The Spamsites.org FAQ

Author Sapient.Fridge@spamsites.org
  1. Why are you listing spamware sites?
  2. But you can never win. There are too many spammers aren't there?
  3. We've had no complaints about our clients spamming. Why are you listing us?
  4. How do I get off your list?
  5. How do I get off Osirusoft's lists?
  6. Will you remove our entry if I threaten to sue you?
  7. How do I contribute to your list?
  8. What else can I do to help?
  9. What do and don't you list .... ?
  10. Can I send you my spam to deal with?
  11. Are you bluffing about our E-mail being blocked?
  12. Why did you block us without warning us first?
  13. You sent us mail! Doesn't that make you a spammer?
  14. We aren't spammers. Why is our E-mail being blocked?
  15. Why are you listing us when we only deal with opt-in addresses?
  16. How can your blocklist be queried?

    1. Why are you listing spamware sites?

    I think the best answer to this is an E-mail that I sent to a stubborn spamware vendor as it pretty much sums up our position. In case you are interested he decided to remove the spamware from his site afterwards:

    >In my opinion it seems your attitude toward people who use UCE is not
    >much unlike the attitude of [ tasteless reference removed ], you
    >just blindly hate them because they dare to do something you don't
    >like.
    

    Look, I've been on the net for about 10 years now. I have about 15 E-mail addresses built up over the years. I run two domains and several web sites. As a result of the above I am cut onto every single bloody spammer address CD there is and got a huge amount of spam every day. My use of the net was being completely ruined.

    I and some others decided to do something about it so we (and everyone else) could use the net for what it is meant for - communication. The spread of ideas between different people and cultures. I love the internet, it's a wonderful place for the exchange experiences with strangers and it makes the world a smaller, more understanding place in my opinion.

    I know lots of people who would love to use the newsgroups etc. but won't because they are scared that spammers will harvest their addresses and start bombarding them with porn adverts and get rich schemes. I feel that they are missing out on some of the best parts of the internet and want to do something about it.

    We have closed down over 5000 sites now. Has it made a difference? I don't know because we don't know what the internet would have been like if we hadn't been doing this but I do know that I get a lot less spam now as I am on many spammers "do not E-mail" list.

    >because you are too much of a coward in real life.
    

    A coward? I and my family have been threatened with both physical and legal action over the years numerous times. I have had phone calls at work, hate mail, been mailbombed, forged, DOS'd and reported to my ISP's several times.

    The reason I continue is that I think the internet is worth saving from the spammers. If you don't think it is then that's completely up to you. The great thing about the internet is that everyone can have their own opinion. Just remember that we don't have to listen to you...


    2. But you can never win. There are too many spammers aren't there?

    It's not just about removing spammers and spamware vendors. It's about educating ISP's and letting them know that it's not acceptable to host spammers, their resources or their web sites. The longer we go on, the more ISP's we persuade that hosting spammers is a bad idea. The more ISP's understand that the harder it is for spammers to get a foothold and the less damage they can do.

    Sometimes I really don't understand why ISP's need to be shown that spamming is bad. Spamming is ruining the internet and in the long run the internet is the ISP's business so why they don't always get rid of spammers after they have been told they are hosting them is beyond me.


    3. We've had no complaints about our clients spamming. Why are you listing us?

    Spammers may be stupid but they aren't (usually) stupid enough to spam from the servers which are hosting their web pages. In addition many people have moved into the business of selling software and addresses to enable gullible newbies spam because they have found that they lose their net connections when they do it themselves.

    It doesn't matter that they aren't spamming. We are listing you because you hosting a web site that provides tools or services that are fundamentally designed for use by spammers. By doing this you encourage spamming and the ruining of the internet.

    We will list the IP address of the spamware web page along with any mail servers that are handling mail for that site. If you don't want this to happen then stop hosting spammer resources.


    4. How do I get off your list?

    Remove the spam resource you are providing services to and send us E-mail telling us that you have done so. We will check the site and update our database. We will spot the change eventually if you don't E-mail us but it will take much longer.


    5. How do I get off Osirusoft's lists?

    Osirusoft and their blocklist are currently out of action

    We are only loosely associated with Osirusoft and so we can only get you off the spamsites list (once the spamware has gone). There is nothing we can do if you are listed on one of the other blocklists or if you are running an open relay. You can use rblcheck.cgi to find out which blocklist you are on.

    If you are listed as an open relay then these links may help you solve that problem:

    mail-abuse.org/tsi/ar-fix.html
    www.glenns.org/sendmail.antispam.html
    www.informatik.uni-kiel.de/~ca/email/check.html

    If you have fixed a relay and want them retested then mail retest@relays.osirusoft.com and put "relay: <IP address>" in the subject or body (one per line) e.g.
    relay:193.115.218.54
    relay:193.115.218.2
    relay:216.102.236.42

    For more information please see the Osirusoft FAQ


    6. Will you remove our entry if we threaten to sue you?

    No. As far as we can tell we are not breaking any laws. Threats will be posted to the newsgroup news:news.admin.net-abuse.email if they are amusing enough.

    Note that we do not block E-mail, we only build a list of spamware sites. Building a list of IP addresses is not illegal. The blocklist lookup services do not block E-mail, they holds lists of known spammer and spamware sites and makes those lists available ISP's to check against. Providing a lookup services for IP addresses is not illegal. The blocking comes from the ISP who refuses to accept the E-mail. That is not illegal, it's their equipment and they can do what they like with it.

    Think carefully. Who are you going to sue and what law do you think they have broken?


    7. How do I contribute to your list?

    Just E-mail us and tell us about the site that you have found. It will save us time if you ensure that we don't already know about the site you want to report by looking at the checklist first.


    8. What else can I do to help?

    The most valuable thing is for you or your ISP to use one of the blocklist lookup services at SPEWS or SBL

    The blocking services have caused the death of more spammer and spamware sites than anything else. ISP's hate losing E-mail and given a choice between losing E-mail and kicking spammers off it's a no brainer. The more ISP's use the blocklists the worse it is for the spammers.

    You could go through the listed live site hosts and E-mail them your opinion of the spamware sites. If enough people do that then the ISP's will realise that hosting spam support services is not popular.

    If you have spare web site space you could run a mirror. The more mirrors there are the more seriously we are taken by ISP's and the more hits we get from the search engines. E-mail us if you want to run a mirror and we will send you instructions on how to pick up our web site data. This is easiest to do if you can unzip directly into the web space rather than having to upload the pages over a dial-up link as there is rather a lot of data.


    9. What do and don't you list .... ?

    We only list sites which provide or promotes links to a service or product which has features only of use to spammers. This can be a grey area at times but we tend to give the benefit of the doubt.

    The main criteria are at the top of Spamsites.org but some more specific criteria are below. These may change over time:

    The one special case are remove pages and listwashing services. Although they are only of use to spammers we don't want the spammers to say that the only reason opt-out failed is because the anti-spam sites were blocking the removal sites. Opt-out fails regardless of whether the removal sites are there.


    10. Can I send you my spam to deal with?

    Please do not do that. We have enough of our own spam to deal with.

    We specialise in web sites that deal with spamware and spammer services. We cannot do anything about the spam you are receiving unless you can find the spammers web page and it is selling some spammer specific resource.

    If you find a spamware page then let us know by sending us E-mail but please verify that we don't already know about it with the checklist first.


    11. Are you bluffing about our E-mail being blocked?

    Nope, it will really happen. Our list is picked up by several blocklists which are used by several major ISP's and many minor ones to filter incoming E-mail.

    Ironically the best list of ISP's that are using blocking lists we've found is maintained by the pro-spam site www.ifn.net/classic/rbllist.htm

    It's sad that it has come to the point where blocking lists are the answer but it appears to be the only thing that convinces people that hosting spammers is not acceptable.


    12. Why did you block us without warning us first?

    We never pass any IP address to the blocklists until two weeks after the associated ISP's have been mailed. We use abuse.net to find the addresses to mail or postmaster@example.com and abuse@example.com if no entry is found. If the mail bounces then sorry but someone there should have read RCF822. If you want us to use a different address then let us know.

    If you are the owner of the spamware site itself then we may not have mailed you as we have found out that this rarely achieves anything and it just gets us into long arguments about whether or not spamming is right. We will have mailed your ISP though.


    13. You sent us mail! Doesn't that make you a spammer?

    No. We send out notifications to ISP's telling them what spammer resources they are hosting as we find them. These notifications are sent to the role account which are set up to receive mail about that specific ISP's network and associated problems.

    We aren't spamming in the same way that writing to sales@example.com asking about the price of goods isn't spamming. The E-mail address is used for the reason that it was set up for.


    14. We aren't spammers. Why is our E-mail being blocked?

    You may be being blocked because you are hosting a spammer specific resource (e.g. a spamware site) regardless of whether that site is actually a spam source you will still be listed. Please let us know when you have removed the spammer support site.

    If you aren't hosting the spamware site it is possible that you are using a resource which is shared with a spamware site. To find out whether this is what happened then look at the blocklist to see if you are sharing an IP address with a spamware site.

    If you are then sorry but there is not much we can do about collateral damage in this case. You could ask you ISP why they are hosting spammer resource sites and whether or not they will terminate them. As a final resort you could move ISP.


    15. Why are you listing us when we only deal with opt-in addresses?

    Usually it means that you haven't said that they are opt-in addresses on the web site. Opt-in addresses are much more valuable/desirable than harvested addresses so why aren't you selling them as such? The answer is often that they are actually harvested addresses and not opt-in at all. If there is no indication given then it is assumed that the addresses are harvested.

    We generally don't list web pages which say that they deliver to or sell opt-in addresses unless we have proof that they are lying (which usually means that they have spammed us directly) or they are selling an unfeasibly large number of addresses as opt-in. Otherwise if a web site says they are selling opt-in addresses but are lying then we let their customers deal with them.


    16. How can your blocklist be queried?

    Our list is picked up by several blocklists. For example one lookup services which imports it is spamsites.bl.reynolds.net.au (Note: you have to either register or pay a subscription fee to use the reynolds.net.au blocklists.)

    You can use rblcheck to query it which can be downloaded from sourceforge.net

    To install it on linux you would type:
    rpm -i rblcheck-1.5-1.i386.rpm

    Example of use:

    rblcheck -s spamsites.bl.reynolds.net.au 202.104.197.58