Open Relay Database shuts down

by Bharat Suneja

After five and a half years, the non-profit organization ORDB is shutting down its DNS service (a Realtime Block List of open relays) and mailing list today, because the general consensus within ORDB is that open relay RBLs are “no longer the most effective way of preventing spam from entering your network”.

The web site will vanish come December 31st.

If you’re using ORDB, the organization recommends removing ORDB checks from your mail servers.

I used ORDB in its early days (post-Exchange 2000) – they have been providing a valuable service, but as noted on their web site, spammers continue to evolve and are using more sophisticated methods (other than open relays) to send spam, and as such checking for open relays is far less effective. However, this is by no means a verdict against RBLs in general, some of which continue to list known sources of spam or spam operations, compromised hosts, et al (e.g. Spamhaus).

RBLs continue to drop a large amount of spam headed to our mail servers, in addition to other methods.

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