Gotta Give Credit Where Credit is Due

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 9:29 am

I’ve been using the free router/VPN endpoint/UTM Untangle for a few months now, and I have to say, it has proven a real winner. It has allowed me to eliminate or tone down many of my other software-based security measures for both my workstations and my servers. Among the tools in Untangle’s utility belt is an excellent anti-spam module, complete with Bayesian learning and real-time blacklists. Untangle scans incoming mail traffic and sorts it according to the settings you assign it. Then you are regularly mailed a link to access the Quarantine for your various email addresses, and tell Untangle which of the messages trapped are spam and which are not. I generally have about thirty messages a day that pass under the default “dump” settings and make it into Quarantine, and I have only found maybe three messages in Quarantine that were genuine. F’rinstance: not one of the recent “Your IRS Payment has Been Rejected!” spams has made it past Untangle’s automatic “dump” filter, compared to the mail system we use at work, which passed any number of them before we tightened it down. Overall, a very effective system.

But every once in a while something will slip through. It’s usually something that looks very official and businesslike, but is of no interest to me whatsoever; offers from SEO services telling me how much more traffic I could be getting to Uncle Andrew dot Net, that sort of thing. And very, very occasionally, something will fly under Untangle’s radar that is blatant spam but somehow manages to foozle the filters. Maybe it’s coming from a fresh botnet that has yet to show up on the blacklists. Maybe the subject line and/or the majority of the content manages to avoid the common pitfalls of the unsuccessful spammer—non-English characters, ALL CAPS, excessive hyperlinks, etc.

And then, once in a blue moon, a message will manage creep under the fence and drop a steamer on my digital lawn, seemingly on sheer perplexity of wording alone. It’s almost as if Untangle’s anti-spam module reads the message, tries to parse it, and it’s little head asplodes. Such was the case with this particular effort that plopped into my Inbox around 9:00 this morning, and I must admit I was strangely impressed.

The subject line of the message read,

resolute porksword every time

Now, how can you look at a phrase like that and not want to give its creator a little pat on the back? 😆

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