2010 Bug Fix in Spam Assassin

Posted By: Tech Guy
Last Updated at 3:51 PM on Saturday Jan 2, 2010
Found in: Anti-SpamE-Mail

If your systems are running Spam Assassin, then legitimate e-mail having a date after Jan 1, 2010 may see a higher than normal spam score.

This could be due in part to the FH_DATE_PAST_20XX rule in Spam Assassin which adds a spam score to all messages with a date header after 01/01/2010.

The rule was was designed to identify spam which was dated sometime in the distant future, unfortunately in which present day has caught up to.

To fix this issue, you have 3 options available:

  1. Disable the FH_DATE_PAST_20XX Rule in Spam Assassin
  2. Modify the FH_DATE_PAST_20XX Rule in Spam Assassin to another date sometime in the future
  3. Update the rule-set in Spam Assassin using sa-update

How to Disable the FH_DATE_PAST_20XX Rule in Spam Assassin

  1. Find the file local.cf in your spam assassin install directory. For example:
    C:\sa\etc\spamassassin\local.cf
  2. Open the file local.cf in notepad
  3. Add the following text line to the local.cf file:
    score FH_DATE_PAST_20XX 0.0

    **You can look through the file to see other score entries and just add it to the end
  4. Save the file
  5. If you are running SpamAssassin as a service, then stop and start the service for the changes to take effect/

How to Modify the FH_DATE_PAST_20XX Rule in Spam Assassin to a date later than 2020

  1. Find the file 72_active.cf in your spam assassin install directory. For example:
    C:\sa\share\spamassassin\72_active.cf
  2. Open the file 72_active.cf in wordpad (this is not the same as notepad, the carriage returns need to be kept intact)
  3. Search for the following keyword in the file:
    FH_DATE_PAST_20XX
  4. Change the following from:

    header FH_DATE_PAST_20XX Date =~ /20[1-9][0-9]/ [if-unset: 2006]

    to:

    header FH_DATE_PAST_20XX Date =~ /20[2-9][0-9]/ [if-unset: 2006]
  5. Save the file
  6. If you are running SpamAssassin as a service, then stop and start the service for the changes to take effect/

Note 1: Keep in mind that this only fixes the problem until 2020. You might have to come back here in 10 years!

Note 2: If you have previously disabled this rule, you might want to revert your changes


How to update Spam Assassin rules to the latest ruleset which fixes the 2010 bug

  1. Install and run sa-update to update the SpamAssasin ruleset
  2. If you are running SpamAssassin as a service, then stop and start the service for the changes to take effect/




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