REVIEW: "Slamming Spam: A Guide for System Administrators", Robert Haskins/Dale Nielsen

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. BKSLMSPM.RVW 20071110

    "Slamming Spam: A Guide for System Administrators", Robert
    Haskins/Dale Nielsen, 2005, 0-13-146716-6, U$44.99/C$64.99
    %A Robert Haskins
    %A Dale Nielsen
    %C P.O. Box 520, 26 Prince Andrew Place, Don Mills, Ontario M3C 2T8
    %D 2005
    %G 0-13-146716-6
    %I Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.
    %O U$44.99/C$64.99 fax: 416-443-0948 800-822-6339
    %O Audience i Tech 2 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
    %P 396 p.
    %T "Slamming Spam: A Guide for System Administrators"

    For once the title means no more or less than it says. The authors
    state, in the preface, that the book is intended as a reference for
    administrators to use as a "how to" guide to stop spam. Well,
    possibly not stop it entirely, but to use widely known and available
    tools for mail transfer agents that can seriously reduce the level of
    the problem. The authors assume little about the reader's familiarity
    with Linux or UNIX, even though most of the tools discussed are for
    that platform.

    Chapter one is a brief introduction to email entities and components,
    with a list and description of anti-spam technologies. There is also
    a discussion of policies and the likely level of user acceptance of
    both policies and functions. Procmail, a utility that can be used by
    a variety of anti-spam applications, is explained in chapter two. The
    multi-function SpamAssassin program is examined in chapter three.
    Chapter four outlines anti-spam functions that are built into common
    mail transfer agents. Various systems for authentication of users,
    and authorization to use SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) are
    discussed in chapter five. Chapter six notes the advantages of
    Distributed Checksum Filtering (DCF). (This may not be as widely
    known among administrators of single systems, since it relies on the
    collection of calculated signatures of spam messages, gathered from a
    number of mail servers. It is more widely used by systems that
    provide mail services to a large number of clients.) Bayesian
    filtering is introduced in chapter seven, and chapter eight follows up
    with details of the installation and use of a few such programs.
    Various client filtering applications are described in chapter nine.
    Spam related functions of the Microsoft Exchange mail server are noted
    in chapter ten, with Lotus Domino and Lotus Notes covered in chapter
    eleven. Chapter twelve examines sender verification. This is not
    quite the same material as is covered in chapter five, since we are
    not looking for specific authorization, but an intelligent response
    indicating that the entity sending the mail is a user and not a bot.

    The book, while not exciting, is a clear and useful guide to tools
    that will be of value to system administrators who wish to reduce
    overall spam levels.

    copyright Robert M. Slade, 2007 BKSLMSPM.RVW 20071110


    "Dictionary of Information Security," Syngress 1597491152
    Dictionary of Info Sec
    ============= for back issues:
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    CISSP refs: [Base URL]mnbksccd.htm
    Book reviews: [Base URL]mnbk.htm
    Review mailing list: send mail to
    Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor, Feb 4, 2008
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