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Blacklisted on APEWS? Junk DNSBL

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Keeping an eye on your servers DNSBL report is very important, a DNSBL is a blacklist of IP addresses that are logged when Spam is detected or when a host suspects spam emails coming from an IP, they are useful for thwarting spammers and they do a really good job. Unfortunately for us legitimate WebMasters, a DNSBL can be a pain sometimes when an IP gets blacklisted because of a misunderstanding or because of abuse of a hosting account. Luckily there are easy to use tools for checking your DNSBL Blacklist such as our own DNSBL Blacklist Checker, which will check all the important DNSBL lists and report back any blacklists you are on.

APEWS is one such DNSBL service, it used to be quite popular and was used by USEPROTECT and SORBS, however the APEWS maintainers got arrogant and are uncontactable in any way, meaning once you are listed on their DNSBL, you have no way of requesting your servers removal. This made APEWS completely useless as a DNSBL because these days they now block over 50% of the internet unconditionally. Fortunately this means that no respectable mail server these days relies on the APEWS database. Take a look at the Controversy at the bottom of this post.

 

What To Do If You Are On A DNSBL

If your having issues, or think you may be having issues with spam blacklists and believe you may be on APEWS or other DNSBL services then keep calm and follow our guide.

  1. Do a DNSBL Scan
    Check if and what DNSBL services you are on using our DNSBL Blacklist Scanner.
  2. Clean Yourself Off Blacklists
    If you find yourself on any blacklists, visit the DNSBL sites for each you are blacklisted and follow their instructions for removal. If they do not provide any guidance such as APEWS, dont panic and ignore them and move on, the cleaner the better.
  3. Was you on any DNSBL?
    If you found yourself on and DNSBL lists, make sure your server is not sending any spam! Else you will just end up back on the blacklists…
  4. Was you on APEWS?
    If you saw yourself on APEWS, who cares? As long as you don’t get any bounce backs when sending emails that specifically say the email was blocked due to APEWS which would be insanely rare these days because no one officially uses it. If you do have this issue tell the webmaster to STOP USING APEWS!

 

Controversy and Commentary

The blacklist is considered controversial by many other blacklist operators, ISP abuse staff, and anti-spam advocates.

  • Matthew Sullivan, SORBS maintainer, indicates that as of August 9, 2007, SORBS will no longer be publishing the APEWS blacklist zones via DNS.
  • Claus V. Wolfhausen, maintainer of UCEPROTECT, another German-run blacklist, indicates that UCEPROTECT will no longer publish the APEWS blacklist zones. (Previously: Claus warned that unless APEWS were to make immediate, significant changes to its policies, UCEPROTECT will no longer publish the APEWS blacklist zones.)
  • Suresh Ramasubramanian, respected anti-abuse manager for large mailbox provider Outblaze, categorizes APEWS as “meant to be used by fools.”
  • Steve Linford, Spamhaus maintainer, has suggested numerous times on newsgroups and elsewhere that APEWS is poorly run and is not widely used.
  • Kevin Liston and others from the Internet Storm Center have indicated that APEWS is using the ISC “top source” data to support blacklist entries, in violation of the data’s license, and against the wishes of those who provide this data. ISC says that the data “is not supposed to be used as a blocklist as it is bound to include false positives” and that “APEWS may be a useful ‘anti-spam” list if you do not mind losing a lot of valid e-mail as well.”

Need Some Help? We are here for you!

We have a very friendly service - Come and chat to us and let us know what you need, we work for an hourly fee and can also provide you a no obligation quote and begin work immediately in most cases. Click "Request Support" or use our Live Chat.

Request Support

Author: Dean Williams

Professional PHP Web Developer with expertise in OpenCart Web Development, WordPress Web Development, Bespoke Systems - also a seasoned Linux Server Administrator.


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