Feeds

ORBZ shuts up shop, cites criminal charges

Anti-spam blacklist blackout

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Updated ORBZ, the anti-spam blacklisting service, is shutting down.

Ian Gulliver, the administrator of ORBZ (Open Relay Blocking Zone), sent a message to its mailing list explaining that the service was been shut down because of "criminal charges for denial of service relating to the Lotus Domino issue".

Last August, Gulliver sent a message to the BugTraq mailing list stating that the ORBZ scanner creates "oddly formed mail envelopes that can cause Lotus Domino to enter a mail routing loop" resulted in the crash of a mail server.

The issue, which we're told was never particularly serious, was fixed in Lotus Domino version R5.0.9 (see below).

That would have been the end of the matter, if it weren't for (most unusually) the bug becoming the subject of criminal action, according to Gulliver's message.

"I received an official court notice this afternoon to turn over all information relation to ORBZ accounts. This came from the 10th Judicial District court of the State of Michigan," he writes.

"I was happy to try to weather any civil issues that may have come up, and I was committed to seeing it through. However, the threat of jail time is too much; I don't believe in this fight quite that much."

Gulliver advises users that because of the court the ORBZ Web site Web site will disappear (we can still ping the site but can't access it) and email will stop working (our email bounced - confirming this has happened already).

Users should consider ORDB and SpamCop for spam filtering as an alternative to ORBZ, he advises.

Alex Shipp, of managed services firm MessageLabs, whose SkyScan AS (anti-spam) service used public blacklists of open relays provided by ORBZ said the demise of the service will make life at least temporarily easier for spammers.

There are around 50 services of varying quality that will pick up the role ORBZ has vacated, he added, so the withdrawal of ORBZ is more a temporary setback in the war against spam than something more serious.

ORBZ was created in June last year by the principal of anti-spam organisation ORBS, Paul Cummins, after its demise following a New Zealand court case, brought by Actrix and Xtra. Both successfully claimed they had been falsely added to ORBS' blacklist. ®

Update

A Notes administrator has kindly informed us that the potential undetected routing loop bug which is the focus of all the flak was fixed in Lotus Domino version R5.0.9. You can read the details on this here.

With normal anti-relay configuration in place, the exploit didn't work anyway, according to the admin.

"There was an additional workaround available, for situations where normal anti relay settings couldn't be used. This vulnerability never has been a big issue, in my opinion," he writes.

Related stories

ORBS now split into three
ORBS splits into ORBZ and ORBL
Junk mail costs lives

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM
In the immortal words of Shaggy, it wasn't me us ... amirite?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.