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Spam rules vs Spam auto-blacklist

suggested by Unknown User
3

Hi,
 
Quick quiz:
 
You have a customer that has submitted tickets to Sirportly in the past. You've been able to help him, he's quite happy. His latest ticket got detected as Spam for some reason.
 
What will happen next?
 
Answer:
 
You'll loose the customer!
 
Why? Because Sirportly feels that if a message is spam, it should auto-add the sender to the spam blacklist! Which means that every mail that customer ever sends you again, will end up in the spam queue. The mail's won't even be analysed. The match the blacklist => they end up int the spam queue.
 
I feel this is really really bad.
 
There are a few ways to fix this:
 
1) Don't auto add anyone to the spam blacklist. EVER.
 
2) If not 1, please make it an option to disable auto-adding.
 
3) If not 2, don't do spam checks if the sender is "real" (has at least one non-spam ticket in sirportly)
 
4) If not 3, allow me to add a spam rule that says "if know contact, it's not spam"
 
5) See 1, really.
 
Frank
 
 

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Comments (19)

  • Endorsed! Especially as the spam queue is only visible to Admins, who may or may not look at it occasionally.
     
    I'd add one more option to Frank's five if it's easier to implement - allow us to create a Filter that contains anything marked as Spam.

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    posted by George G
  • Good start, but I'd still be concerned about first-time customers being blocked.
     
    Is there anything you can do about lack of visibility of the spam queue and/or alerting users when new "spam" has been put there?

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    posted by George G
  • Does SP only use the blacklist to help detect spam? If using SpamAssassin (or something along those lines), why do you need to auto-blacklist spam senders? Why not make it optional? (eg a 2nd button "Mark as spam and block sender" vs "Mark as spam (but don't block sender)".

    posted by Unknown User
  • When I get spam in my Outlook and Gmail accounts, it is segregated to a junk folder and I can check it is in fact spam.
     
    Outlook is better because I can see the folder has new mail without switching views, which means I remember to check it from time to time.
     
    Hence my point about alerting users to new spam in Sirportly.

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    posted by George G
  • If you're using the download edition, then you can turn off the feature which marks tickets as spam based on the SpamAssassain headers in the messages.
     
    We had to do just this because if our mail system marked a message as spam incorrectly and then we then moved it back into the inbox from the junk folder then Sirportly would put it in the spam queue as the X-Spam-Status message header obviously doesn't get updated when you move the message.
     
    The setting in question is:
    config.use_spam_assassin_headers_for_spam_detecton = false

    43535555a26ae0a9aacc5c6af1d79794?rating=pg&size=52&default=mm
    posted by Edward D
  • Hugely important issue in my opinion.
     
    The only reliable way we use for checking spam is checking individual emails. Rather than denying senders, I would create a 'spam' filter which shows all messages flagged for spam. Users can then filter through those and 'delete' them if they're satifisfied that they're genuine spam.
     
    It's also easily feasible that a user gets their email compromised and sends a few spam messages, marking them as spam and then denying all future emails from that customer is a bad reaction to that problem.
     
    I've just had a quick look at managing the spam queue and the denied senders list, and they're both pretty tough to manage. There's no filter/search functionality. Further, if you edit anything in the Denied Senders list, you get moved from your position in the list to either the start or the 'allowed senders' page if you mark an address as safe. When you have 15+ pages, this makes it very hard to manage.
     
    Suggestions:
     
    1. Add the ability to create a ticket filter showing messages marked as spam.
    2. Add the ability to 'whitelist' or 'un-spam' a sender via the 'macros' section - so it's as prominent as marking a message as spam.
    3. Give users more control of spam settings in the cloud version.
    4. Make managing the spam addresses easier (bulk actions, not losing place on page after performing an action).
    5. Add ability to manage tickets in bulk (addressed in this ticket, my bad, just realised 'send to spam is already there)
     
    What's the ETA on getting this improved?

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    posted by Fergus M
  • +1 for this.
     
    @Jack ... is this in the pipeline yet?

    posted by Unknown User
  • @Jack's replacement - any updates?

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    posted by George G
  • The problem is multi-faceted:
     
    - it isn't clear that the button does that. Consider phishing spam from your bank (I don't know if those are popular is the UK as well, but have been a major PITA in Belgium the last few years), from customerservice@yourbank.com. It's a phishing spam. so first line triage hits the "spam" button. All other mail that is ever sent from that address, is now blocked, even if legitmate mail.
     
    - we have anti-spam filters in front of all mailservers, they add headers based on the spammyness. We once had rules in Sirportly that marked those above a threshold as spam. Not a problem, as we watch the spam-queue from time to time, but moving the message out of the spam queue, will _not_ remove the address from the spam list.
     
    While I do see some uses cases and reasons for this, I still believe those are defaults. And they can't be changed! That's the real problem.
     
    We now have a script that removes all entries in the blocked senders list every few days, which completely defeats the purpose of this feature.

    posted by Unknown User
  • +10 Frank's post.
     
    Where is the blocked senders list?

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    posted by George G
  • https://sirportly.YOURDOMAIN.TLD/admin/spam_rules?type=deny in the interface
    or spam_rules table in de database (caution: had both white and blacklist)

    posted by Unknown User
  • In the cloud version?

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    posted by George G
  • sorry, we use the download version. No idea how it works in the cloud version.

    posted by Unknown User
  • Ha - it's changing as we speak!
     
    I'm aware of Admin/Spam Rules. I see that white/black have just been changed to Allowed/Denied - presumably the latter collects anything where we hit "Mark as Spam and Block Sender"?
     
    How does this interact with whatever Sirportly does when it decides something is Spam?
     
    Can we use "Allowed Senders" to over-ride that?
     
    This just reminds me that I hope V5 will get improved, and searchable, documentation - ideally showing what's different about the two versions.

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    posted by George G
  • PS: I just applied "Mark as Spam" to a ticket and it has appeared in Deleted tickets.
     
    Does "Mark as Spam" have any other effect?

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    posted by George G
  • PPS: "Mark as Spam and block sender" also puts the ticket in Deleted tickets - is the sender also placed in a list of denied contacts (which I cannot access)?
    What happens if the ticket is restored?
     
    Presumably the Spam Queue is now only used by Sirportly?

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    posted by George G
  • Adam, I suppose this is an "cloud edition only" fix atm? Or is this in a download edition as well currently?

    posted by Unknown User
  • The only difference between "Mark as SPAM" and "Mark as SPAM and block sender" is that the second will add the sender's e-mail address to the SPAM blacklist and the first won't. Both will move the ticket to your "Deleted Tickets" area. This functionality hasn't changed.
     
    The SPAM queue itself is where incoming e-mails get placed before they get created as a ticket. 
    What does the Mark as SPAM button do in addition to the normal delete button?
     
    I thought that the only difference was that it added the sender to the blacklist.

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    posted by Edward D
  • The only difference between "Mark as SPAM" and "Mark as SPAM and block sender" is that the second will add the sender's e-mail address to the SPAM blacklist and the first won't. Both will move the ticket to your "Deleted Tickets" area. This functionality hasn't changed.
     
    The SPAM queue itself is where incoming e-mails get placed before they get created as a ticket. 
     
    Adam - I'm sure "Mark as Spam" sent tickets to the Spam Queue before you made those changes.

    Fa60b6b33476c87eaa98a9d1400a99d2?rating=pg&size=52&default=mm
    posted by George G

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