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  1. #1
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    IBM acquired a "cover for spam" company ? (Outblaze)

    As a short introduction, Outblaze is offering e-mail services to customers, they have their own RBL AND they offer mass mailing to customers too. Nasty business !
    They have been acquired by IBM not too long ago.


    Recently we launched a new hosting service called IntoVPS
    We thaught it would be best to get at least a new /24 IP class for that service as we are providing VPS servers.
    Simple as that, we started to provide IP addresses from that new class to our new customers until yesterday when one of our clients reported that his IP address is on the Outblaze RBL.
    We started to investigate the matter and also sent a delisting request to Outblaze explaining that we've just acquired the new IPs and there is no way we could have sent spam in 2008 through those IPs.
    Outblaze refused to delist our IPs because they stated that a lot of spam came from the /15 netblock we have IPs in. No proof or any details were given.

    Ok, so nobody actually sent out spam through those IPs ?

    I guess not, they just listed an entire /15 netblock because of some spam they claimed it came from some IPs in that netblock (there is a huge number of IPs in a /15).

    We have also checked our IPs to major RBL services as Spamhaus and Spamcop and found no records about any of our IPs. (I can give the IPs to mods if it's necessarry)

    Continuing the conversation with Outblaze we found out that they were looking at a completly different netblock than ours and even after we braught them to earth explaining once again what our IPs are they still refused to delist them.

    I can give proof to mods if there will be any requests.

    Giving the situation I am warning anyone that wants to work with mail.com to host theirs e-mail to stay away as they are blocking entire netblocks for no real reasons (bad for business) and they are offering mass email services to customers too.
    I wonder were will a customer of the mass mailing service will send e-mails.

    I thought Yahoo was the worst.
    Last edited by Cristi4n; 07-17-2009 at 05:36 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cristi4n View Post
    As a short introduction, Outblaze is offering e-mail services to customers, they have their own RBL AND they offer mass mailing to customers too. Nasty business !
    Many e-mail outfits offer mass mailing. Just because a company sends mass e-mail doesn't make them spammers. Outblaze was founded by Suresh Ramasubramanian, who's as whitehat as whitehat spam-fighters come. In order for his business (now IBM's) to offer mass mailing, they have to be extremely vigilant about spammers, otherwise their legitimate customers will be blocked. Outfits which require clean lists backed by confirmed opt-in (like Outblaze) are more than welcome to offer bulk mail sending service.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cristi4n View Post
    Continuing the conversation with Outblaze we found out that they were looking at a completly different netblock than ours and even after we braught them to earth explaining once again what our IPs are they still refused to delist them.
    Like many anti-spam e-mail services, Outblaze will indeed block in bulk:

    http://www.gossamer-threads.com/list...g/users/110097

    If you're a customer of that particular host, then yes, Outblaze probably won't unblock you even if your specific IP is clean.

    My opinion here is that while Outblaze may have made a mistake in your case, knowing who your host is would shed some more light here. Maybe it's your host people should avoid, rather than Outblaze?
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  3. #3
    It would not be the first company that has a conflict of interest in offering both mail related services and a blacklist. To repeat, it is a conflict of interest.

    Then, to block in bulk at the /15 level is clearly irresponsible and extortionate.

    A blacklist that is not well maintained and responsive to change is less than useless.

    The best thing to do with unresponsive blacklists is to become equally unresponsive. To every inquiry, shrug, and suggest that the administrator using the list is the one that needs to be dealt with. Drop enough email, and the list goes away. Or, the admin finds a new job.

    Rabid blacklisters are clearly that way because they have not got the means to deal with it at the front door, so they try to get everyone else to share the pain.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBison View Post

    Like many anti-spam e-mail services, Outblaze will indeed block in bulk:
    A /15 ?? A 5 year old admin would do that. They don't even have records of why actually that entire netblock was blocked. They gived me examples of other netblocks completly different then the one I'm in, trying to explain to me why I am blacklisted.


    Quote Originally Posted by BigBison View Post
    If you're a customer of that particular host, then yes, Outblaze probably won't unblock you even if your specific IP is clean.

    My opinion here is that while Outblaze may have made a mistake in your case, knowing who your host is would shed some more light here. Maybe it's your host people should avoid, rather than Outblaze?
    I'm not a customer of a particular host.

    Host: Elvsoft (probably nobody is familiar with Elvsoft, we built IntoDNS)

    I could post here the entire conversation with "Postmaster" from Outblaze. (They were very ridiculous in not giving a name after we introduced ourselves).

    As I stated before, blocking a /15 without having a reason it's just stupid. Why didn't they just blocked the entire planet ?
    Doing stupid things to get rid of spam will lead to other problems.

    The problem here is that they own (I have no ideea why and how) mail.com, and guess what, mail.com uses Outblaze.

    I don't care who the founder of Outblaze is, a service doesn't relay on a single person.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    In case facts were not clear enough:
    - we were assigned a /24 IP class about a month ago and started deploying VPS-es with these new IPs
    - we discovered that Outblaze listed in March 2008 (more than a year ago!) a /15 class (!!!), including our /24 class
    - obviously black listing has nothing to do with us, and needless to say that none of the top 50 RBLs are blacklisting the class
    - exchanged some emails with Outblaze and they refuse to un-list our class

    Luckily our IPs provider (jump.ro) was very responsive and tried to resolve issue with Outblaze and then assigned us a new Outblaze-clean IP class.

    New customers are deployed on new Outblaze-clean class, but we need to migrate the already deployed customers.

    But it's ridiculous that we have to do this.

    Yes, best option is to ignore Outblaze, but they're hosting about 80 million emails (including mail.com).

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