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Is something up with ordb.org?

I’ve noticed several times in the last week a server of mine that is using postfix has rejected messages due to a failure in the lookup at relays.ordb.org. At first, I thought this was just a false positive in the database at ordb… but this morning I finally “caught it” while it was happening and went to pull up the ordb.org web page. It took…. 30-45 seconds and then proceeding to do a search on the rejected IP took another stretch. In looking at the logs it appears that there may be blanket rejections if the ordb.org check times out.

Here’s the postfix config setting….
smtpd_client_restrictions = permit_mynetworks,reject_rbl_client relays.ordb.org


I’ve tried to look for information, the ordb.org web page doesn’t have any news more current than 2004-05-01…

I’ve got to say the behaviour looks as though they’re just under heavy traffic, but in recent days I’ve seen several cases where the ordb.org check bounced every message for an hour or so (I’m assuming due to connectivity issues.)

Are they under attack? Overloaded?

Is there any way postfix might check the accessibility of a rbl before it tries to make use of it. (i.e. if ordb.org is unreachable skip that test.)

Unfortunately it looks like I’ll have to disable it for a time (and let in the ~400 more junk messages a day….)

–UPDATE 12/18/06–

As of today there is an announcement on the ordb.org site that the Open Relay Database is shutting down. Message here – it does say to expect the site to shut down by the end of this year… so, here is the text….

ORDB.org is shutting down

2006-12-18 11:34

We regret to inform you that ORDB.org, at the ripe age of five and a
half, is shutting down. It’s been a case of a long goodbye as very
little work has gone into maintaining ORDB for a while. Our volunteer
staff has been pre-occupied with other aspects of their lives. In
addition, the general consensus within the team is that open relay RBLs
are no longer the most effective way of preventing spam from entering
your network as spammers have changed tactics in recent years, as have
the anti-spam community.

We encourage system owners to remove ORDB checks from their mailers
immediately and start investigating alternative methods of spam
filtering. We recommend a combination involving greylisting and
content-based analysis (such as the dspam project, bmf or Spam Assassin).

DNS and the mailing lists will vanish today, December 18, 2006.

This website will vanish by December 31, 2006.

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Posted by on December 11, 2006.

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Categories: Computers, General Web/Tech, Linux Software, Linux Tech Support, Networking

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