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08 October 2012, 13:02 blacklist closes down

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RFC-Ignorant logo The "End of an Era": with these words, (RFCI), which notes that it was established in 2000, has departed from the community of anti-spam blacklist providers. According to RFCI's cessation of activities schedule, users should stop querying the DNSBL by 30 October. Until that date, normal replies will be returned; however, the replies are effectively useless, as they now all return "false". Therefore, The H has already removed from its spam list query service.

RFCI founder Derek Balling explained that DNS-based Blackhole Lists (DNSBLs) are no longer as useful as before, and that it isn't worthwhile to invest in new hardware that would urgently be required. Talking to The H's associates at iX magazine, RFCI maintainer Ralf Hildebrandt said that it would only be conceivable to continue operation if someone took over the blacklist completely.

Unlike other DNSBLs, RFCI didn't store individual hosts or IP address areas in its database, instead listing domain names whose owners were in violation of an internet standard. Not even top-level domains were exempt; a famous example in 2005 was the addition of ".de" to the "whois" category.

However, the "abuse" and "postmaster" zones were far more important because, like many other DNSBLs, RFCI was mainly used on mail servers to combat spam. Balling explained that mail server operators who couldn't even be reached via the mandatory emergency and abuse report contacts could expect the reputation of their systems to deteriorate – which potentially caused their users to encounter difficulties when sending emails.


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