Re: Bystander shot by a spam filter.

From: Chris Orr (
Date: 12/28/02

Date: Sat, 28 Dec 2002 15:46:54 -0500 (EST)
From: Chris Orr <>
To: Duncan Patton a Campbell <>

Here is _all_ of the lists that spam bnc supports. One of them will have
your ip range on it im sure.

I think spamBNC is GPL'ed software. You use it at your own risk. Dont
quote me on that one though. :)


On Sat, 28 Dec 2002, Duncan Patton a Campbell wrote:

> How do you find if you are on the list? And who has the list?
> Can they be sued?
> Thanks,
> Duncan (Dhu) Campbell
> On Sat, 28 Dec 2002 08:45:23 -0500
> Harry Tabak <> wrote:
> > [This is a resend. Ironically, the orignal was blocked by FreeBSD's spam
> > filter, I've had to send this from another account]
> >
> > I am not sure which list is best for this issue, hence the cross
> > posting. I believe spam and anti-spam measures are security issues --
> > the 'Availability' part of C-I-A. I apologize if I am wrong. A FreeBSD
> > ported package is contributing to an internet service availability
> > problem that has me stumped. I believe that an unknowable quantity of
> > other internet denizens are also affected.
> >
> > I'm a long time fan of FreeBSD -- I run it on my small mail server and
> > I've recommended it for many applications. I even bought a CD once. I
> > write this missive with great reluctance. I've worked with a lot of
> > strange software over the years, But this is a new first -- Software
> > that slanders! Software that publicly called me a spammer!!! And not to
> > my face, but to business associate. And then took action.
> >
> > I recently discovered, and quite by accident, that a FreeBSD ported
> > package -- spambnc (aka Spambouncer or SB) -- was blocking mail from me
> > to an unknown number of businesses and individuals on the internet. I'll
> > probably never have to correspond with most of these people, but I'm a
> > freelancer -- this may have already cost me a job. [Dear reader, don't
> > be surprised if you or your clients are also blocked. I strongly suggest
> > that you check it out.]
> >
> > Anti-spam products have a valuable place in the security arsenal. But,
> > IMHO, this product is dangerous because it includes filters and rules
> > that are overreaching, and inaccurate. Bad firewall rules and bad
> > anti-spam rules may be OK for an individual site. However, spambnc's
> > bad advice is being mass marketed through the good offices of FreeBSD,
> > and it is putting potholes in the net for the rest of us. Until it is
> > fixed, and proven harmless, FreeBSD should stop distributing this product.
> >
> > Basically, the default built-in policies for blocking mail aren't fully
> > described, and there is no mechanism to universally correct the
> > inevitable mistakes in a timely manner. Users (people who install this
> > product) are mislead about the probably of filtering the wrong mail. I
> > am sure that the software was developed with the very best intentions,
> > but in its zeal to block lots and lots of spam, SB is hurting good people.
> >
> > The SB rule blocking my mail host has nothing to do with me. Even
> > though, it can use dynamic anti-spam DNS services, SB hard codes its
> > rules for filtering bad domains by name and by IP address. My nemisis is
> > buried in a 1476 line file, sb-blockdomains.rc, which installs by
> > default, and is not documented outside the code. Along with others, it
> > blocks the entire space because spammers might live there.
> > This is sort of like a corporate mail room throwing away all NJ
> > postmarked mail because of the bulk mail distribution centers in Secaucus.
> >
> > My mail host address gets a clean bill of health from every anti-spam
> > site that I can find, such as SPEWS. I've checked at least 30 of them.
> >
> > My tiny x/29 block is sub-allocated from my DSL provider's x/23 block.
> > The DSL provider's block is a sub-allocation from's
> > block. Spambouncer doesn't like Inflow. While they have a
> > right to their opinions, they don't have a right to publicly tar me
> > because of my neighbors.
> >
> > If I read sb-blockdomains # comments correctly, it is policy to not
> > only block known spammers, but to ALSO block entire networks based on
> > their handling of spam complaints. This is like as a business
> > receptionist checking callerID and then ignoring incoming calls from
> > Verizon subscribers because Verizon tolerates (and probably invented)
> > telemarketing.
> >
> > I have written to both the Spambouncer contact address
> > <> and the FreeBSD maintainer, but without a
> > response. Possibly they are on holiday, or spambouncer is eating my
> > mail. Perhaps I'm just too impatient.
> >
> > I have also contacted my ISP's support. They don't know how to help
> > me. They vouch for Inflow. They don't recommend it, but for a fee, my
> > service could be switched to a different PVC, and I'd get an address
> > from a different carrier. But of course, the new address could be
> > black-listed on a whim.
> >
> > Regardless, I assume that these are reasonable people, and that they
> > will oil the squeaky wheel as soon as it is convenient. But how will I
> > ever know that EVERY copy of spambouncer has been fixed? What about
> > other innocent ISP subscribers who are also black-listed?
> >
> > Harry Tabak
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > To Unsubscribe: send mail to
> > with "unsubscribe freebsd-security" in the body of the message

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