Feeds

Controversial email blocklist SORBS sold

GFI confirms purchase of reputation service

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.