Not Saussure

October 26, 2006

Techie note: How to filter image based spam

Filed under: Uncategorized — notsaussure @ 6:24 pm

I don’t propose to make a habit of posting techie-stuff, but I thought I’d share this solution that I discovered the other day since it’s solved a problem I’ve never been able to crack; I hope others will find it useful.

Folks will doubtless be aware of those share-ramping spams that attempt to circumvent spam filters by attaching the advert for the shares they want to pump in the form of an image file. Gmail is very good at stopping these, but I still use the email account provided by my ISP and there seemed no way of stopping the buggers.

Yes, I know that Thunderbird hides the images, but I still have manually to delete the emails to which they’re attached.

Anyway, here’s a filter that seems to do the trick, courtesy of Communiqué

If message is ALL of:

  • Header “Content-Type” contains “multipart/related”
  • Sender is not in my address book

Take Action: Move message to your Spam folder. If possible, give it a color so you can check for false positives (ie, image-only messages from friends).

To do this in Thunderbird, you need to go to Tools-Message Filters-New. Click the drop-down list where it says ‘Subject’, select ‘Customise’ (at the end of the list) and a form will open up. Type in Header where it says ‘New Message Header’ and OK it. Then type in multipart/related in the appropriate box. Set Sender isn’t in my Personal Address Book, and then set the emails to go to an appropriate folder.thunderbird.jpg

You need to do this because filter will almost certainly catch, at least initially, things you might want to receive that contain images — even though Thunderbird isn’t displaying the images — from sources that aren’t in your address book (order confirmations from Amazon, perhaps).

Hope this is some use to people.


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1 Comment »

  1. Nice! Thanks for this.

    Comment by Sunny — October 26, 2006 @ 7:04 pm


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