[OT but please read] ORBS blacklisting ns1.samba.org

Peter Samuelson peter at cadcamlab.org
Tue Aug 22 04:59:53 GMT 2000

[David Ford <david at kalifornia.com>]
> I didn't say ORBS spammer list, I said blacklist.

OK, but saying "their blacklist" in that context gave me the strong
impression that you meant their main blacklist -- the list of open
relays (which is, after all, what ORBS is all about).  Many people
don't know that ORBS has different lists for different "offenses".

> It isn't a 'mail admin mistake'.  ORBS groups all hosts, bad or good
> in spammer havens as  You can't distinguish bad hosts from
> good hosts in that block unless they are also registered elsewhere.

The mail admin mistake is in using ORBS for Spamhaus blocking.  They
don't do a very good job of it, because that's not their focus.
Ideally you should use ORBS for open-relay blocking *only*, and
something like MAPS for Spamhaus blocking.

I say it's a mail admin mistake because ORBS is very clear in their
documentation that covers entire netblocks -- *unlike* their
core competency, open relays.  If you don't want to reject an entire
netblock because it's owned by a spam-friendly ISP, you need to ignore
the response!

If the mail admin is *knowingly* blocking whole netblocks on the basis
of reponses, that's another story and is clearly a local
policy decision you and I would both disagree with.  But I really don't
like the implication that the *only* way to use ORBS is to block on
*all* their lists.  Doing that is unnecessary and (IMHO) irresponsible.

> People will stop blaming ORBS when ORBS stops their
> everybody-is-guilty-by-association-or-geography approach.

Ah, but the association is made clear by the actual RR returned.  It
would be a very different matter if ORBS gave you no way of
distinguishing a tainted netblock from a known relay.  But here it's
the *local admin* who lumps the netblocks in with the relay hosts.

Well, I've said my piece, about as clearly as I can.  These arguments
always go in circles, and this list isn't exactly about mail abuse, so
I'm hoping this will be my last post on the subject.  Sorry for the
commotion, all ye bystanders....


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