Status of dnsbl.inps.de: DEAD

Christian Jung launched the inps.de DNSBL way back on December 29th, 2007.

Christian described the listing criteria as follows: "Every day thousands of spam e-mails arrive on our e-mail servers, which have to be processed by our anti-spam system. If an email is recognized as spam, the IP address of the sender is recorded in a blacklist for a certain period of time in order to enable faster email processing and reduce the system load."

Today, May 25, 2020, he has announced that it is shutting down, due to concerns around GDPR and personal challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

He appears to be shutting it down in a graceful manner -- not "listing the world" as so many lists do as they wind down. This is good to see.

Note that in addition to the DNSBL dnsbl.inps.de, this also affects the DNSWL (whitelist) found at dnswl.inps.de. Both are ceasing.

If you use either the whitelist or blocklist in your email server config, you'll want to disable those checks as soon as possible. 

Status of all.rbl.webiron.net and bsb.spamlookup.net: DEAD or BROKEN

Two anti-spam blocking lists appear to have died or malfunctioned recently.

Users on the Mailop mailing list are reporting that Webiron (all.rbl.webiron.net) blocklist appears to be malfunctioning. Its domain has expired and the temporary holding pattern pending payment or termination has resulted in the Webiron DNSBL effectively "listing the world" because of wildcard DNS entries.

Another list, BSB (bsb.spamlookup.net), a DNSBL focusing on "comment spam," also recently appears to have died, as reported by MX Toolbox back on April 17th.

When most lists "die" or malfunction, they often end up with wildcard DNS entries in place, as this is a common domain DNS setting implemented by registrars, domain speculators, or domain parkers. What this means is that every single DNSBL query made to the DNSBL's domain is falsely returns with "yes, block that IP address." Meaning your spam filter suddenly blocks 100% of your inbound mail. This is bad news, if you like to actually receive inbound mail.

If you're using either of these lists, you should cease doing so immediately, as their use may impede your ability to receive inbound mail successfully. As always, it's important to pay attention what DNSBLs you use for spam filtering, and periodically review and ensure that they still exist and that they're working properly.

And if you run a DNSBL, see RFC 6471 for best practices around DNSBL management, including how to appropriately shut one down.