This is a clever
little program that has a few drawbacks that do put it back a little in
terms of being as impressive as it could be. Have any of you heard of
Spam Assassin? Well spamkiller is the licensed version of this open
source program. I think it's tough that some programs that have a high
profile like spamkiller does cop a lot of flack, however the basic
principle of a spam filter or killer is that it stops spam. As a result,
your spammers will throw everything they have against those programs as
they know that once they knock that application open, the rest of them
are open slather.
operate on sets of rules that give back positive and negative results to
incoming email. If email X contains these variables based on these
rules, email X gets tagged as spam. This process relies on those rules
being updated constantly against new attacks found against the software.
As a direct result of this ongoing battle the end user gets their
updates to try to fend off all but the most persistant hackers. This
works to a good extent with most spammers not knowing what filters and
variables are being used. It's when we get the freaks who take this very
seriously that we find that a program like spamkiller simply is not
updated enough to fend off all attacks.
One problem that I
had immediately with spamkiller is that it does slow down the computer
slightly whilst dealing with heavy email traffic. Fresh installs also
return too many false "positive" spams that are then isolated, possibly
causing you to miss vital emails. Tweaking the system a bit will help
with some of this but I still recommend that you check what it deems
spam carefully and make sure your configuration is doing exactly what
you have planned. Another downside is that the program only works with
POP email servers (which is what most of us use), and proxy servers are
left untouched. It certainly is something that does need addressing as
internet users look to other means of getting their emails.
Whilst most of us
have spam filters and the like installed on our machines, this little
ditty has some dirty tricks of it's own to help you fight the war
against spammers, some of which might just work. spamkiller can send
error messages to spammers telling them they have a bad email address
which hopefully leads their software to remove your emails off their
databases. Does it work, or does it actually act as confirmation that
your address is real, I simply don't know what identifying information
might be in the reply email. It does sound like a great idea though.
All things said and
done, spamkiller doesn't revolutionise the field in antispam software
however it does work nicely enough and should stop basic spam. Users are
warned to keep a close eye on blocked emails as you are sure to find
real ones there and to be proactive in reporting spammers to their
respective Internet Service Providers. Is this software a must have? Not
really, however at the same time it will reduce some of the garbage you
have to deal with.