500K Spam

We recently had a malfunction in our spam filters at work, so I had to go back and review the catch for possible false positives. I sort things into two bins using spamassassin, one for most likely spam, and one for probable spam.  When things started to go bad, the most likely folder had reached more than 2 GB, and the probable some 500 MB.

As you can see from the webmail screenshot below, the probable folder contained almost 100 thousand spam email. These were collected since May of 2008, or in a space of roughly 21 months.

spamassassin 98322 messages caught

If I guesstimate that the other folder has about the same average size, that adds in another 400 thousand spam. Bringing the total caught by these filters to about half a million overall. If you divide it down to days, it is “only” about 630 per day, plus some more that secondary spam filters catch, plus the ones that get through and I manually have to delete. But these other ones won’t add up to much more than a few tens of thousands in the same time spamn.

It is amazing just how voluminous this infestation is…

Legit business emails can’t be much more than fifty per day, plus various general mailing lists. Still, that means that probably no more than 75% of all email I receive is spam. Maybe I should consider myself lucky, I have seen analysis talking about 99% of all email on the Internet being spam…

Interesting it was.

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