Having spotted some negativity in this forum recently I just wanted to say that I believe strongly in the potential value of Comodo Antispam.
Indeed I would go further. Comodo Antispam is potentially a world beating product.
Why do I think this? Well there are basically two workable routes that you can take to antispam.
Block spammers & spam, allow mail from everyone else. (Blacklisting). However public blacklists are incomplete, and entries can be malicious. Spam scanning is very unreliable, & is constantly subverted by new spamming technology. Which leads to false positives and negatives - receipt of some spams plus the need to constantly check your spam mail folder
Allow everyone you know is not a spammer to send you email, challenge everyone else to prove they are not a machine (Whitelisting with challenges). 100% effective unless a spammer gains control of a friends machine.
Most software takes the first route. Comodo (after Bongosoft who coded the original software) has had the courage to take the second route, realising that the challenges, managed properly, do not need to inconvenience non-spammers very much at all. [For completeness I should note that Comodo’s Melih has suggested some ways of improving blacklisting very much deserve further discussion, but, as they require significant review resources, I think they are a long term project and hence not the subject of this email].
Note that I say potentially. The current CAS software is buggy when used with certain Outlook versions (eg 2003), particularly when people do not reboot their machine everyday, and have large numbers of email accounts.
It also needs some further development to meet the ‘managed properly’ criterion. My suggestions for domestic use (prioritised from the wish list file) are:
a) better automated whitelist building to reduce number of challenges. In particular offer the option to build whitelists from sent items folders
b) on installation do not send out challenge emails until user has confirmed whitelists are reasonably complete
c) allow users to draft their own challenge emails (seems you can but in fact you can’t)
d) id of sender should be judged from ‘received from’ field, not ‘envelope’ email header field to help prevent people trying to confuse the software with blank & ‘own’ addresses
e) automatic ‘delivery failure’ replies to challenge emails from non-spam distribution lists should be managed, not just passed through by default
f) on installation software should not download received emails stored on the server if these emails have already been downloaded into the email client.
g) you should be able to say that multiple email accounts can use the same whitelist, and quarantined emails should be manageable from one list
h) logs needed to show what CAS has done - especially who has been sent challenge emails
i) you need to option to introduce a delay before sending challenge emails and the option for CAS to tell you that there are challenge emails about to be sent after the delay. Just once or twice per set of queued emails not separately for each email.
See wish list folder for more details. Most suggestions would not require substantial development effort.
If these things were done - Comodo could have a world ■■■■■■ on its hands! Roll on May when next version comes out!