Tsunami warnings need some help

After the extremely unfortunate occurence in Indonesia and surrounding countries late last year, the powers that be decided it was time for a tsunami warning system for the Indian Ocean region. Now they need a little help from some friends (meaning email administrators).

It was noted during the first tests of the new system that SpamAssassin blocks the email warnings from the system, when SpamAssassin is installed straight out of the box (and no, there is no box for the open source prog). Capitalized subject lines and hidden sender information cause the issue.

Tweak the install and save a few lives, will ya boys and girls.


SpamAssassin does not score the tsunami warnings as spam straight out of the box as previously suggested – once third party rules and other traditional lockdowns are put in place, the warnings get high enough scores.

Also, Michael Parker from SpamAssassin has suggested (in comment) that if someone has full source for one of the warnings that they can forward to the development team, the SpamAssassin crew can take corrective action.


If someone has a copy of the warnings (with full headers), the SA dev team would like to take a look. Perhaps we can do something in the rules to give a little help.

It should be noted, that the article stated that out of the box SA did not catch the warning email. It was only after adding third party rulesets and tweaking the required score that folks saw a problem.

Hi — on top of Michael’s comments, I’d like to suggest another clarification — even the ‘traditional lockdowns’ are still by no means likely to mark the mail as spam.

The article notes ‘with the spam filters locked down, the warning message … rates a spam score of 3.7 out of 10.’ 3.7 is still well within the non-spam range, and the only way it could be marked as spam is by a kamikaze tactic of bringing the threshold down enough that a whole bucket of false positives is likely to occur on all sorts of other mail.

Basically, no sane mail admin would do that. The story was scare-mongering, pure and simple… very annoying how much press it’s gotten. I guess the *idea* of a spam filter blocking important mails is enough to get international press.

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