FAQ   [plain text]

Frequently Asked Questions
Updated Oct 15, 2002

Q: Razor has blacklisted my email address. I am not a Spammer,
   please help!

   Razor DOES NOT whitelist email addresses or host names. It works by
   computing signatures on the body of the content and checking these
   signatures against a database of known spam. If you believe mail is
   being incorrectly blocked, most likely you have misconfigured your
   mail system.

Q: I have an Header Analysis/Keyword Based/AI/Categorization application
   that detects spam. Can I automatically report spam detected by my

   No. Only spam detected by humans should be reported to Razor. Automata,
   however good it is at detecting spam, isn't human, and should not be
   allowed to make a report or revoke decision. The only exception to this
   rule is troll addresses that have been seeded for the purpose of
   gathering spam.

Q: Can I forward mail to an address instead of reporting it? 

   No. Most mail applications modify the body content to add quotes and/or
   other characters. These will lead to generation of different signatures
   from that of the original mail. Some mail applications (like mutt)
   provide a "bounce" option, that can be safely used for bouncing mail to
   a troll address that automatically reports to Razor.

Q: I have a colleague/relative/friend who uses Windows and gets a lot of
   Spam. How can they report/check spam using Razor?

   Ask them to download Cloudmark's SpamNet available from
   http://cloudmark.com. SpamNet is an Outlook plugin, whose functionality
   is equivalent to Razor2 and talks to the same network.

Q: How does razor decide which submissions to trust when declaring email
   to be spam?

   Razor uses a Truth Evaluation System (TeS) to assign a trust level, or
   rating, to those who make reports. In general reporting spam and
   issuing revokes for nonspam help your rating. Conversely reporting
   things such as mailing lists that a large number of users will have to
   revoke will hurt your rating.

Q: Can I find out what my TeS rating is?

   TeS ratings are not published yet. We might decide to publish them
   in future.

Q: I have a firewall. What ports do I need to open in order for
   Razor2 to work?

   Outgoing TCP port 2703 (Razor2) and TCP port 7 (Echo). Razor2 uses TCP
   pings to discover what servers are closest to it.

Q: I think I found a bug, or there appears to be an error in the code.
   What should i do?

   Send the debug output and mail causing it (if you can) as well as a
   brief description (ex: its not spam, but razor thinks it is) to
   mail@vipul.net and razor-testers@lists.sourceforge.net Capture the
   debug output like so:
   razor-check  -d mail  > mail.debug
   razor-revoke -d legit > legit.debug
   Also, feel free to look at the source and send in a patch with a
   description of what the patch solves. 

Q: I'm not root, can install Razor Agents?

   Yes.  you need to specify PREFIX dir during install.
   perl Makefile.pl PREFIX=/home/me/perl5

   then, edit your .cshrc or .tcshrc

   setenv PATH /home/me/perl5/bin:${PATH}
   setenv PERL5LIB /home/me/perl5/lib
   setenv MANPATH /home/me/perl5/man:${MANPATH}

Q: I installed Razor2, it blocks a lot of spam, but spam still gets
   through. What gives?

   Razor2 blocks anywhere between 60-90% of spam for people. It's still
   work in progress and will improve as new signature algorithms are
   introduced and more people join the network.