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Re: Spam filtering hiccup?

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2024 4:39 am
by dragonsclaw
I recently noticed my greymail went from a few to almost 100 daily. One common thing: they all showed attachments.
None were false positives. Outstanding Sonic Team

Of the few that slipped through this month had Trojans that Defender caught.
I don't open things I do not know.. I also look at full headers for anything suspicious (out of character) for those from that I did know.
I also have multiple mailboxes (you get those free with a sonic broadband account). :idea: My bank will never send messages to this one

Recommendations for Improving Spam Filtering

Posted: Mon May 27, 2024 2:22 pm
by sfreedkin
The spam issue has been ongoing for awhile now. I sent Sonic some suggestions, and they recommended I post them here because these forums are read by the tech people responsible for implementing such solutions.

1. Use a better spam filter. One of my email providers,, uses the public-domain SpamAssassin, which seems to do a better job of filtering out spam. [I wrote this before learning that Sonic also uses SpamAssassin, but for some reason, it doesn't work nearly as well for Sonic.] It does occasionally tag a legit message as spam — in my case, perhaps three or four a month — but overall, it’s pretty clean, and it doesn’t often let spam through into my in-box.

2. Enable users to tag messages as spam in your Webmail interface to train your spam filter. EE uses the Roundcube interface, again a public-domain system (your Webmail interface looks similar). EE’s Webmail lets me mark a message as spam, and that’s sent to SpamAssassin to help train it. In fact, I’ve been transferring messages that escape your filtering to EE and marking them as spam there to help train SpamAssassin, and similar spam that reaches my EE account doesn’t sneak through. I’ve had my EE e-address for decades now, far longer than I’ve had my Sonic address, and my EE address has been more public; still, EE receives less spam than my Sonic address and rarely lets much slip through.

Since EE is a much smaller outfit than Sonic, yet does a better job screening spam using public-domain systems, I thought I’d suggest them as a good model, or at least a starting point for Sonic to upgrade its spam filtration.

Re: Spam filtering hiccup?

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2024 4:51 pm
by nowired
I'm not sure if this is the right section to report this. For weeks now, we have been getting spam email from "Pfizer." The spammer uses Pfizer Supply, Pfizer Quote, or some other name for the heading. The good thing is all these spam emails go to grey mail. However, this spammer is relentless. The spammer keeps sending about 2 or 3 of these emails a day.

Can something be done to permanently block this from even reaching our grey mail?

Thank you.

Re: Spam filtering hiccup?

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2024 5:05 pm
by patty1
Yes, just go into your email filtering settings on the Sonic website and block anything that has "Pfizer" in the subject line. Just make sure you don't ever expect to get any legitimate mail from Pfizer!

Re: Spam filtering hiccup?

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2024 5:12 pm
by sfreedkin
Patty, a problem with blocking "Pfizer" in the Subject is that it's quite possible people will get legitimate messages with Pfizer in the Subject, such as activist alerts about things Pfizer Corporation is doing that need to be addressed, or a friend saying they are thinking of trying a a new Pfizer medication or treatment. A better approach would be to block Pfizer in the "From" line — the Sender's address — which in the Sonic interface is under "Blocklist Address." That way, the system would discard mail that claims to be from Pfizer (and much spam includes the name of the company in the From line), but would not block mail about Pfizer.

Re: Spam filtering hiccup?

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2024 5:25 pm
by patty1
"Patty, a problem with blocking "Pfizer" in the Subject is that it's quite possible people will get legitimate messages with Pfizer in the Subject,"

Um, yes, that's why I explicitly said not to do it if there was any chance of ever wanting mail with that word in the subject line. Same with the "from" line.

Re: Spam filtering hiccup?

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2024 7:32 pm
by nowired
Thank you all for your suggestions. I will try the suggestions.

Re: Spam filtering hiccup?

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2024 3:21 pm
by nowired
[UPDATE - And a POSSIBLE solution?] Again, we want to thank everyone for their suggestions. It was good to learn of the pros and cons regarding the spam blocking choices.

After doing some research, we discovered that if the relentless spam involves a gmail account, one can fill out a report directly with Google. We were told that Google wants this type of abuse reported.

We filled out the report (found via an Internet search) and also filled out a report with the FTC. Both reports are lengthly and we were able to copy and paste the spam email which included a fax number, a business address in Belgium, etc.

We did this a few days ago and so far, we have not received any more spam emails from the Pfizer spammer. First time in weeks!

We wanted to share this information so it can perhaps help others who have such a problem.