OT: Spamcop BL - good or dangerous?

Matt Kettler mkettler at evi-inc.com
Wed Nov 29 20:04:45 GMT 2006

Scott Silva wrote:
> DAve spake the following on 11/29/2006 7:29 AM:
>> John Rudd wrote:
>>> Paul Kelly :: Blacknight Solutions wrote:
>>>> Gerard Seibert wrote:
>>>>> On Wednesday November 29, 2006 at 06:21:54 (AM) Arthur Sherman wrote:
>>>>>> Sometimes I get a message from any of lists I'm subscribed to, that
>>>>>> mail to
>>>>>> my address bounces.
>>>>>> And as a reason I see Spamcop blocking sender's (legitimate) server.
>>>>>> Here comes the question:
>>>>>> What would you use instead of Spamcop?
>>>>>> It gotta be free service, and the more lists the better: right now,
>>>>>> Spamcop
>>>>>> is #1 blocking BL in the logs.
>>>>>> I am afraid if I drop it, the blocking will be worse.
>>>>> SpamCop does not block legitimate servers. I use SpamCop myself.
>>>> I'm sorry, but that is complete rubbish. SpamCop users blatantly report
>>>> every and any e-mail they receive even double opt-in mailing lists etc.
>>>> It is an extremely dangerous BL to use if you wish to get legitimate
>>>> e-mail.
>>>> The only rbl of use (at smtp transaction time) is xbl. Anything else
>>>> will drop legitimate mail, that is a fact.
>>> I'm with you up until this point.
>>> Spamcop is absolute trash when it comes to just about every aspect of
>>> their operations ... so I wouldn't trust their RBL at all.  At most, I
>>> might use it in SpamAssassin with a _VERY_ low score.  Even then, I
>>> would be suspicious of their reliability.
>>> However, I don't think XBL is the only valid RBL to use at SMTP time.
>>> I've found SBL to be useful, and spamhaus in general to be reliable
>>> and accurate (not just their XBL).  I therefore expect that I'll also
>>> be using the PBL (and thus zen.spamhaus.org) in the near future.
>> We have been using zen.spamhaus.org for about two weeks now with
>> excellent results, not one reported false positive. My users would let
>> me know in a heartbeat if there were.
>> It's too new to recommend, but I would certainly suggest doing your own
>> testing as it is looking very promising. The big plus for us was PBL
>> replaced our dialup RBL with better results, and no FP.
>> DAve
> I am still waiting for Spamhaus to list the PBL on their frontpage. Until then
> I am going to have to consider it beta. If they don't list it, I have to think
> they are not ready for it to go "prime time".

I'd agree.. However, if you're checking return-codes you *can* switch to using
zen right now. As long as you're only acting on the SBL and XBL return codes,
you should be fine with that.

That said, I'm being "aggressive" and checking all the return codes, but right
now PBL is returning nothing. That said, even if PBL did start returning things,
all it will on my system do is cause mail to get greylisted.

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