[Short Tip] Debug Spamassassin within Amavisd

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Filtering e-mail for spam and viruses can be done efficiently with Amavisd-New. Besides its own technologies to identify and filter out Spam it can also make use of Spamassassin and its results. However, since Amavisd starts Spamassassin itself, it sometimes is hard to debug when something is not working.

For example in a recent case I saw that the Bayes database was not used when checking for spam characteristics, although the database was properly trained with ham and spam.

Thus first I checked Spamassassin itself:

$ su -s /bin/bash mailuser -c "spamassassin -D -t < ExampleSpam.eml 2>&1"  | tee sa.out

That worked well, the Bayes database was queried, results were shown.

Next, I added $sa_debug = '1,all'; to the Amavisd configuration and run Amavisd in debug mode:

$ amavisd -c /etc/amavisd/amavisd.conf debug

And that showed the problem: one of the Bayes files had wrong permissions. After fixing those, the filter run again properly.

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[Howto] Sort spam mails to the junk folder in Zarafa

Tux
Groupware setups like Zarafa often leave the spam scanning to external tools – but still has to sort the tagged mails. This article shows two ways of sorting and filtering tagged spam mails in Zarafa.

Imagine the pretty common setup where the actual spam filtering is done on a separate MTA. In such cases the spam is scanned and tagged, but the groupware system, here Zarafa, has to sort the mail to the appropriate folders. For example, an e-mail header spam tag created by Spamassassin looks like:

X-Spam-Flag: YES
X-Spam-Score: 64.448
X-Spam-Level: ****************************************************************
X-Spam-Status: Yes, score=64.448 tagged_above=-999 required=6.2
	tests=[ADVANCE_FEE_2_NEW_MONEY=0.992, ADVANCE_FEE_3_NEW=2.734,
	ADVANCE_FEE_3_NEW_MONEY=0.001, ADVANCE_FEE_4_NEW=0.001,
	ADVANCE_FEE_4_NEW [...]

The question is how the groupware can auto-sort such mails – Zarafa knows (at least) two ways to accomplish that aim.

The first is to use Procmail, Maildrop or similar tools to check the mails for such tags: all mails are delivered from the separate MTA to Procmail, which forwards all mails to the zarafa-dagent. However, while normal mails are just forwarded to the normal zarafa-dagent without any options, spam mails are forwarded with the option zarafa-dagent -j. That way, zarafa-dagent knows that the mails are spam, and sorts them into the Junk folders. The Procmail configuration for that is for example:

:0 w
* ^X-Spam-Flag: YES
| /usr/bin/zarafa-dagent -j $1
EXITCODE=$?

:0 w
| /usr/bin/zarafa-dagent $1
EXITCODE=$?

The second way – which I prefer – is to tell zarafa-dagent to look for the spam tag itself. The Dagent can be configured to search for a spam tag flag sorting these mails into the Junk folder automatically. The configuration is done in /etc/zarafa/dagent.cfg:

spam_header_name = X-Spam-Flag
spam_header_value = yes

Please note that the values are case-insensitive.

Which method you use highly depends on your actual groupware setup: in case you already have a Procmail/Maildrop/Whatnot setup you might want to use the first method since it can easily be integrated with the existing setup. In case you do not have or do not want to introduce another layer like Procmail, you should go with the latter method. Also, the latter method is independent of the rest of the setup – so even with a working Procmail setup you might want to use the latter method to have it out of your mind.