Active Spam Killer Active Spam Killer
© 2001-2005 by Marco Paganini
Current Stable:

Current Beta:

New Versions
Very Low traffic.

ASK Users
Discussion & Questions.

My name is
Marco Paganini. My interests include computers, photography, hiking and biking. I also keep a mostly technical blog at

News - Nov/2016
ASK officially deprecated

After ten years without updates, I've finally managed to find some time to update this page and declare ASK as officially deprecated.

I created ASK back in 2002 to learn Python and as a proof of concept of a challenge-authentication method to fight spam. It worked surprisingly well for longer than I thought, but spammers eventually started using bounces and other nasty tricks to deliver their messages. Computer systems also evolved a lot, and less intrusive methods of spam detection have become far more effective than they used to be.

I'll probably leave the old versions and page hanging around, but will set the mailing-list and forums to read-only mode.

Thank you all for your support, ideas, and encouraging words. :)

News - April 27th, 2005
ASK 2.5.2 released

A last minute CVS mixup caused an old version of to be packed with the previous beta (2.5.1), making the whole version unusable. If you're using the betas, please upgrade to 2.5.2 immediately.

News - April 21st, 2005
After a long hiatus, I finally managed to release the new ASK Beta (2.5.1). This version comes with a ton of new features and bugfixes. Amongst the most important ones:
  • The blacklist is gone for good. It caused too many problems and now behaves exactly like the ignorelist; a new command line option to specify the ".askrc" file directly.
  • A new configuration variable "rc_junk_unknown_recipients", when set to "yes", will cause ASK to junk the message if it wasn't explicitly sent to one of your recipients in rc_mymails (use with care)
  • No more ".py" extensions in the executables! The main executable is now called "askfilter" (important!! update your .procmailrc and .forward files)
  • Complete rewrite of the HTML remote commands (it should look a bit better now)
  • Removed the "mail-loop" messages (most people disliked it)
  • Much cleaner integration with procmail by means of the new "--filter" command-line switch
  • Lots of bugfixes and more.

As usual, you may want to check your friendly Changelog file for the whole story.

WARNING - April 21st, 2005
Paul Gleave was kind enough to report in the main ASK mailing-list that some paranoid RBL administrators don't like the way ASK's "SMTP checking" works (despite the fact that no harm is being done). This may cause innocent IPs to be added to their databases. If you're affected by this , I'd advise you to turn off this feature by setting the rc_smtp_validate parameter to "off" in your ".askrc" file.

I'll change ASK as soon as I can to work around the problem.

News - Sep, 27th, 2003
ASK has a new homepage! The new page includes this news section (which is now the default page displayed) and a new Contrib section. This new design uses CSS stylesheets heavily. Please report any visualization problems. If you're new to ASK, do not forget to visit the Introduction to ASK and How it Works pages. Also, if you intend to use ASK in a regular basis, don't forget to subscribe to the ASK-Announce mailing-list. This is a very low-traffic mailing-list we use to send out important announcements, new versions, serious bugs, etc.

I hope you enjoy your experience here. :)

Info - Sep, 27th, 2003
Shyness is nice, and Shyness can stop you From doing all the things in life You'd like to...
-- The Smiths

Do you have a new feature you'd like to see implemented in ASK? Discuss it in the ASK-users mailing-list. If you prefer the way of the forums (slower response!) you can also post your questions on the ASK's Help Forum. Another way to report bugs and ask for new features is to enter them directly into the Trackers, but it may be a good idea to discuss your problem in the list first.

Remember, if you don't tell us what to do, we can't do it. :)