Status of dnsbl.tqmcube.com: DEAD

The DNSBL TQMCUBE was created by David Cary Hart sometime in 2004 or 2005. The front page of the website www.tqmcube.com was modified to specifically become the homepage of the TQM blacklist in January of 2006.

August 17, 2009 update: A reader was kind enough to let me know that the TQMCUBE blacklist is now officially dead and gone. The TQMCUBE website now redirects to the website of another blacklist called the invaluement Anti-Spam DNSBL. Please see this page for more information.

Below find my commentary from 2007 from around the time the TQMCUBE project seemed to have first gone dormant.

From 2007: Various sources and my own investigation show that the website seems to be running on autopilot with nobody at the helm.

A postmaster at a large ISP contacted me and indicated that he had received no response to DNSBL remove requests submitted to TQM. Those requests were submitted on March 27th, and it is now June 30th (2007) that I write this article.

Other data points showing that the list appears to be unmanned and likely abandoned:

  • The list's website has a "last update" date of March 11, 2007.

  • The last known response received in reply to a blacklist remove request seems to have been in February, 2007.

  • I contacted David Cary Hart via email to the address on his domain registration on June 20th, 2007, and have not received a reply.

  • I contacted the abuse desk of his ISP (Fortress ITX) and asked them to confirm that he was alive. This was on June 24th. I received a ticket number but no other response.

  • The DNSBL's experimental world zone has not been operational since December, 2006.

  • The last known sighting of Mr. Hart online appears to be here, from April 2007.

  • This newsgroup posting from Colin Leroy on June 14, 2007 indicates that Colin had last seen email from Mr. Hart back in December, 2006. The email was a message posted to a mailing list that they both participate in.

  • Others have indicated to me that they have called the telephone number in the TQMCUBE domain registration, and that the voice mail box associated with this phone number is full, no longer accepting new messages.

This thread in the news.admin.net-abuse.email newsgroup wondering why the list's administrators are non-responsive is typical of the discussion I've come across during my investigation. I am receiving numerous reports of issues with listings going unresolved. Additionally, when checked against my personal spamtrap data (8000+ spams/day) I am seeing the effectiveness of this blacklist trending downward over the past few weeks.

After careful consideration of all of the facts and discussion surrounding the status of TQM and its maintainer, I do not think it is wise to use the TQMCUBE blacklist.

November 25, 2007 update: Within the past week, a large number of entries have been removed from the TQMCUBE blacklist database. The Internet Wayback Machine suggests that TQMCUBE had 1.37 million IP addresses listed on August 29, 2007. As of today, November 25th, the TQMCUBE website suggests that there are approximately 851,000 active listings.

Status of blackholes.intersil.net: DEAD

I've recently received a few requests regarding blackholes.intersil.net. According to this message to news.admin.net-abuse.blocklisting, this blacklist was retired in July, 2006.

Confusingly, the zone still contains a test entry. Regardless, I've seen no hits against it in a very long time. Therefore, if you are using this DNSBL for spam blocking, I recommend you cease doing so.

If you have any further information about this blacklist, please feel free to contact me.

Status of blacklist.spambag.org: DEAD

As of Sunday, May 27th, 2007, the blacklist Spambag, with the DNSBL zone blacklist.spambag.org, is no longer available. The website www.spambag.org does not resolve to an IP address, and there appear to be no DNS entries under the DNSBL sub-zone.

Spambag, created and run by Sam Varshavchik, developer of the Courier mail server, has been operating this list since at least November, 2001.

The list had the following listing criteria: "[Spambag is my] personal list of networks who I block from sending me mail or accessing my web servers, because I believe the networks actively or passively allow abusive or antisocial behavior. Examples of what I consider abusive or antisocial behavior are: spamming, mailbombing, mail server dictionary attacks, and web page E-mail address harvesting."

I last noted a hit against this DNSBL on May 26th, at 1:34 am US central time. Note that I was not a user of this list; I simply measure its effectiveness and status, like I do for many other blacklists.

This post to news.admin.net-abuse.email explains that Sam Varshavchik shut the list down, and that he felt his efforts had not been as productive as he would've liked them to be.

I would recommend removing blacklist.spambag.org from your list of DNSBLs to check, as it is no longer in operation.