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Blocklist relays.ordb.org has "listed the entire world"

Darren S

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I had a client notify us yesterday (03/26/2008) that they have not received any inbound email all day but were able to send email. I searched for their domain in bl.spamcop.net but it was not listed. Their ISP noted that none of their ports were blocked. They were using MDaemon 7.4.3 (from Alt-N Technologies and the webmail was WorldClient mail). Anyway, when I searched for the Alt-N domain it WAS listed in bl.spamcop.net.

I still could not determine the issue for the inbound email stoppage. Their ISP suggested I look on the ordb.org page to see if we were listed. I had remembered that this site was dead and a quick search returned the information below; however, when I found the results today I noticed there was an updated note dated yesterday (03/26/2008) which indicated that "ORDB has 'listed the entire world' " meaning ANY inbound email was getting blocked. Once this defunct blocklist was removed from the MDaemon settings the inbound email once again started to arrive.

I could determine one issue here and it was the MDaemon version was several levels old (current version is 9.3.x) and probably does not have the erroneous blocklist set as the default anymore. It was a good discovery so if anybody else has this blocklist in their settings then it could be preventing all inbound email.

--Darren S


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Status of relays.ordb.org: DEAD

Created by Thomas Jensen in 2001, the Open Relay Database (ORDB) was one of the multitude of open relay spam blacklists to come about in the wake of the legal troubles of Alan Brown and his New Zealand-based ORBS blacklist.

The ORDB service ceased operation on December 18, 2006. The website was retired on December 31, 2006.

The website indicated that blocking open relays is no longer as effective as it once was.

"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.â€

If you have checks against relays.ordb.org configured in your mail server or spam filtering software, please stop querying the list immediately. Use of the list will no longer block any unwanted spam, and the nameservers listed in the domain registration are likely overwhelmed with traffic. This is especially heightened due to the fact that the list was in wide, popular use, and also that it was so recently retired.

3/26/08 Update: ORDB has "listed the entire world" -- returning any query with a "listed" response. The result is that if you still have ORDB in your mail server config files, you're now blocking 100% of your inbound mail. For anyone still trying to "use" ORDB, you're not going to receive any inbound mail until you disable queries to it.

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Thanks Darren, I've seen reference to other people being caught by the recent relays.ordb.org change and was vaguely considering posting something to head off queries and puzzlement from people coming here for answers. But you've done it for us.

So, while it has nothing to do with the SCbl directly, I agree with the logic in having something posted in this forum, rather than the lounge or another forum.

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Agreed, Farelf, and I'm glad my post may help others resolve their issues also. I did not see a reference to this issue or the ordb.org problem when I searched the Forum so I ended up posting about it. It is not directly related to the SCbl itself but more along the lines of the "Blocking List" tab from the main page where you search for a domain as that is where our client's webmail "manufacturer" IP was listed. It was never listed in the bl.spamcop.net area but since one can't search the relays.ordb.org list anymore it seemed appropriate to post here.

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