[SURBL-Discuss] Hello to everybody!

Markus Zingg m.zingg at nct.ch
Thu Apr 15 02:29:36 CEST 2004

Hi all

I found out about the surbl project some days ago and was all excited,
but then a bit frustrated not to find contact information. Well, it
seems like I did not looked carefull enough but then got the pointer
to join this list from Wayne and well, here I am.

I don't know the culture of this list yet, but still take the "risk"
to introduce myself instead of pasively reading a couple of days
first. I hope not to offend people by doing so.

My name is Markus Zingg and I live in Switzerland - Europ. English is
not my native language, I hope you bear with me if I sound odd or
plain wrong :-). I'm developping all kind of software mostly useing
'C' for the last 20+ years.

I'm currently working on a project where we have developped an
embedded email server. This is a 4x4x1" sized box which apart from
being an SMTP, POP3 and WebMail server also contains a spam filter
that in short and apart of some other methods works by extracting
URI's from e-mails and matching them against a blacklist database. I'm
happy to post the URL to a site describing the box in detail if you
want me to.

The box - which does not have the luxury of having a superfast Pentium
processor - must do the filtering in a very efficient fashion and
therefore all of the firmware is implemented in 'C' with some parts
even being (some risc processor) assembler.

In order to parse the e-mails and split them up MIME wise etc. I wrote
a special parser which does all what's needed in one single pass (MIME
parsing, content transfer decoding, decoding of hex and decimal
encoded HTML areas etc. etc.) and parses the textual parts skiping
attachements etc. The parser of course takes into acount wether it
works on a html text or a plain text part and can't be fooled by the
tricks the spammers used so far. It works extremly efficient and hence
I thought it might be of intersted to the surbl project. As a side
effect it can also detect dangerous attachements by looking at the
filename extension and if configured to do so rename them on the fly.
I figure though that this later part might does not go together well
with SpamAssassin.

Since it was written for this embedded hardware there is some effort
needed to make it of general use but I partially did that already in
order to test the filter more efficiently with thousands of spam
samples I collected over the years and of course also spam that
currently is coming in. 

I must admit that I don't know how SpamAssassin works in detail nor do
I curently have a Linux based e-mail server setup. I do have however
some PC's standing around that I could set up this way and I also used
to work with Unix and Linux for several years in the past.

Apart from the fact that doing whatever possible to get the spam
problem somewhat under control my interest would be to get as much
spamvertised domains as possible. I understand that I could read live
surbl data already and even add such functionality to the firmware but
did not wanted to do this withouth first asking and also without
offering help. I also have some aditional ideas on how to get more
spamvertised domains and other issues, but I think this posting got a
little long already :-)

I honestly have no idea if what I can offer is of any interest here.
If not, please accept my apologies of having disturbed you.


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