Rspamd regexp module

This is a core module that deals with regexp expressions to filter messages.

Principles of work

Regexp module operates with expressions - a logical sequence of different atoms. Atoms are elements of the expression and could be represented as regular expressions, rspamd functions and lua functions. Rspamd supports the following operators in expressions:

  • && - logical AND (can be also written as and or even &)
  • || - logical OR (or |)
  • ! - logical NOT (not)
  • + - logical PLUS, usually used with comparisons:
    • > more than
    • < less than
    • >= more or equal
    • <= less or equal

Whilst logical operators are clear for understanding, PLUS is not so clear. In rspamd, it is used to join multiple atoms or subexpressions and compare them to a specific number:

A + B + C + D > 2 - evaluates to `true` if at least 3 operands are true
(A & B) + C + D + E >= 2 -  evaluates to `true` if at least 2 operands are true

Operators has their own priorities:

  1. NOT
  2. PLUS
  3. COMPARE
  4. AND
  5. OR

You can change priorities by braces, of course. All operations are right associative in rspamd. While evaluating expressions, rspamd tries to optimize their execution time by reordering and does not evaluate unnecessary branches.

Expressions components

Rspamd support the following components within expressions:

  • Regular expressions
  • Internal functions
  • Lua global functions (not widely used)

Regular expressions

In rspamd, regular expressions could match different parts of messages:

  • Headers (should be Header-Name=/regexp/flags), mime headers
  • Full headers string
  • Textual mime parts
  • Raw messages
  • URLs

The match type is defined by special flags after the last / symbol:

  • H - header regexp
  • X - undecoded header regexp (e.g. without quoted-printable decoding)
  • B - MIME header regexp (applied for headers in MIME parts only)
  • R - full headers content (applied for all headers undecoded and for the message only - not including MIME headers)
  • M - raw message regexp
  • P - part regexp without HTML tags b64/qp decoded
  • Q - raw part regexp with HTML tags unencoded
  • C - spamassassin BODY regexp analogue(see http://spamassassin.apache.org/full/3.4.x/doc/Mail_SpamAssassin_Conf.txt)
  • D - spamassassin RAWBODY regexp analogue (raw part regexp with HTML tags b64/qp decoded)
  • U - URL regexp
  • $ - from 1.8: selectors regular expression (must include name of the registered selector)

From 1.3, it is also possible to specify long regexp types for convenience in curly braces:

  • {header} - header regexp
  • {raw_header} - undecoded header regexp (e.g. without quoted-printable decoding)
  • {mime_header} - MIME header regexp (applied for headers in MIME parts only)
  • {all_header} - full headers content (applied for all headers undecoded and for the message only - not including MIME headers)
  • {body} - raw message regexp
  • {mime} - part regexp without HTML tags
  • {raw_mime} - part regexp with HTML tags
  • {sa_body} - spamassassin BODY regexp analogue(see http://spamassassin.apache.org/full/3.4.x/doc/Mail_SpamAssassin_Conf.txt)
  • {sa_raw_body} - spamassassin RAWBODY regexp analogue
  • {url} - URL regexp
  • {selector} - from 1.8: selectors regular expression (must include name of the registered selector)

Each regexp also supports the following flags:

  • i - ignore case
  • u - use utf8 regexp
  • m - multiline regexp - treat string as multiple lines. That is, change “^” and “$” from matching the start of the string’s first line and the end of its last line to matching the start and end of each line within the string
  • x - extended regexp - this flag tells the regular expression parser to ignore most whitespace that is neither backslashed nor within a bracketed character class. You can use this to break up your regular expression into (slightly) more readable parts. Also, the # character is treated as a metacharacter introducing a comment that runs up to the pattern’s closing delimiter, or to the end of the current line if the pattern extends onto the next line.
  • s - dotall regexp - treat string as single line. That is, change . to match any character whatsoever, even a newline, which normally it would not match. Used together, as /ms, they let the . match any character whatsoever, while still allowing ^ and $ to match, respectively, just after and just before newlines within the string.
  • O - do not optimize regexp (rspamd optimizes regexps by default)
  • r - use non-utf8 regular expressions (raw bytes). This is default true if raw_mode is set to true in the options section.

Internal functions

Rspamd supports a set of internal functions to do some common spam filtering tasks:

  • check_smtp_data(type[, str or /re/]) - checks for the specific envelope argument: from, rcpt, user, subject
  • compare_encoding(str or /re/) - compares message encoding with string or regexp
  • compare_parts_distance(inequality_percent) - if a message is multipart/alternative, compare two parts and return true if they are inequal more than inequality_percent
  • compare_recipients_distance(inequality_percent) - check how different are recipients of a message (works for > 5 recipients)
  • compare_transfer_encoding(str or /re/) - compares message transfer encoding with string or regexp
  • content_type_compare_param(param, str or /re/) - compare content-type parameter param with string or regexp
  • content_type_has_param(param) - return true if param exists in content-type
  • content_type_is_subtype(str or /re/ - return true if subtype of content-type matches string or regexp
  • content_type_is_type(str or /re/)- return true if type of content-type matches string or regexp
  • has_content_part(type) - return true if the part with the specified type exists
  • has_content_part_len(type, len) - return true if the part with the specified type exists and have at least len length
  • has_fake_html() - check if there is an HTML part in message with no HTML tags
  • has_html_tag(tagname) - return true if html part contains specified tag
  • has_only_html_part() - return true if there is merely a single HTML part
  • header_exists(header) - return true if a specified header exists in the message
  • is_empty_body() - return true if the message has no payload body
  • is_html_balanced() - check whether HTML part has balanced tags
  • is_recipients_sorted() - return true if there are more than 5 recipients in a message and they are sorted
  • raw_header_exists() - does the same as header_exists

Many of these functions are just legacy but they are supported in terms of compatibility.

Lua atoms

Lua atoms now can be lua global functions names or callbacks. This is a compatibility feature for previously written rules.

Regexp objects

From rspamd 1.0, it is possible to add more power to regexp rules by using of table notation while writing rules. A table can have the following fields:

  • callback: lua callback for the rule
  • re: regular expression (mutually exclusive with callback option)
  • condition: function of task that determines when a rule should be executed
  • score: default score
  • description: default description
  • one_shot: default one shot settings

Here is an example of table form definition of regexp rule:

config['regexp']['RE_TEST'] = {
    re = '/test/i{mime}',
    score = 10.0,
    condition = function(task)
        if task:get_header('Subject') then
            return true
        end
        return false
    end,
}