dnsbl resource

Status of dnsbl.inps.de: DEAD

Christian Jung launched the inps.de DNSBL way back on December 29th, 2007.

Christian described the listing criteria as follows: "Every day thousands of spam e-mails arrive on our e-mail servers, which have to be processed by our anti-spam system. If an email is recognized as spam, the IP address of the sender is recorded in a blacklist for a certain period of time in order to enable faster email processing and reduce the system load."

Today, May 25, 2020, he has announced that it is shutting down, due to concerns around GDPR and personal challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

He appears to be shutting it down in a graceful manner -- not "listing the world" as so many lists do as they wind down. This is good to see.

Note that in addition to the DNSBL dnsbl.inps.de, this also affects the DNSWL (whitelist) found at dnswl.inps.de. Both are ceasing.

If you use either the whitelist or blocklist in your email server config, you'll want to disable those checks as soon as possible. 

Status of all.rbl.webiron.net and bsb.spamlookup.net: DEAD or BROKEN

Two anti-spam blocking lists appear to have died or malfunctioned recently.

Users on the Mailop mailing list are reporting that Webiron (all.rbl.webiron.net) blocklist appears to be malfunctioning. Its domain has expired and the temporary holding pattern pending payment or termination has resulted in the Webiron DNSBL effectively "listing the world" because of wildcard DNS entries.

Another list, BSB (bsb.spamlookup.net), a DNSBL focusing on "comment spam," also recently appears to have died, as reported by MX Toolbox back on April 17th.

When most lists "die" or malfunction, they often end up with wildcard DNS entries in place, as this is a common domain DNS setting implemented by registrars, domain speculators, or domain parkers. What this means is that every single DNSBL query made to the DNSBL's domain is falsely returns with "yes, block that IP address." Meaning your spam filter suddenly blocks 100% of your inbound mail. This is bad news, if you like to actually receive inbound mail.

If you're using either of these lists, you should cease doing so immediately, as their use may impede your ability to receive inbound mail successfully. As always, it's important to pay attention what DNSBLs you use for spam filtering, and periodically review and ensure that they still exist and that they're working properly.

And if you run a DNSBL, see RFC 6471 for best practices around DNSBL management, including how to appropriately shut one down.

Status of megarbl.net: DEAD

The DNSBL "MegaRBL.net" is no-more. According to the Internet Archive, MegaRBL had been around since at least some time in 2013. It was a non-commercial independently run spamtrap-driven blocking list. Mailop subscribers suggest the list may have been dead for years, but the Internet Archive shows its website being alive and active as recently as March 2019.

As of today, November 25, 2019, the blocklist's domain name appears to have expired and the new owner or domain registrar has implemented wildcard DNS. This has the net effect of "listing the world" and it means that if you use this DNSBL in your mail server configuration, you're likely to now be rejecting all attempts to send mail to your users.

You don't want that! Remove the "MegaRBL.net" DNSBL from your mail server configuration as soon as possible.

Status of bl.emailbasura.org: DEAD

The DNSBL Email Basura is no more. Email Basura ("Trash" in Spanish) appears to have been online since at least 2004, according to the Internet Archive. This anti-spam blocklist's DNSBL zone was "bl.emailbasura.org."

The domain emailbasura.org seems to have expired and been purchased by a domain speculator. The domain has wildcard DNS entries, meaning that any use of the old DNSBL zone in your email server may result in your server blocking all inbound mail. You don't want that! Remove the DNSBL zone "bl.emailbasura.org" from your mail server configuration as soon as possible.

Status of combined.rbl.msrbl.net: FIXED

If you use any of the MSRBL DNSBLs, take note: For the second time since 2017, the domain msrbl.net has expired and its name servers are responding positively to any DNS request.

This has the net effect of the DNSBL "listing the world." If you use any MSRBL blocklist in your mail server, you're blocking all mail from any IP address in the whole world.

So....don't do that!

The MSRBL's website at msrbl.com is up and running, but the DNSBL zones are not under "dot com" -- they are under "dot net."

June 14, 2019 Update: Looks like the DNSBL has been restored and is no longer "listing the world."

Status of exitnodes.tor.dnsbl.sectoor.de: DEAD

As reported by Word to the Wise, the DNSBL at exitnodes.tor.dnsbl.sectoor.de seems to have gone extinct. Like has happened with other lists in the past, the domain now contains a wildcard DNS entry which is bad news for DNSBLs. This means that those folks who use this DNSBL to filter mail are going to get a match on every possible IP address in the world. Every possible IP address will show up as listed, even though it's not actually listed by the blocklist.

As a result, I strongly suggest that mail administrators stop using the exitnodes.tor.dnsbl.sectoor.de DNSBL immediately.

DNSBL lookup sites should stop including exitnodes.tor.dnsbl.sectoor.de in blocklist results; the information they display would be incorrect and would scare people into thinking that they are listed, when they are not.

I don't know much about this DNSBL. Based on its name, it seems to exist to allow people to block mail from servers that host TOR Exit Nodes. If you're receiving anonymized harassing mail, that might be something you'd want to block.


The Internet Archive suggests that this list has been around since at least February 7, 2005.

June 6, 2018 Update: The DNS "wildcard" entry has been removed. This should stop any false positive issues, and means that the list is no longer "listing the world." However, the blocklist is still offline, seemingly for good, and I still strongly suggest that mail admins cease use of this list immediately.

Status of dnsbl.cyberlogic.net: BROKEN

As reported on the mailop mailing list on Friday May 25, 2018, the blocking list at dnsbl.cyberlogic.net now contains a "wildcard" DNS entry, effectively listing the entire internet. If you use this DNSBL in your mail server configuration, you should remove it immediately, as it will impede your ability to receive legitimate mail.

New blocklist: SPFBL

Leonardo from SPFBL shared the following information with me and I thought it would be useful to share it here with folks.

Status of bad.psky.me: QUESTIONABLE

Noted and respected spam filterer Spamhaus is indicating that they believe the the Protected Sky (bad.psky.me) blocklist is "fraudulent." They report that Protected Sky is "an anonymously-run DNSBL service which was pirating [Spamhaus] data and republishing it as its own work." Spamhaus further indicates that Protected Sky doesn't follow DNSBL best practices as indicated in RFC6471.

Status of anonwhois.org: DEAD

I first blogged about the ANONWHOIS blocking list back in 2010. It was very useful to identify domains were ownership information was cloaked from the public. Why? Because many of us in the anti-spam and security community think that for a domain being used for commercial purposes, it isn't right to hide who the owner is. And this obstruction to transparency is often exploited by bad guys who send spam and malware, to try to make it harder to identify them.

Status of bl.spamcannibal.org: DEAD

Back in 2016, I used this page to report on a temporary system issue with the Spam Cannibal DNSBL.

Today (May 30, 2018) I'm updating this page to let folks know that they should immediately cease using the Spam Cannibal blocking list. The domain spamcannibal.org seems to have expired and been taken over by somebody else. If you decide to visit the website, be careful! It tried to get me to install what I assume to be malware.

If you use this DNSBL in your mail server configuration, you're probably now rejecting all mail, as the domain has a wildcard DNS entry. This kind of thing makes a blocklist look like it has listed the whole world. Every IP address checked usually shows up as listed.

The Spam Cannibal DNSBL has been around since at least 2003. It was started by a gentleman that I think prefers to be anonymous, so I'm choosing not to name him. It was basically spamtrap-driven, though I believe it would sometimes list /24 blocks of IP addresses in response to some spamtrap hits. It wasn't that widely used, but back in the old days, it often put the fear of god into marketing senders when seeing a hit against this list on their favorite DNSBL checking tool. This was also good in that it helped to drive marketer understanding of how sending to bad addresses can cause bad things to happen. As the list was primarily spamtrap-driven, it was mostly safe for hobbyist mail server use (in my opinion, anyway).

I reached out to the publisher of the Spam Cannibal DNSBL He let me know that the DNSBL is dead and gone. It is no longer an ongoing concern.

Fifteen years is a pretty good run, if you ask me. I wish him best of luck on any future projects.

May 31, 2018 update: The operator of Spam Cannibal is working with some smart folks to shut down the list in a graceful fashion. While there is no longer a "wildcard DNS" issue, the list is no longer being updated and is retired; you should still remove it from your mail server configuration.

SURBL: Adding ABUSE sublist, deprecating SC & AB

The domain blocking list SURBL announced today that it is deprecating the SC (Spamcop) and AB (AbuseButler) sublists, migrating their data into a new ABUSE sublist. They note that the WS (Bill Stearns' sa-blacklist) sublist is also going to be migrated into ABUSE in 2016.

SURBL also recently announced the addition of SURBL-specific blocking notification messages to the popular SpamAssassin spam filtering software.