Screen Shots

Filter Schema


Like my license plate says, "I hate spam." I hate it with a passion. And it is only getting worse. I started writing Rules in Outlook to help get rid of the spam, but the Exchange server has a limit on how many rules you can have, so I decided to write my own software that would filter spam for me without the limitations that Exchange puts on Rules.

While Sherpa currently isn't as full featured as the Rules built into Outlook/Exchange, it has some better filters for fighting spam. You can essentially do only one thing with a message. You can move it to another folder, and that's it. But as Sherpa grows and (hopefully) gains some popularity and users, more features will be implemented.

I would look at the spam I was getting and try to find out ways to tell that it was spam. Each time I found a new way that a spammer was sending spam, I would either write a new filter rule for it, or implement a new feature in Sherpa that could detect it. There are some types of filters that are probably unique to Sherpa.

Here are some of the types of filters that Sherpa supports:

  • HeaderMatch - check a specified header (like "From:") for a string or regular expression that you provide.
  • BodyMatch - just like HeaderMatch, but checks the body of the message for a string or regular expression.
  • HeaderExists - we used another spam tool for a while that marked spam with a special header. This rule will see if that header line exists in the message.
  • RelayDomain - a lot of spam that I get comes through foreign email servers. If I see a foreign one that isn't listed in my exceptions list, I consider it spam.
  • ContactMatch - create a white list of people that can send you email by matching up the sender with people that are in your Contacts database.
  • Bayes - a popular, and great, new way of detecting spam by comparing incoming email with a large sample of existing spam.

Download Sherpa today and give it a try. If you have any problems with it, I'd love to know what they are so that I can improve it. Thanks.

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