In January 2007, MAPS (Mail Abuse Prevention System) co-founder Paul Vixie noted on the NANOG mailing list that he continues to receive significant traffic from sites attempting to query the “rbl.maps.vix.com” blocking list.
The DNS zone “rbl.maps.vix.com” was the original zone for the MAPS Realtime Blackhole List (RBL), the first widely-used anti-spam DNSBL. The zone has long since been replaced with another, named blackholes.mail-abuse.org.
The queries against rbl.maps.vix.com will never return anything valid. It’s my understanding that you currently would get no response, and it will block no more mail. You risk eventually blocking wanted mail, if Vixie later decides to implement a wildcard listing strategy, to force sites to stop using his list. (This would make all inbound mail to any site using the list bounce.)
If you currently have rbl.maps.vix.com on the list of DNSBLs you are querying, please remove it. As indicated above, there is currently no spam-blocking value, and there is potential for future risk.
It appears that RBLSMTPD, a tool to allow sites to utilize DNSBLs to block mail, widely utilized in conjunction with qmail, will default to querying rbl.maps.vix.com. If you use RBLSMTPD, please review your configuration to ensure that you’re not contributing to this problem.
If you are attempting to use the MAPS RBL, please do not simply change over to the blackholes.mail-abuse.org zone. The MAPS services are not free, and are blocked from unregistered access. Please see the MAPS website for more information.
If you’re looking for a free, reputable blocking list suite to try, my recommendation would be to consider Spamhaus’s ZEN combined list. I plan to post an article about them very soon, and I’ll link to that from here, after it’s posted.
It's very unlikely that you would see a bounced email message making reference to rbl.maps.vix.com. If you do see such a bounce, it is likely in error. Contact the site (from another email account or via telephone call) and point them toward this site for further information.