[SURBL-Discuss] Re: RFC: sex site domain SURBL

Marc Kool M.Kool at vioro.nl
Tue Jul 20 20:59:27 CEST 2004

David Hooton wrote:
> On Tue, 20 Jul 2004 15:27:52 +0200, Marc Kool <m.kool at vioro.nl> wrote:
>>Hi Jeff,
>>Jeff Chan wrote:
>>>Doing a little preliminary checking of this particular dataset
>>>leads me to wonder a little how appropirate it might be for
>>>SURBLs.  In particular I found over a hundred whitelist hits of
>>>sites like aol.com, att.net, btopenworld.com, budweiser.com,
>>>clara.net, cnet.com, comcast.net, he.net, lsu.edu, match.com,
>>>mindspring.com, msn.com, rr.com, sina.com, texas.net, tripod.com,
>>>umich.edu, victoriassecret.com, washington.edu, etc.:
>>>  http://spamcheck.freeapp.net/adult.domains.whitelist-hits
>>I did a quick check on a few domains and I do not share your conclusion.
>># grep aol.com domains
> register.oscar.aol.com is the server used by AOL messenger and ICQ to
> login - how on earth does this count as an Adult Website, much less a
> sex site?!!

In my browser, when I type http://register.oscar.aol.com
this is displayed:

AOL Instant Messenger is an adults-only service.
Click Here if you are 18 or older.
If you are under 18, click here to exit.

Seems 100% adult to me!

>># grep att.net domains
> Ahh the plot thickens...  Subdomains..
>># grep -w au.com domains
> Still more..
>>So aol.com and att.net and au.com are not in the database and not blacklisted.
>>no subdomain of aol.com is in the blacklist.
> What is register.oscar.aol.com if it isn't a subdomain?

You're right, it is a subdoamin of aol.com.
If AOL uses this server to register for ICQ and other non-adult stuff *AND*
use it to register for adult stuff AND the 'default mode' (i.e. use only the subdomain
in the URL) is for adult only, they are asking for problems.

>>For au.com and att.net there are only adult subdomains in the blacklist.  This is ok.
> However SURBL's in general don't use subdomains, I've just run a test
> on my personal SURBL and SpamCopURI doesn't currently look at
> subdomains.  I suspect because of the requirement for a lookup per
> domain level which would obviously both make things inefficient and
> also leave room for a denial of service.

Hmmm. I am afraid that spammers will abuse this property of SpamCopURI.

>>I assume that something went wrong when you verified the quality of the database.
> I think the levels of understanding of what was in the DB and what
> SURBL was able to do were what went wrong.
> Given my very quick testing I think it would probably be worth giving
> this data a try, we would most likely need to work out how to remove
> the subdomained entries - the list is huge, and efficiency we can gain
> by removing excess data would obviously be useful.
> The data is somewhat preemptive - just because you have an adult
> content website doesn't always mean you are spamming, in fact I'm sure
> there are an awful lot of Adult sites which never spam.
> I do however feel that there is a need for this kind of data, there
> are a lot of organisations which have liability concerns if their
> users recieve pornographic messages (schools) and many people who find
> adult content offensive (churches etc).

This is what I stated in the original proposal: let's make a SURBL list
for adult-related URI's, not necessarily spammers.
I know that SURBL is meant to fight spam, but it is relatively easy to extend
with functionality to ban emails that refer to adult sites, that I think
SURBL is the place to do it instead of creating a new mechanism in SA.

> I reckon let's give it a go for a while like we did 6dos - what's the
> worst that can happen?  We might get another SURBL - well more content
> is always a good thing in that case :)
> --
> Regards,
> David Hooton


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