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BlueWolf's Howl

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August 29, 2003

Spam Blocking

Well...it seems some more strangeness has happened upon the Internet community...

Osirusoft has blacklisted the entire world.

And you say, "So what? I don't even know who they are. Why would I care?" You'll care when you can't get mail through to someone. Who won't get the mail? Well...that's anybody's guess.

Osirusoft is one of those companies that helps admins to fight spam. They keep a list of spammer's IP addresses and a list of "open relays" (mail servers that are easy to use to spam people). Admins use the list (and others like it) in conjunction with spam filtering software to lessen the amount of junk you get in your inbox. Yes, even though you get a bunch, you could be getting a whole lot more!

It seems that there's been a long DDoS attack on the site for several weeks. It may or may not be related to the SoBig virus. In any event, since the site is unavailable, the owner wanted to get the admins to stop using his list. So the last update he made (which entered into mail configurations) blocked everyone in the world. [He put a ban on *.*.*.* which is a wildcard that matches ALL IP addresses.] This means that any mail server using this method to fight spam will reject all mail as spam. The "fix" is to not use his list (that he's trying to take down). It's not exactly graceful, but effective.

If your mail server uses this software to block spam, you already know it. Your mail stopped (probably on the 26th) and your admin figured it out and got the mail running again. If you wrote to someone whose mail server uses this method, you may receive some strange bounce notices.

Posted by BlueWolf on August 29, 2003 05:55 AM