The Spam Diaries

News and musings about the fight against spam.
 by Edward Falk

Friday, January 05, 2007

ORBD Blocklist Gone.

The ORBD (Open Relays DataBase) has closed up shop for good.

2006-12-18 11:34
We regret to inform you that, at the ripe age of five and a
half, is shutting down. It's been a case of a long goodbye as very
little work has gone into maintaining ORDB for a while. Our volunteer
staff has been pre-occupied with other aspects of their lives. In
addition, the general consensus within the team is that open relay RBLs
are no longer the most effective way of preventing spam from entering
your network as spammers have changed tactics in recent years, as have
the anti-spam community.

We encourage system owners to remove ORDB checks from their mailers
immediately and start investigating alternative methods of spam
filtering. We recommend a combination involving greylisting and
content-based analysis (such as the dspam project, bmf or Spam Assassin).

DNS and the mailing lists will vanish today, December 18, 2006.

This website will vanish by December 31, 2006.

The closure caused a certain amount of roughness in the DNS system. According to sources, the registrar allowed the domain holder to remove the authoritative nameserver records. This is causing name servers &mdash especially poorly-written ones — to redirect all ORDB queries straight to the .org top-level servers, which are now fielding on the order of 20,000 requests per second from over 200,000 unique IPs. It does give a good idea of how popular ORDB was before it shut down.

There are cleaner ways to shut down a block list — either set the nameserver record to null or point it to &mdash but apparently the word didn't get to the ORDB administrators in time. The TLD administrators are working with ORDB to resolve this issue.


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