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Showing posts with label rrss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rrss. Show all posts

Status of DEAD

The DNSBL is no longer valid. If you are using in a mail server or spam filtering product, please stop doing so immediately. It will not block any spam. No DNSBL has been available under this domain for years, and unexpected results may be returned.

It used to be the home to a list called the Radparker Relay Spam Stopper (RRSS). The RRSS was a list that I myself (Al Iverson) created in early 1999 to help mail server administrators reject mail from open relaying mail servers. Back then, open relays were the primary transmission vector for the worst-of-the-worst kinds of spam. I created the list primarily to offer an alternative to ORBS, an open relay blocking list run by Alan Brown out of New Zealand. (This ORBS was a sort of descendant of a previous ORBS, run in Canada by Alan Hodgson.) Alan (Brown) had a habit of getting into arguments with people who were listed, actively probing mail servers without permission, listing things that didn't actually qualify as an open relays, and so forth. I found it distasteful and unfriendly.

Major policy differences for my new alternative open-relay list included:

  • A remote server was not tested for open relay unless a spam message was received.

  • Public record was kept of the spam message, and test proving the site was an open relay.

  • Anybody could request that any listing be removed, and it would be removed.

The net result was that ORBS ended up imploding under various legal challenges, and the RRSS ended up becoming the Mail Abuse Prevention System (MAPS) RSS, later a component of a commercial spam-filtering solution, provided as of late by MAPS' current owners, Trend Micro.

Throughout the spring and summer of 1999, the RRSS list grew in popularity. At its peak, we figured that it was protecting over 350,000 mailboxes from open relay spam, and was used by quite a few local and regional ISPs, including USWest/Qwest.

I created the list on my own, on my spare time. Back then, it was hosted by my employer, with their permission. This meant that the company would occasionally get a screaming goober phone call from somebody whose mail got blocked, who couldn't figure out how to resolve the issue, and was sure that there was some giant conspiracy in place to harass them. (I probably wasn't as polite to some of those folks as I should have been, either.) Eventually enough of those calls started coming in that I decided it wasn't very wise to continue hosting the RRSS from my office at work. That's when I started talking to MAPS. They offered to host the project for me under the MAPS umbrella, a partnership I entered into somewhere around August or September 1999. Eventually my volunteer work turned into a full time job working for MAPS, where I continued to manage and develop the RSS project, as well as working as an investigator for the MAPS RBL (Realtime Blackhole List) project.

I left MAPS in October, 2000.

The zone was emptied out sometime after the project was moved to the MAPS' servers in California. That was back sometime in 1999 or 2000. It's not been used to host a DNSBL since.

Interestingly, the RRSS data, process, and code was my own intellectual property that I brought with me to MAPS, and never had any sort of formal agreement to transfer ownership to them. When I later left, I decided my heart lay elsewhere and I never pursued any sort of plan to take the project back unto myself. My friend Gordon Fecyk, who created what became the MAPS DUL, found himself in a similar situation when he left MAPS in 2002. In his case, he attempt to continue with his DUL project. This resulted in him being sued by MAPS, having been accused of stealing MAPS' own intellectual policy-- a claim I suspect was distorted and probably unfounded, as did others.

MAPS founder Paul Vixie recently posted to a mailing list that the original, long-dead MAPS RBL zone of is still receiving may queries against it. This got me to thinking – I did a bit of Google searching myself and found that there are still some people out there wondering if the RRSS zone of is working. So, here I am, posting this information, in the hope that the next time somebody's wondering, they'll query Google for more information, and find this page with the definitive answer: Nope, there is no DNSBL to be found at