need to hand filter a large amount of email, sorting by subject helps a lot.

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  • sorting by subject helps a lot

    Clever :-)

    Meanwhile, when do you plan on reading (and answering) those 50 messages? (I sent you an email, but I don't know if it got through...)

  • Do other folks see this much crap?

    Yep. Since January 1st I've got about 12,000 emails in my caughtspam folder. I really need to implement some kind of SMTP-time blocking mechanism.

  • I get about 2,000 spam messages a day, which includes a lot of the same messages sent to every address for The Perl Review as well as my Stonehenge address and the Panix address that I've had for 8 years and don't bother to obfuscate or munge (here it is spammers -> -> I won't see your message though).
  • I don't think 960 ham messages in three weeks is a common figure. I probably get a fifth of that.

    Going by your numbers, though, you have a spam:ham ratio of 10:1, and I'd say that yes, that's pretty common. It's certainly close to what I'm getting.

    • You must not subscribe to many lists. Schwern's number is only 45 ham messages a day, so you're only getting 9? I probably get 2000 ham messages in 3 weeks, maybe more, most of it mailing list traffic and some automated messages. Of course the vast majority of that gets filtered into folders and deleted with only a glance at the subject line. I doubt that 960 is out of the ordinary for geeks.
      • I lost my perspective here, put as 45mails/day it's not that much. I don't have much email traffic, but I do have a huge blogroll. Newsfeeds have the advantage of being a spam-free medium so far.
  • for i in ~/Maildir/.backup.2004.*/cur ~/Maildir/.spam.2004.*/cur ; do echo "$i: "`ls $i | wc -l` ; done
    /home/cjcollier/Maildir/.backup.2004.01/cur: 957
    /home/cjcollier/Maildir/.backup.2004.02/cur: 616
    /home/cjcollier/Maildir/.backup.2004.03/cur: 489
    /home/cjcollier/Maildir/.backup.2004.04/cur: 324
    /home/cjcollier/Maildir/.backup.2004.05/cur: 417
    /home/cjcollier/Maildir/.backup.2004.06/cur: 563
    /home/cjcollier/Maildir/.backup.2004.09/cur: 1872
    /home/cjcollier/Maildir/.backup.2004.10/cur: 595
  • I get about 200 spam messages a day, but I don't have a domain of my own. This is just on my normal everyday email address. Just a few months ago it was "only" half that much.

    I fear that, when I go on holiday for a few weeks, my normal mailbox will just overflow. The sheer bulk of it is just too much for even the multi-megabytes mailbox I have at my disposal.