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Spam The Internet

The Imminent Demise of SORBS 290

Posted by kdawson
from the don't-let-it-be-bought-by-a-spammer dept.
An anonymous reader lets us know about the dire straits the SORBS anti-spam blacklist finds itself in. According to a notice posted on the top page, long-time host the University of Queensland has "decided not to honor their agreement with... SORBS and terminate the hosting contract." The post, signed "Michelle Sullivan (Previously known as Matthew Sullivan)," says that the project needs either to "find alternative hosting for a 42RU rack in the Brisbane area of Queensland Australia" or to find a buyer. Offers are solicited for the assets of SORBS as an ongoing anti-spam service — it's now handling over 30 billion DNS queries per day. An update to the post says "A number of offers have already been made, we are evaluating each on their own merits." Failing a successful resolution, SORBS will cease operations on July 20, 2009 at 12 noon Brisbane time. Such a shutdown could slow or disrupt anti-spam efforts for large numbers of mail hosts worldwide.
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The Imminent Demise of SORBS

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  • No big loss! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @08:51PM (#28447835)

    A blacklist that charges you to get your IP removed will inevitably block far more than real spammers.

    • Re:No big loss! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CarpetShark (865376) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:44PM (#28448171)

      A blacklist that charges you to get your IP removed...

      ...is otherwise known as extortion.

      • by Sorthum (123064)

        Actually, Barracuda's "whitelist" is far worse in this regard.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Cramer (69040)

        In their words, "it's not extortion as *we* don't see any of the money." It's still bullshit.

        I've had issue with them for many years... their "spamtrap" list is 100% untrustable. It only takes one email EVER to get on the list. They provide zero evidence of how you got on the list, just that you are on it. Enties never, ever, expire. And to get off the list... you have to "make a donation." (But if you're google, you get removed without ever knowing you were listed.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by montyzooooma (853414)
        Isn't that the real problem? SORBS doesn't find anyone else to give them a home (good!) but then sell out to a bunch of crooks who start running the blacklist as a real extortion tool for profit.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tehSpork (1000190)
        It's worth noting that pointing the extortion racket out during communications intended to get you removed from said blacklist will result in you never hearing another word from the people at SORBS. Funny thing though: After referring (numerous) complaining customers to SORBS as the source of all their woes I found myself removed from the blacklists in short order. Odd how that works.
    • I agree - Blacklists are a pain! My brother's domain got randomly blacklisted, as did another business venture I'm involved with. None of them were spammers, but email was blocked - And requests to be 'unblocked' went into what could best be described as a 'black' hole.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MightyMartian (840721)

        Blacklists are more than just a pain, they're as much a cancer on SMTP infrastructure as spam. And among cancers, SORBS is the worst. I'll be glad to see it die.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by wvmarle (1070040)

      I have a fixed IP address (according to my provider, BizNetvigator - I'm paying for a fixed address at least!) but according to SORBS I am in a "dynamic IP range", and they can not and will not unlist my IP address. As a result I am forced to relay my mails through the mail server of my provider. Totally unnecessary but it's the only way to assure delivery of e-mails. Many of my mails are rejected and bounce at smtp handshake level, I guess there will be plenty that are silently dropping it - both I conside

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mvdwege (243851)

        So talk to your provider. They're the ones misrepresenting your IP space.

        But that name says it all really. You're just a spammer, aren't you?

        Mart

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Minwee (522556)

      Having been on the pointy end of SORBS several times I can honestly say that I never had any trouble getting off of it. I never had to pay any money, make any threats, or invoke demons from the lower planes to do it.

      Every single time all I had to do was go to their web page and follow the simple directions given for removing myself from the naughty mailers list. No demands for small, unmarked bills were ever made and nobody ever tried to hassle me about it.

  • Oh my god (Score:4, Funny)

    by bhenson (1231744) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @08:53PM (#28447845) Homepage Journal
    Oh my god the spam is burning, burning I tell you
  • *snort* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by paitre (32242) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @08:55PM (#28447871) Journal

    "Such a shutdown could slow or disrupt anti-spam efforts for large numbers of mail hosts worldwide. "

    You're kidding, right?

    They have done more to give legitimate anti-spam efforts a black eye than ANY legislative attempts to 'solve' the problem ever could.

    I -used- to believe that 'collateral damage' was a legitimate 'tactic' in the fight against spammers. I've grown up since then.

    • Re:*snort* (Score:5, Interesting)

      by doctorcisco (815096) <doctorcisco@yahCOMMAoo.com minus punct> on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:02PM (#28447923)

      Mod parent up. The death of SORBS would be a net gain in the fight against spam. Blacklisting entire ISP's who are "insufficiently responsive" only makes sense if you don't care whether email gets delivered or not.

      doc

    • by LoadWB (592248)

      The only bad thing about this is the loss of mirrors of GOOD lists it provides.

    • Re:*snort* (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lawpoop (604919) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:08PM (#28447961) Homepage Journal
      Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it the case nowadays that blackhole lists ( or whatever they're called ) are used mainly as a factor in weighing scores in Bayesian methods of filtering spam, rather than just blocking email outright? In other words, the usage is still widespread, not for direct blocking, but for helping a program decide if its spam or not?

      If so, this would let more spam through spam filters, really.
      • Re:*snort* (Score:5, Informative)

        by paitre (32242) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:11PM (#28447977) Journal

        The -smart- people are doing precisely that.

        The problem is that there really are still people out there who are using lists, such as SORBS, as absolute arbiters in what is, or is not, from a spam source.

        Thankfully, this number is shrinking daily as they realize just how broken some of these lists have been as a matter of policy.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by EdIII (1114411) *

          There are not a lot of products out there that support anything but blocking based on those RBL's.

          I would love to find a proprietary product out there that uses the RBL's like that and also provides the features I am looking for.

          So far I have not run into too many problems with the outright blocking though. I figure if there is a real problem, that I will get a support call from a customer and I can act accordingly. So far, no calls after 3 years of running like this with quite a number of mail clients an

          • You dont count (Score:5, Insightful)

            by coryking (104614) * on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @10:02PM (#28448263) Homepage Journal

            Your parent is right. There does exist a set of clueless people who straight filter based on RBL's like SORBS. Sure, filter your home mail server any way you want, but the *second* you have third-party people using your system (or the second you run the mail server for a business), you should be outright fired for filtering based solely on something like SORBS.

            I figure if there is a real problem, that I will get a support call from a customer and I can act accordingly

            That is because I dont waste my time calling you. I call your boss and your sales department. If you really are running a business mail server and filtering based on SORBS, you are basically clueless and I'll gain nothing talking to you Your sales staff though, I'm sure they'd be happy to know you are blocking my customers inquiries into your companies products. And I'm probably also sure that if you are the type who filters like that, they probably have a bunch of other issues with the way you run their systems and this just might be the straw that broke the camels back.

            • and you are asking if there exists products that don't outright block based on crap like SORBS. In which case "You" refers the general type of idiot who I've dealt with that does block based on SORBS.

              • by EdIII (1114411) * on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @10:23PM (#28448355)

                Wow. That's a lot of hostility there.

                First off, I never said I used SORBS. I did some research first about which ones would probably be best, respond to delisting requests in a timely fashion, and could provide me with a list that was had a lot of maintenance. Spamhaus and Spamcop are fairly decent and AFAIK, they DO respond to delisting requests and don't just put IP blocks up willy nilly.

                I'm hardly an idiot. If I could find an open source software package capable of doing what I require, I would have gone that way a long time ago. As it stands, I have to use a proprietary software package that does not allow me to weight the incoming emails based of *any* RBL's. I can only refuse the connection based on the RBL's.

                My original point stands. You want to be so incredibly hostile and label anyone that dares to use a RBL (or maybe just SORBS, could you clarify?) as an idiot, but fail to realize just how many mail server software packages out there don't do what you are asking for.

                Try taking the hostility down a notch or two, and if you are so knowledgeable about mail server product that do offer weighting based on RBL's, why not just post it here for people to read? Maybe there are people new to running a mail server, don't understand the implications of a RBL (which hardly makes them an idiot), and would gladly implement a better solution.

                Or... you could just attack people personally and denounce them for being idiots without actually writing anything productive while foaming at the mouth.

                • by coryking (104614) * on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @10:32PM (#28448389) Homepage Journal

                  A lot of people have had their lives turn into a living hell because of some listing on SORBS. Thus if it wasn't me who chewed you out, somebody else probably would have :-)

                  Spamhaus's PBL?* I filter on that... the friggen ISP's make up most of that list. I'm pretty damn sure AOL and friends filter off that list too and my motto is "if AOL or Yahoo filters mail based on XYZ policy, I will too". Plus, you can get off that list on a web page.

                  It is SORBS that I have an issue with. SORBS was created out of pure spite. So my apologies random internet person :-)

                  * Excepting Godaddy who is fucking insane. Those assholes filter *URL's pointing to a PBL'd IP that are embedded in a message*!!! Worse, they dont tell you. Had fun learning that.

                  • by omnichad (1198475)
                    Yeah. That GoDaddy thing had me confused for the longest time. I don't remember how I ever figured it out. I never saw it written anywhere, that's for sure. They. Should. Die. For that.
                  • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                    by mynubarta (1583769)
                    "A lot of people have had their lives turn into a living hell because of some listing on SORBS." Yes, and because SORBS volunteers were at times unprofessional and trollish in their responses for removal, it is just as well they are shutdown. Most other RBL volunteers would not behave this way, except SPEWS or whatever name changed to.
                    • Are those who let people delist simply by visiting a website and clicking "unlist me". After that, they are instantly unlisted. See also--spamhaus. You can pretty much outright block traffic listed in the PBL.

                    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                      by NitroWolf (72977)

                      Holy shit, SPEWS. I had forgotten about that... the guy was worse than SORBS. Wasn't he the creator of Courier as well? How can someone that messed up create something like Courier? Or maybe I am thinking of someone else...

                      But yeah, SPEWS was a giant bag of shit. Thanks for reminding me there was something worse than SORBS.

                  • by siliconincdotnet (525118) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @12:27AM (#28449053) Homepage

                    > It is SORBS that I have an issue with. SORBS was created out of pure spite.

                    No, you're confusing "spite" with "greed". There's a difference. Spite is blacklisting a spammer's ISP in a fit of anti-spam zealotry. Greed is blacklisting a spammer's ISP hoping to extort a huge amount of money from them so their customers can send email again, and then blacklisting them again right after you un-blacklist them (yes, SORBS does this).

                    Good riddance to them. They've done nothing but tarnish the reputation of legitimate RBLs.

                    Spamcop, Spamhaus, and Uceprotect are plenty of RBL for me.

                  • my motto is "if AOL or Yahoo filters mail based on XYZ policy, I will too".

                    AOL and Yahoo are some of the worst for filtering on crazy criteria. They are also *very* bad at responding to mail server operators who want to discuss what they can do to get off their block lists...

                  • by aaribaud (585182)
                    Plus, you can get off that list on a web page. Wish it were that easy. My ISP provides its users with dynamic and static IPs, from different RIPE ranges, clearly identified, and there is no way a user can switch from one type to another, so users with a static IP will keep it no matter what. Yet, Spamhaus:
                    • flags as wide as /16 ranges when blacklisting these static IPs, causing wide collateral damage
                    • refuses to deal with users (regardless of whether these users are actual spammers or were just collateral dam
                • If I could find an open source software package capable of doing what I require, I would have gone that way a long time ago. As it stands, I have to use a proprietary software package that does not allow me to weight the incoming emails based of *any* RBL's. I can only refuse the connection based on the RBL's

                  I'm curious what you are doing that can't be done with one of the Free MTAs...?

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by ZorinLynx (31751)

            >I would love to find a proprietary product out there that uses the RBL's like that and also provides the features I am looking for.

            http://spamassassin.apache.org/ [apache.org]

            Why does the solution have to be proprietary? SA works great. Out of thousands of spams that come into my account per day, maybe only 1 or 2 make it through, and there's no almost no false positives lately.

      • When I had to switch ISPs, my static IP ended up in the middle of a block of addresses blocked by SORBS. Dealing with that miserable, vile prick who was running it was impossible, and finally my new ISP went to bat for me. Despite all of that, no less than Hotmail was still blocking based solely on SORBS.

        SORBS is bad. Michael/Michelle/Debbie/Frank/Whoever is a worthless repugnant piece of scum.

        • by TheLink (130905)
          I had that problem with Hotmail+SORBS too. Hotmail is so crap I don't know why so many people keep insisting on using it as their primary email. Use it for junk you don't care about (since Hotmail seems to be happy to delete emails after just a short time of disuse).

          As for SORBS, I hope they get shutdown permanently. Good riddance.
      • Not much. It's computationally expensive to scan for blacklist based email, accept the deluges of it, and then process it. A small shop might not have the spare horsepower to do sophisticated processing, which takes some knowledge and some negotiation with your clients about how much to block accidentally versus how much to allow.

        So SORBS' demise may slow some filtering that previously blocked it at the IP address. But there are at least half a dozen, more legitimate, less offensively capricious blackhole l

      • by mortonda (5175)

        Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it the case nowadays that blackhole lists ( or whatever they're called ) are used mainly as a factor in weighing scores in Bayesian methods of filtering spam, rather than just blocking email outright? In other words, the usage is still widespread, not for direct blocking, but for helping a program decide if its spam or not?

        As paitre says, the smart people are... but it's not as clear cut as that. Some locations receive so much traffic they have to weed out some connections at the SMTP level. This is usually done wish a conservative DNSBL, and greylisting. After that, messages can be subjected to a gauntlet of tests and the final answer based on the sum of those tests. Some degree of SMTP level filtering at the front end saves a lot of resources on the backend scanning.

        Disclaimer/plug: I am a developer of Maia Mailguard

    • Re:*snort* (Score:5, Informative)

      by paitre (32242) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:09PM (#28447965) Journal

      And before anyone starts to give me any guff about being soft on spam -

      I've been known to nuke accounts, and not bother asking questions. I chased down the Empire Towers group and helped put an end to them. I spent 18 months cleaning up the -very- tarnished reputation of a now bought out web host almost 10 years ago, and have the scars to prove it. I hunted a spammer down and ratted him out to his own mother in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

      The news regarding Ralsky had me drop a shot in celebration.

      Believe me - I -detest- spam. At the same time, the methods utilized by SORBS were ineffective, and most legitimate hosts and providers stopped using them years ago.

      Selective DNSRBL systems, as a practical method, WORK. Blocking residential cable from sending email? Hella good idea, for example. Blocking known dial-up ranges, as well. Blocking webhosts in an attempt to get their customer base to force them into canceling contracts that may cost the web host hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars? Nuh-uh.

      When 'collateral damage' was useful, losses MIGHT have hit 10k. Now? Talking millions? Businesses will buy a new IP block and move the affected customers, and call it a day. Especially if they're blocked not because a customer has been an idiot, per se, but because the customer was hacked and used as a bot.

      So, yeah. Rock on with your bad selves.

      • by gad_zuki! (70830)

        >Believe me - I -detest- spam. At the same time, the methods utilized by SORBS were ineffective, and most legitimate hosts and providers stopped using them years ago.

        Actually, thats untrue. Our solution at work is to weigh multiple blacklists. Im not sure what SORBS is weighed but its part of the overall spam score. Less blacklists means we are at the mercy of one or two big blacklists instead of averaging out the craziness by a weighted forumula. SORBS' faults dont matter when theyre only a small part

        • More samples means better signal to noise.

          Does it also mean more DNS activity?

          I agree with your idea that a list can almost always be useful if it gets weighed in (even if it receives negative weighting!), but the thing you replied to and contested was "most legitimate hosts and providers stopped using them years ago." Are you actually saying that most legitimate providers have not stopped using them?

          As far as the "mercy of one or two big blacklists", that's the option I went for. I shopped around and looked at performance and looked at the metho

      • by omnichad (1198475)
        I don't think blocking IP addresses just because they look dynamic is a good idea. I tried to run a web server on a static (ok, sticky) IP address from a Pro AT&T DSL account. Just about half the blocklists still blocked the IP and some of them even denied delisting. For a small server with low bandwidth requirements, should there really be a data center tax? I, for one, don't like the Internet closing off into a pay-for-play system that spits on the open nature of the Internet.
        • So far as I'm concerned, if you've got a legitimate reverse entry that matches one of your MX records (I know there's still some debate over that, but I think it's good form), I'm letting your email through. I'll say it again, the real key to knocking the larger degree of spam and worms is not RBLs, it's greylisting. What little makes it past that can usually be nailed by Bayesian filters.

          It's a big world out there, and I don't think I should be punishing a guy who has a static IP address and has made the

          • by omnichad (1198475)
            Even had the reverse DNS. Former ISP wouldn't even do that for us, despite business plan and "real" static IP.
          • by mikael_j (106439)

            My problem here is that my current ISP (which is one of very few around here that I trust seeing as how I know a bit too much about the inside operations of way too many ISPs) currently charges me around $30/month for residental ADSL (fullt g.dmt) with an IP address that may or may not change depending on what mood they're in (had the same one for about six months right now). If I want a static IP address I'll need to upgrade to "business" DSL for around $100/month, for that I get the possibility of "purcha

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Znork (31774)

              You could take a look at VPN providers; I've noticed that some VPN providers provide solutions for exactly the problem you're having: static ip, configurable reverse, etc. At around $10-$15 per month it's certainly more affordable than a 'business DSL', and about on par with the cheapest virtual hosts you can get.

              And as an added plus, that would also allow you to switch providers at will without having to change any configurations for your servers.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Cramer (69040)

          My current static address from AT&T is listed in only one list... MAPS. Despite it being neither dynamic nor "dialup", they refuse to remove it first stating the request must come from the ISP, then stating the ISP explicitly listed the range with them as dynamic (which is a complete lie, as Bellsouth doesn't bother.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Just Some Guy (3352)

        When 'collateral damage' was useful,

        For some of us, that was never the case. There are three viable ISPs in my city: Qwest, cable, and the local mom-and-pop. I went with the latter to host my little home server because I knew the admins and the company had a good reputation. Now, suppose SORBS blocks [1] their upstream. What am I supposed to do, exactly? Switch to one of the mega-ISPs that will actively try to prevent me from running a server?

        No, the whole idea of collateral damage only looks good to sociopaths or people who've never had

    • Re:*snort* (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:21PM (#28448033)

      You're kidding, right?

      They have done more to give legitimate anti-spam efforts a black eye than ANY legislative attempts to 'solve' the problem ever could.

      I -used- to believe that 'collateral damage' was a legitimate 'tactic' in the fight against spammers. I've grown up since then.

      You get a big high five from me on that. On my previous job, SORBS caused us a lot of problems. It was very difficult to get off their lists once they listed you and if I remember correctly they also had a policy of not telling you why you were listed to begin with. I remember that one of the guys in our main European office was able to make friends with one of the SORBS guys in the same country and get some information about why we were blacklisted. Normally they didn't tell you why you were blacklisted, but this was some "countryman to countryman" special favor this SORBS guy did for us. We had a lot of email problems because some customers would use only SORBS for dealing with spam so if you're on the list, your email doesn't go through to them. I'm not saying that SORBS couldn't have been a useful minor part of an anti-spam solution, but all I saw was customers who blindly trusted SORBS and only SORBS and that made our life hell. I agree that I no longer think that SORBS' collection of tactics is legitimate. There are better ways to deal with spam and if SORBS dies, well, sign me up to dance on their grave.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:05PM (#28447949)

    I don't know if this is subterfuge, but:

    http://www.iadl.org/sorbs/sorbs-story.html [iadl.org]

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That site is run by a known net-kook.

      • by emurphy42 (631808)
        Evidence? I've never heard of them before (I'm not an e-mail admin of any sort), Google / Google Groups seem to turn up nothing supporting your claim, and whois just turns up a PO box that turns out to belong to an ISP (AV8 Internet Services) which may just happen to have the guy as a customer. So you could be lying, or I could be missing something; both seem plausible to me so far.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by e9th (652576)
        So is the FSF [fsf.org], but that alone is not reason to disregard it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by kv9 (697238)

      http://www.iadl.org/sorbs/sorbs-story.html

      I don't care how real or fake that is, but the drama is absolutely delicious.

  • Summary is absurd (Score:5, Informative)

    by Loki_1929 (550940) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:26PM (#28448061) Journal

    Any mail admin who's depending in any significant way on the anti-spam wasteland of SORBS should be on their way to apply for jobs at local fast food restaurants as soon as possible. Even if someone handling spam control for a decent size business actually believed in SORBS' accuracy or effectiveness, the only effect of SORBS disappearing from the face of the Earth should have is a slight uptick in spam being caught by filters slightly further down the path to their users' mailboxes.

    Seriously, is there anyone out there who isn't use a multi-tiered, inter-connected array of spam filtering methods at this stage of the game? ~96% of the mail going to my users is spam. My worst offender has some ~5300 messages a day of spam being filtered prior to reaching their inbox. If my best filter were rendered worthless tomorrow, I wouldn't expect to hear any complaints from users. (of course, I'd be pretty unhappy.)

    I think honeypots are probably my best weapon again spammers at the moment, followed by my keyword blacklists.

    • One of the best weapons against spam has been for several years now greylisting. Over 90% of the crap that gets flung at my mail server never makes it past the Postfix server I have sitting between my Exchange server (I know I know, I hate it, and I'd get rid of it if I could) and the outside world. RBLs maybe, just maybe, had some justification a decade ago, but they have none now, and only retards who should be set to work cleaning toilets still use them. I frankly wouldn't even use them as part of a w

  • Death to SORBS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:28PM (#28448073)

    I run an ISP in the midwest. SORBS has caused so many problems, I don't want to bore you all with them here. I briefly talked with Mr(s?) Sullivan via email back in 07 about several problems he caused by blocking subnets we had on both Nuvox and XO. His response to my email (which was long but detailed), I paster here for brevity:

    ---------snip---------
    F_ck off.

    Yours trully,
    ms
    ---------snip---------

    Hopefully, she/he takes up dancing at a crossdress clubs and stays the _hell_ off the internet.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mynubarta (1583769)
      Very unprofessional, Michelle, owner of SORBS. I don't care about your complicated personal life as others have brought it up here, but your comments like that to ISPs or whoever else is completely unneccessary. You DO NOT deserve any help in keeping SORBS up. I hope all your offers fall through. totally lame.
  • by fyrie (604735) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:33PM (#28448111)

    RIP Herc.

  • by aweraw (557447) <aweraw@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @10:33PM (#28448397) Homepage Journal

    ROM's being charged for: http://vampire.isux.com/ROMs/ [isux.com]

    Dubious images: http://vampire.isux.com/pics/x/ [isux.com]

    So what's going on Matthew... I mean, Michelle?

  • Good! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jidar (83795) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @10:59PM (#28448543)

    The death of SORBS should be good news to any decent ISP mail admin out there. Nothing like being forced to pay to get your mail server IP removed from a blacklist because you somehow can't keep the thousands of residential customers on your service from occasionally getting a virus and sending a few spams.
    SORBS sucks and has for years. Don't get me wrong, I hate spam as much as the next guy, but sometimes a few get through, that's just how it is.
    Luckily we haven't had much trouble with them lately since it seems that the vast majority of mail admins came to their senses and stopped using SORBS... frankly I'm surprised they need that many servers.

  • some good DNSBLs (Score:3, Informative)

    by Onymous Coward (97719) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @11:01PM (#28448549) Homepage

    I recommend Spamhaus XBL [spamcop.net] and Spamcop Blocking List [spamhaus.org] .

    Spamcop used to have problems, but I think they resolved them a couple years ago [dnsbl.com].

    Back when http://stats.dnsbl.com/ [dnsbl.com] was operational I used their data to give me a quick leg up on figuring out which lists to look at. Then I checked out the lists for how they operate and then did a performance analysis.

    Aside from policy/operation, two things that were particularly important to me were false positives and overlap. These lists get very low false positives and they combine nicely.

    Old stats:

    http://stats.dnsbl.com/zen.html [dnsbl.com]

    http://stats.dnsbl.com/spamcop.html [dnsbl.com]

  • by NitroWolf (72977) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @12:01AM (#28448931)

    This is the best news I've heard all week!

    SORBS is a blight on the anti-spam effort front and should have been run out of town on a rail years ago. It has done more damage to the perception of anti-spam lists than any other single entity on the internet. Hell, some spammers are better behaved and have better morals than the operator(s) of SORBS. I would literally turn to Microsoft or McAffee for anti-spam solutions before I'd even consider SORBS.

    I hope the dirtbags that ran SORBS end up destitute in a gutter somewhere.

  • full disclosure (Score:5, Interesting)

    by corbettw (214229) <corbettw@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @12:14AM (#28448995) Journal
    kdawson should've included the disclosure that SourceForge, one of Slashdot's sister companies, is a sponsor of SORBS. There's an ad on the right side of the SORBS main page touting this fact, so it's not like it should've been difficult for him to find to point out in the summary.
  • I maintain several mail servers for various clients. Dealing with spam takes up a lot of time and resources, but I have also spent a lot of time trying to get my legitimate fixed-IP business class IPs off of SORBS "dynamic IP" list. I think SORBS probably ended up being a net loss in the spam war, because admin resources that could have been spent fighting spam were instead spent trying to avoid friendly fire.

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @03:36AM (#28450017) Journal

      The reason SORBS is so universally reviled by a lot of the anti-spam crowd is because the creator and the whole cadre of folks that maintained (and I use that word hesitantly) really didn't seem nearly as interested in battling spam as in enforcing their own bizarre view of who should and should not be sending email. The entire ethos was abusive and ego-stroking. The last time I had problems, the one thing I noticed that was different than my old battles with this pack of scumbags was just how few mail servers seem to be using it now. Hotmail was what forced me to even bother dealing with it, because my employer does a lot of correspondence with people on Hotmail addresses (another cancer on SMTP). My general attitude about mail admins who reject messages because SORBS blacklists my IP address is "fuck you", because those admins, as I've said elsewhere, are either morons or just lazy and don't want to put the effort into building a good, solid, rugged SMTP server.

      What I can't believe is that SORBS still has some defenders, when my experience from the years when I was working most of my days as an admin for a few hundred domains was that SORBS was just as bad as spam. I really do hope that it is allowed to die, and maybe a few more retarded mail admins finally get the hint and start implementing measures that don't essentially poison SMTP.

  • by mvdwege (243851) <mvdwege@mail.com> on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @05:51AM (#28450511) Homepage Journal

    I use SORBS professionally. It works. It stops spam. The few times IP space from our customers got listed, they got delisted within 24 hours after contacting SORBS by e-mail. All it cost me was registering an account for my employer at SORBS.

    As usual in the discussion on blocklisting, Slashdot is being overrun by, ehm, 'legitimate biznizmen' and their supporters, and people who know jack shit about blocklisting and its history, but believe those who shout the loudest.

    Mart

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