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How can I configure procmail to bounce messages flagged as spam?

Wiki MarkupDon't do this. Most spam forge the From line. If you bounce to it, you'll likely just be contributing to the \[ Joe Job\] of some innocent soul. If you want to bounce messages (so that senders know it didn't reach you), you need to do it at the MTA level as described above.


Wiki MarkupIf you're using qmail (see [IntegratedInMta]), you can set up [SpamAssassin] through Qmail-Scanner, which has a patched version able to delete spam at a given threshold. Alternatively, you can configure the patched version of Qmail-Scanner to reject spam at a given threshold during the smtp session. Rejecting spam is a better approach than silently deleting or bouncing it because the sender (assuming its a real person) will know the message wasn't delivered and the sending mail server will have to handle the bounce which prevents back scatter from being sent by your mail server. Here's the patched \[ version\] and the \[ original\].

Wiki MarkupIf you don't want the full Qmail-Scanner you can try \[ Mailparser\] by Eric Bambach. Originally a very lightweight C program but now (9/14/2007) re-implemented in perl it will drop any message that has X-Spam-Flag: YES in the header.

Rename /var/qmail/bin/qmail-queue to qmail-queue.orig and add it to the delivery queue after SpamAssassin.


If you're willing to make senders jump through hoops to reach you, you can begin rejecting all mails except for ones known to be legitimate. Some believe this solution is worse than the disease.

  • Wiki Markup\[ Principles\] of a Challenge-Response system by Brad Templeton
  • Wiki Markup\[ TMDA\] is the best known Challenge-Response system
  • Wiki Markup\[ Email passwords\] by David Wheeler are another implementation \\