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IS&T Updates Spam Software

Information Services and Technology has updated MIT’s spam filtering software to support “allow” and “deny” lists for the “To:” field of e-mails. The lists override the regular spam scoring, and permit all messages to or from a given address to be classified as non-spam (allow lists), or all messages to or from a given address to be classified as spam (deny lists). Prior to Wednesday, June 13, allow and deny lists only supported the “From:” field. The new feature does not operate on the “Cc:” header.

The URL to update spam filtering settings is https://nic.mit.edu/cgi-bin/spamscreen. A revised interface makes it easier to maintain larger allow and deny lists.

IS&T encourages users to use these lists instead of filtering in Webmail. Because these lists are processed before messages are delivered, they work with all mail-reading software.

IS&T instituted the ability to key these lists on the “To:” field in response to loud requests at the August 2006 IS&T-sponsored Spam Forum. Other requests from that event included visibility into how messages were scored, and a solution to problems with MIT mailing lists receiving bounce messages from other sites’ spam filters, Those requests have not seen responses.

John A. Hawkinson