[SURBL-Discuss] Geocities ( and other free/anon hosts...) treated as virtual TLDs

Jeff Chan jeffc at surbl.org
Mon Oct 10 20:17:22 CEST 2005

On Monday, October 10, 2005, 10:11:47 AM, Eric Montréal wrote:
> I have seen your discussion about blacklisting geocities. This would
> create so many FP it's clearly impossible, but I wonder if treating 
> these domains as 3rd / 4th level TLD could be the way to go ...

> Example:

> This (-munged) real spammy address 
> http://uk.geocities-munged.com/Gonzalo_Freehling/ could be translated 
> into gonzalo_freehling.uk.geocities-munged.com and then queried ...

> The translation would require some specific code for these 'virtual TLD' 
> domains in URIDNSBL.pm (for SA3) but would allow catching otherwise 
> undetected URI, while having no FP for non spammy geocities sites.

> For it to work, the 'virtual TLD' domains should be flagged, either by 
> setting a specific bit in the returned data (during normal queries to 
> the domain) or maintaining a downloadable list.

Yes, something like that is probably possible to do, but it's not
what we designed SURBLs for originally.  It would also generally
require changing code in applications using SURBLs and the data
back end on our side.

Really we're not too interested in "catching" geocities.  Since
Yahoo is a legitimate company, we expect them take care of their
abuse issues, and it seems they are making a renewed effort to do
a better job of that.

SURBLs are better for listing spam sites hosted in China, Russia,
Brazil, or other places that are hard to get to, that ignore
abuse complaints, etc.  Typically those are some of the same
spammers that use zombies, open proxies, and other indirect
methods to send their spams out.  They also tend to register very
many "disposable" domains, use them for a few days, then abandon

They sometimes appear to use keyed or randomized subdomains,
paths, ids, hashes, etc., to be able to track which spams were
successfully delivered and/or complained about.  Publically
listing information keyed that way may actually aid the spammers
in listwashing or delivery confirmation, and it may create other
privacy issues for the spam victims.  For example what if the key
is some personal ID number or other private information belonging
to the spam victim?

The best answer is to get the legitimate hosting and networking
companies to police their own services, and that is happening
more often.


Jeff C.
Don't harm innocent bystanders.

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