Martijn Grooten Virus Bulletin
Although email spam has been pestering end-users for more than a decade and anti-spam solutions have been helping them keep their inboxes tidy for almost as long, relatively few attempts have been made to test such solutions. Perhaps this is not too surprising: as an expert in the field once said, anti-spam testing is 'fiendishly difficult', which is not in the least because of the filters' tendency to block large amounts of spam even before the tester can have a look at it. Still, we believe that it is possible to run such tests and this paper deals with the running of anti-spam tests.
The paper will consist of two parts. The first part will deal with the general concept of anti-spam testing and some guidelines will be discussed on what a good anti-spam test should be like. A representative and reliable anti-spam test should fulfil five conditions:
The second part of the paper will discuss the comparative anti-spam test we have set up - in particular the decisions we have made based on these conditions. We will also discuss our own experience with running such tests.