ORBS-like websites pop up worldwide

It seems the end of the anti-spam database ORBS, the open relay behaviour modification system, has lead to a plethora of new ORBS-like sites launching around the world.

It seems the end of the anti-spam database ORBS, the open relay behaviour modification system, has lead to a plethora of new ORBS-like sites launching around the world.

Last week IDGNet wrote about the first of these new ORBS lists - running in the UK under the stewardship of system administrator Paul Cummins. Cummins was involved in a dispute with previous ORBS manager Alan Brown, who closed the database following the demise of his ISP, Manawatu Internet Services. Cummins set up ORBS UK using an earlier data dump from the old ORBS list which he then began updating. Brown and Cummins disagreed over the use of the name ORBS, and Cummins is now referring to the site as ORBZ - the open relay block zone.

Now it seems there may be up to half a dozen sites around the world trying to fill in the gap left by ORBS.

One of these, the ORBL site, says: “ORBL is a dynamic auto-adjusting spam filter. ORBL watches current incoming Internet email traffic for spam signatures and adapts to block spam coming from open mail relays in real time. The ORBL.org web page and spam probe is currently in beta-testing.” The site claims to have “tested and verified 14,883 unique open mail relays” in the nine days it’s been live. ORBS ran around 110,000 sites at its peak.

Or system administrators could try the amusingly named Dorkslayers website.

“Dorkslayers is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike ORBS,” says the first page helpfully.

Dorkslayers is actually a cousin of Brown’s ORBS - both were sired by Canadian anti-spam campaigner Alan Hodgson. The latest Dorkslayer list is properly “son of Dorkslayer” and uses an amalgam of a November 1998 list coupled with a more recent ORBS list from July 2000.

Says the site: “If an IP address was an open relay in November of 1998 and it was an open relay in June of 2000, it's being administered by dorks - and we mean that in the nicest possible way.”

The less humorously named OsiruSoft ORSS site says: “Welcome to OsiruSoft’s Open Relay Spam Stopper, and the future home of the Client Level Spam Stopper.” The site contains a useful description of just why open relays are bad.

“In essence, an open relay server allows anyone from anywhere to send mail through your SMTP server, which accounts for a large majority of UCE (Unsolicited Commercial Email, or SPAM).”

And just to prove English isn’t the only language on the web, there’s Fabel from Denmark. At least, it could be Fabel. Actually, the site could be about almost anything but I think the translation of “mail relays” to “mail relays” is probably pretty accurate.

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