SpamTitan AntiSpam Appliance – It saved my inbox!

SpamTitan Website
The SpamTitan anti-spam appliance has been a godsend for me over the last year. As a heavy user of all things I.T., including email, I found that more and more I was becoming inundated with constant spam filling my inbox.

I had tried several hosted services to attempt to cull the spam from my life, but alas none seemed able to fit the bill or offered the level of customisability that SpamTitan has.

So with thanks to TurnkeyInternet for my hosting servers, and SecureSoft for helping me get the SpamTitan license, I was able to spin up a SpamTitan anti-spam virtual appliance. The SpamTitan server now sits in front of my main web server and protect both incoming and outgoing email.

The Stats:

Since the appliance was brought online on February 04, 2014, there have been 131889 emails that have passed through, and these have been broken up into the following:
RBL Rejections – 53.5%
Clean messages – 25.1%
Other Frontline Rejections – 16.4%
Denied Relays – 3.3%
Invalid Recipients, Banned Attachments and Virus Messages making up the remaining 1.7%
(see image for further details).

More about SpamTitan:

The SpamTitan appliance comes inbuilt with both the ClamAV and Kaspersky antivirus scanners that together provides a reliable antivirus platform. Luckily, I can safely say that I have only had a single virus email which has been a blessing, which was blocked immediately by the appliance.

I have found the appliance to be hugely configurable, both system-wide as well as down to the domain level. SpamTitan provides the ability to configure different outbound disclaimers, daily report settings, spam thresholds and so on all on a per domain basis (and much more).

The appliance has also been remarkably robust, with the exception of requiring reboots for ESX updates, I have never found a need to restart the appliance itself. Stability is crucial, and it has been a blessing to have the SpamTitan server in front of my main server on the odd occasion it has required maintenance so that mail is still received and queued for delivery.

SpamTitan for me has mostly been a set and forget adventure. When one of my domains started receiving a significantly heavier amount of spam, I did perform some tweaking of the Bayesian filter settings, but for the most part it happily takes care of itself.

Who is it for:

I could see the self-hosted appliance (or the SpamTitan hosted offering) being of great use for anywhere from small businesses with 10-50 users too much larger, even enterprise organisations. At this time, the smallest license you can get is 50 users, so there are no single user options at this time, but I would love to see an offering like that in the future.

What I would love to see:

While the whole experience has been overwhelmingly positive, one thing I would like to see improved is the way a user can mark a false negative (i.e. spam that slipped through the cracks and was marked as clean). At the moment, a user has to log into the web interface, find the email (that can sometimes be difficult without the Quarantine ID), and then mark it as spam. I would love to see a simple “forward to a particular email address” that the SpamTitan server would then check periodically to re-classify those emails as spam.

Also it would be great for an administrator to have the ability to review the quarantine and have an integration with the SpamCop service which would enable the bulk submission of spam (via email) to the service to help report those that have slipped through the cracks.

Where can you get it?

If you are in Australia, you can speak to the team at SecureSoft who are the local distributors, they are a great bunch of people and have great and helpful sales and support staff. Otherwise, outside of Australia, you can check out SpamTitan to check out who your local reseller is.

Some Screenshots:

Administrator Dashboard for the SpamTitan anti-spam Appliance
Administrator Dashboard for the SpamTitan anti-spam Appliance

 

SpamTitan Anti-Spam RBL Configuration Screen
SpamTitan Anti-Spam RBL Configuration Screen

 

SpamTitan Anti-Spam Greylisting Configuration Screen
SpamTitan Anti-Spam Greylisting Configuration Screen

 

SpamTitan Anti-Spam Example Daily Quarantine Report
SpamTitan Anti-Spam Example Daily Quarantine Report

 

CVE-2014-4451 – Apple iOS bug allowing unlimited incorrect pin attempts

A bug that would allow unlimited incorrect pin attempts on any iOS device is enough to make a lot of people’s toes curl. Unfortunately that is what I found when I recently stumbled upon an iPhone lockscreen bug allowing me to do just that.

On the 28th September 2014 I raised a bug with Apple which later was assigned the ID CVE-2014-4451. Now that this has been patched in the latest iOS 8.1.1 I am able to release the details of how the bug was exploited. At this stage I do not have any devices running any iOS earlier than 8.0 therefore am unable to test if this affects earlier releases of the operating system.

The steps to reproduce are demonstrated in the following video I placed on YouTube:

 

I have yet to discover if this affects devices running iOS 7 or earlier, therefore if you have one of these devices and are able to demonstrate that the issue occurs on that release of iOS also please leave a comment here and let me know.

I hope that this information helps users become aware that they should stay up to date with the latest release of software wherever possible to protect themselves against such bugs.

I thank Apple for working diligently to resolve the bug as quickly as possible.

Stuart

[[Update]]

Thanks to @DarthNull on twitter, we now know this goes back at least as far as iOS 6

Shoeboxed Australia increasing prices from 1st June 2014

shoeboxed price increasesFollowing my recent review of Shoeboxed (in which I have to admit I was amazed with the service) I have just received an email indicating that price changes are coming and on the Classic plan which is a great plan for those of you that would like to use it for personal use, this brings an ~25% increase on the cost (you can see the full comparison table below).

I can happily say I am still loving Shoeboxed and will be sticking with them despite the increase. Shoeboxed has informed me (via Twitter) that it is their first price increase in four years and they will honour current prices for month to month plans until the end of the year (if you sign up before 31st May 2014) or annual packages until 30th June 2014. So if you have been considering giving Shoeboxed a try,  now is the time to get a trial, see if you like it and lock in an annual plan before the 30th June or the current monthly pricing until 31st December 2014. I personally feel this is a more than generous offer to lock in the current price for long enough to account for the price increase and a single price increase in four  years is not bad at all.

Shoeboxed does have a referral program which gets both the referrer (me) and referee (you) 10% off the price for 12 months and  (and yes if you click through to Shoeboxed from this post it will be as a referral) so that is one other way to get an additional discount for your first 12 months (and for me too :D).

So if you would like to give them a go, have a read of my review and give them a whirl. Now is definitely the time to lock in some cheaper prices.

Changes at a glance:

 Lite (<1st June)Lite New PriceClassic (<1st June)Classic New PriceBusiness (<1st June)Business new PriceExecutive (<1st June)Executive New Price
Monthly Price$19.95$16.95$39.95$49.95$99.95$129.95$177.77$249.95
Annual Price$199.00$169.00$399.00$499.00$999.00$1299.00$1777.00$2499.00
Per doc overage price$0.66$0.44$0.44$0.385$0.385$0.33$0.33$0.275

Full details of the price changes available on Shoeboxed’s Site