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  #1  
Old 11-15-2008, 03:27 PM
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Default URIBL.com - Do Not Use Their Email Black Lists

URIBL.com is a site that maintains an Email Blacklist and this is from their About Us page:

Quote:
"This lists contains domain names belonging to and used by spammers, including but not restricted to those that appear in URIs found in SPAM. This list has a goal of zero False Positives. This zone rebuilds frequently as new data is added."
Yes that's correct, domains found "in" spam are added to URIBL's email blacklist. Think about this for a second, i get your business email address and compose a spam email saying "Buy Male Enlargement Potions contact you@yourbusiness.com" in the message body.

I send it to my other email account, then report it to URIBL.com and your whole @yourbusiness.com mail accounts are blacklisted costing you thousands in revenue due to people filtering their mail based on URIBL.

Houston we have a problem!

You can be the most legitimate business under the sun, one that is totally against spam and does their best to fight it themselves. You can have a simple site MyFamilyName.com just for your family to share photos, it doesn't matter to URIBL.com they will list your whole domain on their spam blacklist due to someone who does not like you that files a fake complaint.

URIBL does not need to justify their actions, and it's impossible to show them proof you did not send an email which leaves the option of registering on their site and "sucking up" to hopefully get removed.

Remember, the email does NOT need to come from your domain and your server does not even need to have mail capabilities to be labelled an email spammer by URIBL. Your domain simply needs to be typed in to the message body of an email and reported to them as spam which anyone can do to you.

I hate spam as much as the next person, but the last thing we need is "Blacklist Cowboys" costing people thousands of dollars like URIBL.com does.

So if you need to mail Blacklist to filter your mail against, i highly recommend DO NOT use the services of URIBL.com

The other ironic thing, when i registered on URIBL their confirmation email ended up in my junk folder. Quite fitting really.
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  #2  
Old 12-23-2008, 06:03 PM
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Yup, I agree completely. They even have blacklisted bellsouth... I was using them for weeks until the many complaints form my customers that were not receiving emails from bellsouth accounts made me realize about it. I no longer use this IBL on my servers.
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  #3  
Old 01-13-2009, 12:46 PM
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Default I am one of those bussiness, is there anything we can do?

Hey,

I recently started a marketing business dealing only with customer based mailing lists. no SPAM.
However, I get listed on URIBL every week.

Talking to them and requesting a removal didn't help.

Is there anything I CAN do not to be listed on URIBL everytime?

Any direction will be greatly appreciated ..

Thanks!
Dan Bravin
CEO JaneMarketing
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  #4  
Old 01-28-2009, 04:15 AM
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Default Curious about your situations...

I'm good friends with some of the guys who run uribl.com and, while I do find myself disagreeing with some of their listings on occassion, overall I think they do a very good job.

True, their listing criteria differs with mine sometimes (I manage some anti-spam blacklists as well). And I do understand that blacklists make mistakes sometimes. But I don't find uribl.com to be run with the inaccuracies and tactics as has been described on this thread.

But I'm willing to listen, and will use whatever feedback you provide as good lessons for my running of my own uribl (using that term generically) as well as my own ip blacklist.

So please get specific. What are some of the items that uribl wrongly blacklisted?

Rob McEwen

Last edited by invaluement; 01-28-2009 at 04:16 AM. Reason: (forgot to add my name to the post)
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  #5  
Old 01-28-2009, 05:58 AM
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Hello Rob, thanks for dropping by.

I'm sorry you feel there's inaccuracies in the thread, everything i've posted is factual so maybe you mean the blocking of Bellsouth posted by LINUXADDICT? If so i have no idea about that one, i'm not from the US and i know very little about Bellsouth.

I started a thread over on WHT about URIBL and you actually made a few posts on it i remember your name. I am all for anti-spam solutions, i own about 80 sites and get tired of dealing with it in emails, forum posts, blog comments, contact forms etc on a daily basis.

URIBL just doesn't seem like a good solution, it's only caused me problems and cost me money which anti-spam solutions should avoid doing to innocent people at all costs. Here is an interesting one which effected one of my domains, it was a short URL service that got listed.

Now, the site had a strict TOS in place, a contact/report violation link on every page encouraging anyone who believes a URL was being abused to submit it for removal. From the ones that did get submitted, i think 6 hours was the longest it took to for a URL to be disabled. The short URL's didn't cloak, they showed the real destination URL, there was no email associated with the service just the contact form input.

Would you blacklist the whole domain and effect over a hundred thousand innocent users of the service?

Note, this isn't the blacklisting that had the biggest impact to me personally but it's the one i'm most curious about.
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  #6  
Old 01-28-2009, 04:06 PM
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Default solution: use uribl.com for scoring instead of blocking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Admin View Post
I'm sorry you feel there's inaccuracies in the thread
Don't be sorry. And I didn't meant to imply that I think that you are all wrong. I'd just like to see more details so that I can learn more about this. And I simply said that this didn't match my experience with uribl.com

I think when one is critical of something or someone, their message ought to contain hard facts to back up their claims. I think that is very fair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Admin View Post
blocking of Bellsouth
I'd love to see more specific details about that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Admin View Post
it was a short URL service that got listed.<snip>Would you blacklist the whole domain and effect over a hundred thousand innocent users of the service?
Generally, I shy away from listing even abused shortening URL services on ivmURI. But short URL services are tough. Some of them have ratios where for every one "innocent" usage, there are literally thousands of spam uses. At this time, no URL shortening service is going to work unless/until they start checking the domains the URLs resolve to against surbl/uribl/ivmURI--and disabling any such redirects if/when the domain it resolves to is blacklisted. Otherwise, the incentive for spammers to abuse the service is too high for the system to be anything but a spam factory.

I believe that uribl.com is purposely a little more aggressive than either surbl or ivmURI. I think they are this way unappologetically. But, at the same time, they themselves state that their lists are best used for scoring instead of outright blocking. I recall their admins saying that they ought to be scored a point or two below threshhold.

While they don't seem to state this on their web site, their example Spam Assassin rules they provide there *do* score in that manner!

But the problem is that many don't use uribl in that manner and just go ahead and outright block on uribl.com

Getting back to your shortening URL example... in a case where the service is severly abused... where the ratio of spam-to-ham is 100 to 1. Then using URIBL for scoring (instead of outright blocking) should put most of those spams "over the top", while not blocking most legitimate e-mails where that url shortening service was used.

At least, that is how this is suppose to work. But when spam filters use uribl.com for blocking instead of scoring, this leads to too many FPs.
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  #7  
Old 01-29-2009, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invaluement View Post
At this time, no URL shortening service is going to work unless/until they start checking the domains the URLs resolve to against surbl/uribl/ivmURI--and disabling any such redirects if/when the domain it resolves to is blacklisted. Otherwise, the incentive for spammers to abuse the service is too high for the system to be anything but a spam factory.
That's the problem, there's so many blacklists based off all sorts of criteria operating. The fastest and simplest way to deal with an abused short URL on that site, is to click the report violation and submit it. As i mentioned, the longest it took for any reported URL to be removed was about 7 hours.

If anyone was submitting an abused URL to URIBL, all it does is slow down removal and complicate matters.

Bringing in dozens of third party sites to check against, update the spam listing to resolved etc is really not efficient and URIBL is the reason i shut the whole site down.

Many people were sending emails through places like Aweber to a double optin list about a product launch, to people eagerly awaiting the product and it was getting blocked left and right and costing thousands all due to URIBL.

The site was a respectable 3 character .com domain, had zero advertising, completely unique design, unique script etc so it wasn't like it was an active spam farm running on a .info and a free template.

Quote:
I believe that uribl.com is purposely a little more aggressive than either surbl or ivmURI. I think they are this way unappologetically. But, at the same time, they themselves state that their lists are best used for scoring instead of outright blocking. I recall their admins saying that they ought to be scored a point or two below threshhold.
It is very aggressive, and unfortunately people use the service so many legitimate domains suffer.

Quote:
Getting back to your shortening URL example... in a case where the service is severly abused... where the ratio of spam-to-ham is 100 to 1. Then using URIBL for scoring (instead of outright blocking) should put most of those spams "over the top", while not blocking most legitimate e-mails where that url shortening service was used.

At least, that is how this is suppose to work. But when spam filters use uribl.com for blocking instead of scoring, this leads to too many FPs.
Unfortunately they were blocking the whole domain, all URL's containing the root domain were flagged by anyone blocking based o URIBL's list. I confirmed this by creating a URL then trying to email it to the folks at SplashPress Media who were using URIBL at the time.

Regarding the ratios, how does URIBL know? The site could of been serving a database of over a million short URL's with 10k legitimate emails containing short URL's sent every day, then 1 spammer makes one and everyones blocked. Or of course it could of been full of affiliate links and used for nothing but spam. They just don't know that.

All i know is URIBL has cost me thousands when none of the other BL's have, i signed up to them to resolve a listing and their confirmation email went to my junk mail. They had about 600 backlinks in Yahoo, this site has 100,000 and SpamCop has 200,000 for example.

The Whois data is somewhere in Switzerland, it had no name associated just "General Delivery" instead. Their Nameserver data PROLEXIC.NET resolves to a 404 and is registered to "Domains by Proxy"

Quite frankly i though the whole thing was a sham when i first saw it. I just noticed this lowly posts ranks #4 for URIBL, so it kind of indicates nobody with any authority is raving about the service around the web.

It's easily exploited, i could very simply get anyones business listed in URIBL and cause that business financial problems when they are not spammers.

It just seems like a horrible system for a so called anti-spam solution.
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2009, 11:22 AM
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Default

Oh also, i appreciate the work that people such as yourself do to maintain lists it must be a "lot" of work. I just got done deleting 3,427 forum posts on another site i own thanks to 64.56.64.60 and 64.56.66.112 (Stopforumspam.com has them pegged already in Google) and yeah it gets tiresome indeed.

The big problem is weighing up effectiveness Vs inconvenience to legitimate users when dealing with it. I have reCaptcha on registrations, hidden hyperlink pixels that auto block IP's in .htaccess, censored words you name it and some still slips through. They just register manually then let Xrumer run wild.

I "could" implement reCaptcha on every post and stop it dead, but that would impact legitimate users so i wouldn't do that.

That's the problem with URIBL, they impact legitimate users and are wide open to abuse which is not a great solution.

I have had no dealings with your URIBL or IP Blacklist which, in a way is a good thing because the way you operate hasn't impacted me negatively as a legitimate domain/website owner so keep up the good work.
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  #9  
Old 07-22-2009, 03:08 PM
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Default False Positive Example

I work for an organization that has been listed on the URIBL several times in the past and usually itís been easy (meaning submit their web form and wait 24 hours essentially). The latest issue however has not been so easy. We've been on their blacklist since July 11th and I've submitted 5 requests to be delisted, each time only to be rejected with statements such as "URL detected in UBE/UCE" In one of my requests, I asked for more information so I can help our organization prevent these false positive listings, to which I received the response, "We are not a feedback loop"

We do not send out a great deal of mass messages and when we do, itís to people who have opted in, been presented with a TOS and have the option to opt out at any time.

I understand the importance of SPAM filtering - in fact, I use legit spam filtering services myself. The problem with a free service is the level of service and support that can be provided. It is of my opinion that an organization is not legit if you are unable to contact them. The only way of reaching the URIBL staff is through their web forms. They also provide a couple of email addresses like webmaster and postmaster, but won't respond to inquiries via those address. I also signed up for their mailing list trying to get additional assistance to no avail - not a single response.

In hard economic times like we are seeing now, itís understandable that organizations will reach out to free services, but you get what you pay for and the hard things is explaining to end users that their free service provider is the problem, not my organization. We spend a great deal of time working on our sender score and ensuring our email reputation is of high quality, but organizations like URIBL should and cannot define true sender authenticity if all it takes is some person going to their website and requesting a URI be listed. If an organization is willing to tarnish the brand name of a company by listing them in their blacklist, they should be required to provide examples, complaints, etc so that the issues may be addressed from beginning to end.

If URIBL cannot be transparent and help protect both sides of the situation, they are not legit, plain and simple. I understand they are in the business of helping reduce spam, but they also need to respect organizations and help in the time of a false positive. There needs to be a process for fully disclosing the reason for listing, source of listing, etc so that the matter can fully be investigated. I'm more than happy to put the work into investigating the claim and presenting our side of the case, but URIBL will not work with us at all and they are hurting our business in ways we can't even quantify right now.
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  #10  
Old 09-07-2009, 07:53 AM
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Up up,plz say "THANK" to usefultopic, Love u all :-)
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