- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media; 1 edition (March 17, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 007223167X
- ISBN-13: 978-0072231670
- Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,665,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Anti-Spam Tool Kit 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Long ago, unsolicited commercial email graduated from annoyance to serious problem. The problem won't go away until the nature of electronic mail changes (to include a per-message fee, for example), which means that there's lots of work for administrators in managing spam and keeping its load off their networks. That's what Anti-Spam Tool Kit is all about. With balanced coverage of networks making use of Microsoft Windows and those based on various forms of Unix, this book delivers the goods on blacklisting, filtering, and sorting strategies for reducing spam while minimizing the effect of anti-spam tools on legitimate electronic mail.
Unlike a lot of systems administration books with soft, filler-laden chapters, this one's all business. It combines survey data (that is, broad-based data that helps you compare alternative anti-spam solutions) with policy advice (how much old mail to archive, for example) and fairly detailed administrative instructions (such as how to automatically query databases of open mail relays). Most of the covered software appears on the companion CD-ROM, at least in demo form. You can get it all online, but this is a convenient package, and--taken together with the authors' well-written guidance--it'll help you do about all you can to minimize spam's effects on the servers you manage. --David Wall
Topics covered: How to cut down on unsolicited commercial email (UCE or spam) by using DNS blacklists, filters (mainly Bayesian classifiers), and the anti-spam features of various email clients (for Windows, Mac, and Linux). Particularly extensive coverage of SpamAssassin appears in this book.
From the Back Cover
Annihilate Spam for Good!
Get the tools you need to build a spam-fighting e-mail system and put fathead spammers on the run. This book provides the latest in spam-fighting techniques, including spam-squelching tools, anti-spam best practices, and the secrets about the Internet that the spammers don’t want you to know. With Anti-Spam Tool Kit, you’ll learn to build a spam control system across a broad range of solutions, from open source to proprietary, from basic client-based tools to complex gateway solutions, from simple spam control methods to a full-scale strategy for your war on spam.
Explains how to configure and use these and many other key tools:
- Filtering methods: Rule-based, signature, distributed, and Bayesian
- Blacklist services: SpamCop, MAPS, ORDB, SpamHaus
- Gateway-based solutions: Symantec, Surf Control, Brightmail, CipherTrust
- Provider-based solutions: BindMail, SpamShark, SkyScan, E-Mail Bouncer
- Anti-spam tools in: Eudora, Mozilla Mail, Outlook Express, Outlook
- Windows spam filters: KnockKnock, SpamBayes, SpamNet, SpamButcher
- Mac spam filters: POPMonitor, PostArmor, SpamFire
- Linux/UNIX spam filters—SpamAssassin, Vipul’s Razor, Bogofilter
- Windows Server-based solutions—iHateSpam Server Edition, GFI Mail Essentials
CD-ROM contains popular anti-spam tools from the book
Paul Wolfe is an independent information security consultant for Fortune 500 companies, law enforcement, and government.
Charlie Scott, CISSP, CCNP, is an information security analyst for the city of Austin, Texas, where he helps maintain network security infrastructure and policies.
Mike W. Erwin, CISSP, is the President and Founder of Symbiot, Inc., an information security company specializing in intelligent security management and advanced risk metrics.
Showing 1-4 of 10 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This book is the first to follow in the genre defined by "Anti-Hacker Tool Kit." While AHTK examined tools used by intruders and defenders, ASTK focuses on tools and techniques to counter unwanted email. AHTK has slightly more coverage of Windows than UNIX applications; ASTK spends more time on Windows, especially with client configurations. As a desktop FreeBSD user, I still found plenty of helpful information.
Since I'm not directly responsible for enterprise anti-spam defenses, ASTK's comparison of the many block lists was particularly enlightening. Prior to reading ch 5 I knew of many lists but not their particular capabilities. I found the coverage of SpamAssassin in chs 6-8 fairly thorough. Ch 14's overview of email and headers very helpful. I had not heard of server-based greylisting until reading ch 15.
I found a few of the authors' comments odd. On p. 250 they claim "most organizations do not run UNIX-based email solutions." I find this difficult to believe, but no proof for the statement is given. Figure 2.2 in ch 2 shows a mail sender using POP/POP-SSL/IMAP/IMAP-SSL to send email. At least using Mozilla and Firefox on UNIX, I connect to my ISP's SMTP server to send email and then retrieve it with POP or IMAP. In ch 3 the authors advocate IPv6 because it makes "a spammer's identity known and verified even if he or she doesn't want it to be." IPv6 should not change many, or any, spammer tactics. Spammers aren't forging TCP sessions with IPv4 now; they forge information (headers, etc.) transferred within application layer data. I believe some of these weird comments could have been addressed by more diligent technical editing.
Overall, I found ASTK enlightening and practical. The authors give enough details on various server- and client-side tools to make implementation (at least on a trial basis) possible. I look forward to other tool-related books in the "Anti-Hacker" series.
Bayesian techniques are heavily covered here, along with mention of several proprietary versions. The other main technique of note is Realtime Blacklists (RBLs).
But note that the above, and indeed other methods mentioned, suffer from the drawback of heavy manual intervention. For example, to periodically retrain a Bayesian on new sample sets of spam or nonspam. Or, when considering RBLs, having to manually judge whether a given domain is that of a spammer or not.
At the corporate or ISP level, this manual effort is expensive and ongoing. At the individual level, some, like Paul Graham, who suggested using Bayesians, are willing and able to take the time to retrain their Bayesians. But most users are not willing to continuously do this.
One portion of the book is already crucially outdated. In 2004, AOL, and possibly other ISPs, started applying an RBL against domains found inside the bodies of messages, and not just against domains from the headers. As far as I can tell on a reading of this book, whilst it describes various means of finding and applying RBLs, it does not mention the important idea of using them against body domains.
The authors provide a sufficient amount of detail for the various tools for the reader to get a feel for their relative pros and cons and how to implement them. SpamAssassin is covered in much greater detail than many of the other products. Many of the tools and utilities covered in the book are included on the accompanying CDROM and are free so you can get right to work blocking spam as soon as you read the book.
There have been some changes in some email clients and the way ISP's handle spam as well as some legal challenges to the concept of RBL's (realtime blackhole lists) since this book came out, but with over 60% of all email being spam it is obvious that many people still need a resource like this.
Probably the most useful chapters were about SpamAssassin and the Baysian formula. They covered the topic well especially SpamAssassin. They are very good introductions to both areas.
I did find all the install discussions a little boring. But I guess if I was trying to install these packages; I would find them useful.
There are discussions over blacklists and it came across as a major solution to the spam assaults. Probably when the book was written, they were the major player. They still are but more of a tiered defense approach to trying to reduce spam.
Another factor showing the age of the book is the light discussion over malware. Malware is becoming a major tool for spam. Again the age of the book.
Missing are the newer things such as reputation filtering (ala Ironport) and outsourcing antispam (ala Postini). But again the age of the book.
Still I find the book useful for background information....