Feeds

Controversial email blocklist SORBS sold

GFI confirms purchase of reputation service

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

GFI Software has confirmed the purchase of sometimes controversial spam blocklist provider SORBS for a reported $451,000.

Spam and Open Relay Blocking System (SORBS) has maintained a list of email servers suspected of sending or relaying spam since 2002. Inefficiencies in its spam blocklist database removal procedure, a controversial fines policy and the aggressive blacklisting of shared IP addresses have drawn criticism even from those also looking to clamp down on junk mail on the internet.

Citing an impending eviction by its University of Queensland web hosts, Australia-based SORBS publicly contemplated either selling or closing the service back in June. In the event the operation continued running as before until October when it found a white knight in the shape of GFI Security, a US based vendor of web and network security and management tools.

GFI confirmed the acquisition on Thursday in response to a query from El Reg. It didn't confirm the purchase price but did explain is plans to develop the service, which it already uses as a component of its GFI MailEssentials email security technology.

GFI is now actively developing plans for the future of SORBS, including SORBS 2.0 and methods to improve SORBS data and responsiveness.

Having a reputation service within GFI will allow us to provide a better service to our customers and to greatly enhance our standing in the anti-spam community as well as give us opportunities to report on spam trends and analyze real-time feeds in ways we have not previously been able to. We are very excited about this acquisition and look forward to the benefits in the months and years to come.

The creator of SORBS, Michelle Sullivan, has joined the company.

News of the purchase was first uncovered by blogger Jed Smith earlier this week. Smith reports that Sullivan, SORBS administrator, boasted of the purchase in an IRC chat session before declining to respond to follow-up questions. Sullivan's LinkedIn profile lists her as an engineering director with GFI since sometime in October.

Best practice in spam filtering calls for blocklists to be used only in conjunction with content analysis and other anti-spam technologies. GFI plans to develop SORBS dovetail with this general move while providing the resources of a commercial firm behind SORBS. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.