Spam counts for Q2

by Michael Alderete on 7/1/2004

So, with the end of the first half of the year, I thought break my silence by taking another look at the level of spam flowing into my mailboxes, and how well my tools are coping with it. First, here are the stats for Q2:

Filtered Mail

6674 Good Messages
16976 Spam Messages (72%)

SpamSieve Accuracy

52 False Positives
71 False Negatives (58%)
99.5% Correct

And here are the stats for the first half of the year:

Filtered Mail

20554 Good Messages
39595 Spam Messages (66%)

SpamSieve Accuracy

83 False Positives
270 False Negatives (76%)
99.4% Correct

You can review my previous post for the Q1 details, but the overall trends are:

  • SpamSieve increased its overall accuracy, but the number of false positives (legit messages marked as spam) went up, which is a bit troubling.
  • The actual amount of spam I received was down, but as a percentage of my mail stream, it was up. (This is because my legitimate mail traffic is down 50% after I unsubscribed from some mailing lists.)
  • 75% less spam reached my Inbox (71, vs 270 in Q1).

The overall reduction in spam traffic is encouraging, and proof that the mail filters that I enabled at the end of Q1 are doing a tremendous job at rejecting spam coming to my oldest e-mail address.

The one really irritating new trend this past quarter, which doesn’t show up in the stats, is the number of bounces and anti-virus error messages hitting me. The and domains have been spoofed (forged) in a lot of spam and worm traffic, and because I have my domains “wild carded” to accept e-mail for “”, the result is I get a lot of crap in my Inbox that is intended to let “” know that the crap didn’t go through.

So I’ve been compiling a list of the e-mail aliases I actually use (quite a lot because I use custom addresses with various vendors and web sites, so I can track who sells my address to spammers, turn off specific addresses, etc.), with the intent that I’ll enable those, and disable the wild cards. I hope to do that over the holiday weekend, and expect it to have almost as dramatic effect on crap coming in as the improved spam filters.

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