Monday, July 24, 2006

UCE: Part 2 - SORBS Blocking Continued

We've had another customer report the same SORBS incorrect block/IP-classification issue as the one I posted about last week (different IP range). So as a continuation of the previous post, I'll add that the ISP submitted a request to SORBS for removal over a week ago, however SORBS has yet review the issue. While we're still within what SORBS considers to be a "reasonable" response time (2-15 days), it's definitely not meeting the customer's expectations.

This is becoming a frustrating process to navigate, as there’s no one at SORBS to contact (compare this to AOL’s process for resolving spam/uce issues). Secondly, their blocking process casts a wide-net (perhaps inappropriately so), and the removal process is primarily automated, resulting in IPs being rejected without human review. This puts the responsibility back on the user to prove to SORBS that they are making legitimate requests.

So while we continue to try to resolve the issue with SORBS, were left with two work-around options.

1) Work with the ISP to change the PTR record to point to the domain name, instead of the IP address (

2) Forward email though the ISP's SMTP server

The ISP isn't confident that option 1 will resolve the issue, and since we need to expedite the resolution of this issue, we'll be going with option 2 - forwarding email from the Exchange server to the ISP's SMTP server for mail delivery, instead of using DNS to route for delivery.

What makes this such a problem is that none of the customers experiencing this issue are doing anything wrong… SORBS simply doesn’t like the way the PTR records shows up when doing a reverse DNS lookup on the domain. Unfortunately, there's not much that can be done expect to work-around the issue right now, and to wait on SORBS to respond to the request.

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