[dns-operations] History Question - Who first created/used DNS RBL?

Paul Vixie paul at vix.com
Mon Feb 4 04:47:05 UTC 2008

> > "first, do no harm."
> What is the bigger problem? Unmaintained mailservers, or providing wrong 
> data to them?

i'm providing consistent NXDOMAIN to them, which is correct, since this zone
is no longer publishing RBL data, therefore, all lookups should produce a
negative result.  so, your above question is a nonsequitur.

> I don't believe your RBL delivers actual, full maintained data, so wouldn't
> it be better to inform users that the list should be taken offline?

yes.  but, not if it means bouncing somebody's e-mail just to make my point.
(i was in the business of making e-mail bounce, when i co-started MAPS in the
first place, but before during and after that time it's been my passion to
ensure that e-mail and other internet traffic is delivered properly.)

> Quite surely, some of those users are open relays or whatever which got
> hacked long ago, without anybody recognising it.  I've seen such systems,
> there are a lot of those here in Austria. I'd prefer they all got shut down
> instead of spamming others.

i have no reason to think that the unmaintained mailers who still subcribe to
the old rbl.maps.vix.com domain are spam sources, and neither do you, really.

> Many admins won't even know that list got offline, they just keep copying
> configs. So returning REJECT for every IP would give them a hint that
> something is wrong, and they'd look into the server and maybe fix other
> problems too. There are some small disadvantages, but nothing that can't be
> solved within some minutes.

the essence of most internet abuse related crime is "forced cost assymetry"
where some victim has to pay more (in money or time or resources) because of
some criminal business plan (like spam, ddos for hire, phish, or similar.)  i
will not engage in this kind of "cost-shifting", whereby mail gets bounced
for otherwise uninvolved parties just so i can avoid hearing these queries
any more.  i'm a big boy, i knew when i set up rbl.maps.vix.com in 1997 that
it was a lifetime commitment, i can take the heat.  (i just like to complain.)

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