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AAUG email service tackles spam

By Chris Williams. Published: 30th Apr 2003, 03:21:27 | Permalink | Printable

"Arr, shiver me filters"

The very established and upstanding RISC OS organisation, the Association of Acorn User Groups (AAUG) have in the early hours of today declared their fight against unsolicited email (aka spam, the junk email you get every day). Teaming up with Spellings Computer Services (the people who brought us Aemulor), they're sensationally backed by the dramatic predication that spam "will only get worse over the next few years", adding "some experts are stating that it could cause email to be abandoned altogether beacuse of the sheer volume of SPAM."

Right, flippant response aside, spam is a growing problem but panic ye not, there are many ways to combat it. One approach is to get your ISP or email account provider to install front line spam firefighting by filtering out all the junk and filth sent to you before you download your email to your computer. Doing just this and for a mild fee, the AAUG will enable spam filtering and virus protection on any aaug.net email address. The virus protection bit is something we'll touch on in a second. Incidentally, if you sign up at this May's Wakefield show, there'll be a discount as the spam filtering service is launching at the big event.

After a bit of online rummaging, we spotted that you can apply for an @aaug.net email address by dropping admin@aaug.net a suitable request and later sending them a fiver. Your new @aaug.net address will be a mail forwarder to your ISP mailbox, eg: your requested zapsux@aaug.net address could forward mail to your joe.bloggs@blueyonder.co.uk ISP address.

AAUG.net's spam filter allows you to blacklist senders and whole domains that you never want to receive email from and conversely, a whitelist of senders that you never want blocked. The whitelist is useful to stop emails from friends and family from being accidentally filtered out. Suspected spam caught in the AAUG filter can be inspected via an online web interface in case you're worried legitimate messages have been improperly trapped.

"Our advanced SPAM filtering uses a combination of Realtime Blackhole Lists (RBLs) which contain the source of thousands of known spammers, and advanced heuristics to spot SPAM messages which originate from sources not yet in the RBLs", writes Neil Spellings, AAUG chairman in the announcement.

In today's AAUG bulletin, an interesting point about computer viruses is raised, we feel. The AAUG is throwing virus scanning into their spam filter not to catch RISC OS email-borne viruses (of which there are none, thank goodness), but to primarily eliminate the masses of Windows PC viruses circulating the internet and invading inboxes. The fact that the RISC OS scene dodged the whole email virus epidemic yet its users still get frustratingly peppered with 100-200KB disguised Microsoft Windows executable attachments in their mail seems mildly ironic.


AAUG.net Spam filter announcement (including pricing)

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how do you know there isn't a riscos email virus that is just laying dormant and will unleash it's fury on the 13th january 2004 when i shall take over the world MUWHAHAHAHAHAHAH aaaaaa aa a

 is a RISC OS Usernex on 30/4/03 3:26AM
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Thanks for giving away your plan Nex.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 30/4/03 3:27AM
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So is this just the combination of SpamAssassin and EximAV that I currently use (with some Exim filters) or is it something that Spelling have actually written?

-- #include "sig.h"

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 30/4/03 3:33AM
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By the way, it costs 25 quid to get your @aaug.net mail filtered for spam, this is on top of the fiver to get the address. My drobe.co.uk mail goes through one, if not two, layers of filters before reaching my inbox.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 30/4/03 3:36AM
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Bear in mind that while many of us may use spamassassin and other AV/anti-UCE tools there are others who have no idea how to install or set these up. I would see AAUG's service appealing to those people.

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 30/4/03 9:04AM
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As long as important mail doesn't get flagged as spam. Even though Spamassassin is indeed truely wonderful, this still happens from time to time.

 is a RISC OS Userheds on 30/4/03 9:32AM
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I bet they're using SpamAsassin. - I've modded mine with extra rules that improve it *lots*. Maybe time for some competition? -- Ian Hawkins (g0tai)

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 30/4/03 9:53AM
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A few corrections and explanations:

(diomus) The 25quid (15 at Wakefield) -includes- the setup of the forwarding account, so its not an extra fiver on top.

People with existing AAUG.net accounts can upgrade but it'll still cost 25UKP (as they only paid 1 or 2UKP in the first place!)

People who subscribe to the unfiltered package for 5UKP will be able to upgrade for 20UKP at a later date.

(simo) We arent using SpamAssassin, but we're not using something we've written outselves, its a fully supported, commerical package.

(heds) If important email does get flagged as spam (and I've been using it for a while, and its amazingly accurate), you can whitelist it using the web interface so that in future, it'll pass through unfiltered.

As jonix stated, this product isnt aimed at the sysadmin who knows their way round sendmail and spamassasin.

Most people just want email without the hassle - and this is a step in that direction.


Neil. -- www.spellings.net

 is a RISC OS Userspellinn on 30/4/03 10:13AM
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Hmm. This seems quite pricey. Pepperfish's spam filtering stuff enables users to define what happens to spams, to certian addresses, and at certian point levels. It's very rare it gets a false-positive, and is generally rather wonderful. I seem to recall an @ppfm.net address is a tenner a year, or something. With webmail, POP, IMAP, SSH, spam/virus checking and the works. Although this isn't an advert at all. :)

(Also, since when has spam been an acronym?)

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 30/4/03 11:47AM
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Actually, come to think of it, I was once planning on porting Slayer's virus detection engine to Unix, so ppf could offer scanning for Acorn viruses that might be packaged up in archives.

This is quite a lot of work, really. Do people think it'd be worth it?

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 30/4/03 11:53AM
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Bah, I was going to talk to you about that today - remember we talked about it for the historical archives/filebase about a year ago? :) -- Ian Hawkins (g0tai)

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 30/4/03 12:07PM
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Aha! Yes. Talk to me more, baby!

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 30/4/03 12:20PM
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I would like an email provider that provides spam filtering, pop access and webmail, preferably with a risc os domain name - xyz@ukriscos.net anyone? -- Jess

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 30/4/03 1:07PM
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pepperfish can do webmail - although I'm looking at doing similar stuff myself soon :-) -- Ian Hawkins (g0tai)

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 30/4/03 1:24PM
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Of course, drobe.co.uk now does vegetarian webmail too. ;-) -- Ian Hawkins (g0tai)

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 1/5/03 11:43AM
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and what is wrong with the likes of !mailscout?

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis_RISC OS on 1/5/03 7:59PM
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