Cut spam with Postgrey

28 October 2008 » Linux, System administration

I’ve regained control over my inbox (and my BlackBerry) thanks to a nice little utility called Postgrey. A hat tip to Thomas on the NYCBUG list for the pointer.

Postgrey is a policy server for Postfix that employs an RFC compliant technique for handling mail called greylisting. This is roughly equivalent to placing an incoming phone call on hold for a fixed amount of time.

If the caller has legitimate business, she’s more likely to wait around to chat with you. If it’s a telemarketer, he’s more likely to hang up and move on to the next prospect.

Employing the utility on a CentOS server using these simple steps (condensed from the CentOS HowTo) dramatically reduced the spam I receive:

[code lang=”bash”]
[root@]# yum install postgrey
[root@]# vi /etc/postfix/
smtpd_recipient_restrictions = permit_mynetworks,reject_unauth_destination,check_policy_service unix:postgrey/socket,permit
[root@]# /sbin/service postgrey start
[root@]# /sbin/service postfix reload
[root@]# /sbin/chkconfig –levels 345 postgrey on

The war against UCE rages on, but for now, this technique offers much needed respite, saving valuable time and wireless network bandwidth charges.


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