Spamassassin 2010 bug

January 1st, 2010

Shades of Y2K! Mike Cardwell reports on a rule in Spamassassin that judges any message sent in or after 2010 as “grossly in the future” and treats this as evidence of it being spam. I just checked and found that our mail server’s Spamassassin is using this buggy FH_DATE_PAST_20XX rule.

If you are using Spamassassin, or think your mail server might be, check the source of mail you have received today. Here’s an example from one of my messages this morning.

X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 3.2.5 ... on
X-Spam-Level: *
X-Spam-Status: No, score=1.6 required=5.0 tests=AWL,FH_DATE_PAST_20XX
  autolearn=disabled version=3.2.5
Received: from (
  []) by (8.14.3/8.14.3) with ESMTP
  id o01DjJUn011187; Fri, 1 Jan 2010 08:45:19 -0500 (EST)

If the message exceeds the local spam score threshold for, you may find a block with more details in your message header, like this example.

Content analysis details:   (6.1 points, 5.0 required)

 pts rule name              description
---- ---------------------- ----------------------------------
 3.4 FH_DATE_PAST_20XX     The date is grossly in the future.
-4.0 RCVD_IN_DNSWL_MED   RBL: Sender listed at,
    medium trust [ listed in]
 1.8 SUBJ_ALL_CAPS  Subject is all capitals
 4.2 FORGED_MUA_OUTLOOK  Forged mail pretending to be from MS Outlook

As a workaround until your server updates Spamassassin, the points that the rule adds to a message’s spam score can be lowered to 0.0 in Spamassassin’s configuration file ( or your own user-prefs file.

score FH_DATE_PAST_20XX 0.0