[Trilug-ontopic] mailing list server filtering setup questions

Sean Myers smyers at americanri.com
Thu Dec 20 11:50:07 EST 2007

Are you specifically intending to let your non-filtering mail server be
accessable as well as the filtering server?

Speaking somewhat generally of the spammer types, they don't often respect your
MX record priority when trying to cram spam into your mailboxes. In fact, I know
that spammers/spam bots will sometimes direct their messages to the lowest
priority MX record in the assumption that it's the least maintained and thus
easiest to spam machine.

The setup as described here would, in my opinion, not reliably filter all
incoming mail.

Virus scanning is as easy to set up as spamassassin, and almost more important
from the administrative perspective. Spam is annoying, viruses can be
debilitating. We use ClamAV, which very likely has RPMs easily available along
with good documentation.

I'll direct the attention of some more mail-savvy administrators this way, as well.

Sean Myers
System Administrator
American Research Institute
(919) 228-4961

Cristóbal Palmer wrote:
> Greetings LUGers. I seek your collective wisdom.
> I have a mailing list server with 588 lists on it that handled 860
> incoming posts yesterday. Spamassassin is NOT running on this machine,
> and we do not plan to add it. We need some filtering, though. To that
> end, I'm trying to spec out a spam filtering server to go in front of
> it. Current thinking is to have the filtering box running Fedora and
> performing the following functions:
> postfix + greylisting
> spamassassin
> virus scanning (?)
> The plan also has us changing this:
> lists.example.org.       IN       MX       10 lists.example.org.
> to:
> lists.example.org.       IN       MX       5 list-filtering.example.org.
> lists.example.org.       IN       MX       10 lists.example.org.
> I'm wanting feedback in three major areas:
> (1) Is the overarching plan sound? Is there a better way to go about
> this? Is there a major element I've left out?
> (2) What are reasonable hardware specs for the filtering box? I've got
> a 1.4GHz pIII 1U server with 2GB of RAM at my disposal. If that won't
> do, suggestions on how to revamp my plan to be able to use the 1U just
> mentioned are most welcome.
> (3) How do I build a good test system for the filtering box? Any other
> deployment tips? Anybody on the list *done* something like this
> before?
> Before you ask: No, we don't have money to buy anything. My labor is
> essentially all I can add to this project. Viable alternatives to
> Fedora include... maybe CentOS, and that's about it. Any system that
> goes in place MUST fail back to the original state of just having the
> working list server with no filtering.
> Cheers,

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