spamassassin-users December 2011 archive
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spamassassin-users: Re: DNSWL will be disabled by default as of

Re: DNSWL will be disabled by default as of tomorrow

From: Kevin A. McGrail <KMcGrail_at_nospam>
Date: Tue Dec 13 2011 - 12:44:33 GMT
To: Dave Warren <>

On 12/13/2011 2:19 AM, Dave Warren wrote:
> On 12/12/2011 5:27 PM, Karsten Bräckelmann wrote:
>> No. SA should be usable out-of-the-box with best possible performance
>> for the majority of users.
> Perhaps a better long-term solution would be to validate DNS lists
> before using them?
> One possible implementation would be to test to ensure that
> is not listed, and is listed (with the testing criteria
> being configurable, but this is a starting point that will work for
> most lists).
> If a list is down or unresponsive for any reason, discards requests or
> blanks their zone file, the test entry would fail and SA would know to
> not use the list. Similarly, should never be listed for any
> DNSBL that I'm aware of, and so when a list moves to a list-the-world
> configuration, this entry would spot it.
Unfortunately, 1 is a bitwise answer I've seen it used. In fact, just
checking real quick, I've got an RBL that uses 1 on a live server now.

# Last octet of A record is a bitmask:
# x & 1 => greylist
# x & 2 => dirty
# x & 4 => spammer
# x & 8 => good

IMO, unfortunately again there is no standard to RBL responses though I
think that multi/combined lists could define an octet that is a blocked
answer combine with a simple rule.

Then they just need to be publishing a combined list to do that and not
use the other octets (i.e. return the bitwise for blocked only or at
least no purposefully incorrect answers). The score on the rule that
acknowledges a block should be minimal and the message on the rule would
have to link to a generic page on SA's wiki regarding "free for some"
services. It should NOT lead to a subscription page for a vendor. We
are not an advertising service.

If the RBL is using a combined bitwise solution, that's a solution that
would work in the existing rule structure on multiple SA platforms.

Hopefully, they can also give a high TTL on the blocked query answer so
caching is more effective but at the end of the day, this still means
querys are coming in. So what has the RBL operator gained? Blocking
seems to be the only thing that really achieves the goal they want
beyond conversion to paying customers which is not SA's issue.