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Build a special Mail rule to filter sneaky spam messages Apps
Not only does Apple's Mail offer junk sorting to sift out spam, it also offers Rules (in Preferences) to set customized rules by selecting and filtering various header fields. In many cases, it's easy to set a Rule to move any message to Junk or Trash if contains Pills, Returned Mail, or whatever you choose to filter.

However, spammers have recently started using several procedures to avoid being filtered, such as sending images (JPEGs or GIFs) as pictures with a text message. These are not recognized as text, and as a result, are not filtered.

Another method spammers use is both an image and different ancillary text content, thus avoiding any message consistency, which also negates the ability to filter spams. When you are faced with this, there can still be a work-around to filter out these nefarious messages.

First collect two or three of the same type of messages. then investigate the long headers of each email (View » Message » Long Header, or Shift-Command-H). Then try to find something fairly obscure yet unique that is consistent from one spam message to another, such as the x-Mimeole value. If all the spam messages have the same value, such as Microsoft MimeOLE V6.0.6001.18, copy it.

Now go to the Rules tab in Preferences and click on the first drop-down menu in the conditions section. Scroll to the bottom of the drop-down and choose Edit Header List. Here you can add x-Mimeole to your conditions list. Now you are ready to paste the unique Long Header value. Once this is part of your conditions list, you can now filter the long header criteria and eliminate these vexing spams. As an example, your new Rule could read:

If any of the following conditions are met:
  x-Mimeole contains Microsoft MimeOLE V6.0.6001.18
perform the following actions:
  Move Message to mailbox Junk.

Creating this Rule has solved a very aggravating problem, and thus far, has worked like a charm!

[robg adds: Similarly, you might wish to add rules to trap HTML messages from unknown senders and messages encoded in Chinese. Note that with any of these techniques, you run the risk of trapping legitimate spam (moreso with the last one). So if you implement broadly-seeping rules like these, make sure you keep your eye on your Junk folder for any legitimate messages that were trapped by your filter(s).]
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Build a special Mail rule to filter sneaky spam messages | 9 comments | Create New Account
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Build a special Mail rule to filter sneaky spam messages
Authored by: kyngchaos on Apr 28, '09 07:52:46AM

For a while I used a rule to filter messages out by attachment file extensions (gif, jpg, png) and not in my address book, but gave up on that after a while and switched to SpamSieve. It knows about image spam and learns the more tricky spams better.

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Build a special Mail rule to filter sneaky spam messages
Authored by: phlops on Apr 28, '09 08:06:10AM

Spamsieve does an infinitely better job than any manually made rules like this can. My only affiliation with the app is that I'm a happy customer, but it's kept me spam free for years and is fantastically adaptive to the latest techniques from spammers. Well worth the money.

---
/phil



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Forget mail rules for spam - get SpamSieve
Authored by: seiryu on Apr 28, '09 09:55:51AM

I used to use mail rules for filtering out my spam. And recently got deluged with a new round that was not being recognized.

Solution: Install SpamSieve. The amount of time I spend on spam is a fraction of what it was. I only check the questionable items and have corrected very few. And doing so is very easy. No rule editing, etc.

My only affiliation is as a customer - still on the 30 day demo, but I'm going to shell out the $.



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Google mail account is free
Authored by: kiltbear on Apr 28, '09 10:21:21AM

If you don't mind being part of the Google Hive Complex, I find that gmail's junk mail filtering is excellent. I run at about 4 false positives a year (and never seem to be critical ones) and it misses about 1 junk mail per week. There are plenty of good hints on here about setting up Gmail as a very usable IMAP server with Mail.app and the iPhone.



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Google mail account is free
Authored by: kiltbear on Apr 28, '09 10:28:18AM

and it's free



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POP is free, too
Authored by: Makosuke on Apr 29, '09 02:32:23PM

I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, because I'm not terribly fond of the stranglehold Google has developed on a lot of things, but Gmail's spam filtering really does work well. Since they currently offer completely free POP access (with no ads), I've ended up routing all my mail through them purely for the spam filtering.

And it does work--maybe a half-dozen a month, down from hundreds. The critical false-positive rate is so low, as well, that I usually don't even bother to check.



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Build a special Mail rule to filter sneaky spam messages
Authored by: n1mie on Apr 28, '09 02:14:01PM

Hate to be a "me too," but I HIGHLY recommend SpamSieve. It's one of the best programs I've ever used. Easy interface, does what it's supposed to do very well, routinely updated, inexpensive. Don't debate, go get it. (I have no pecuniary interest in the product, just a loyal customer.)

---
--Chip



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Build a special Mail rule to filter sneaky spam messages
Authored by: kenji on Apr 29, '09 09:48:57AM
I started using SpamCop before I switched to OS X. Now I use both SpamCop and SpamSieve. Maybe the latter could handle my spam on its own, but I'm not sure I want to find out.

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Build a special Mail rule to filter sneaky spam messages
Authored by: Eric33Toubib on Apr 30, '09 01:50:20PM

I use the "the rules" of mail app since a long time without any problem but since some weeks ago, it happens that the rules don't work anymore.... The only thing I possibly identify to explain this change is using Safari beta 4 ?
Anyone have an idea and why not a solution about that ?



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