SORBS IP blacklist: Matthew Sullivan is an arrogant wanker

Millions of innocent people are blacklisted and wrongly labelled as spammers for no reason other than this little shit thinks he's got some sort of right to fuck up people who don't send email the way he thinks they should.

A selection of other people's views on SORBS

SORBS is a blacklisting service that blacklists ranges of IPs (a DNSBL) and plugs the result to ISPs for use in badly-conceived spam filters. It has various noteworthy features: its management is unprofessional, arrogant and based on personal prejudice; it is inaccurate; it lists as possible spam sources millions of people who do not send spam and have no intention of doing so, and thereby blocks as much legitimate mail as it does spam. It even blacklists servers run by the French ministry of defence and suchlike reputable organisations which have nothing whatever to do with sending spam. It is run by a little turd named Matthew Sullivan. One of these blacklists is the Dynamic User and Host List (DUHL). On the 4th of July 2006, the SORBS "Dynamic User and Host List" FAQ contained the following text:

It is the opinion of SORBS that anyone competent enough to do so should be allowed to run their own mail server, but also, that all outgoing mail from dynamically assigned address space (and in a few cases even from statically assigned space) should be made to flow through the mail server(s) of the Internet service provider in question.

(As if it's any of your fucking business how other people's email flows.)

A bit further down we find:

We will also list dynamically assigned address ranges that we come across.


Generic reverse DNS naming is the most important criterion for determining if an address range should be considered dynamically assigned.

Since the majority of ISPs provide generic reverse DNS for ADSL connections, this means that anyone running a mailserver on their broadband connection is at risk of getting onto this stupid list purely because they are on an ADSL connection. It's nothing to do with whether you send spam or not. It's to do with this Sullivan prick having some bee in his bonnet about how people run their own mailservers, which is none of his business. And since when has generic rDNS been an accurate criterion for determining whether an IP range is dynamically assigned? ADSL providers' IP ranges tend to have generic rDNS as a matter of course, irrespective of whether they're dynamically or statically assigned. The only accurate way to determine whether an IP range is dynamically or statically assigned is to ask the owner of the IP range. Of course, that would be too much trouble for this little wanker, and it would also provide a prime opportunity for the owner of the IP range to object to being listed, an opportunity which he is no doubt happy to deny.

Getting off this blacklist, according to the SORBS website, requires you to have your own reverse DNS with some pretty strict TTL requirements. Since most ISPs do not support custom reverse DNS, this possibility is barred. And even if they do support custom rDNS they still won't necessarily alter the TTL. Fat lot of fucking good that is then.

What's wrong with being on the list? Simple. A lot of ISPs provide spam-filtering services which are often not very well designed. If the ISP has configured their spam filter to use the SORBS DNSBL without first checking SORBS out - which is regrettably common - emails from the IPs listed on SORBS will disappear. The person who sent the email doesn't know there's anything wrong - the receiving mailserver may well send no bounce message or anything, because bouncing spam tends to cause more problems than it solves - and the person who's supposed to be receiving the email never gets it because the ISP has wrongly identified it as spam and stored it in a "spam folder" or similar. It's a complete fucking pain in the arse. You send followup emails saying "did you get my email" and of course they never arrive either. People think you're ignoring them because they're not getting your emails. All sorts of shit happens and all because some fucking jumped-up little tosser thinks he's got some sort of right to control how other people send email. Well you fucking haven't, Sullivan, you cunt faced shit head.

The list isn't even accurate. For instance, on this page, we find (quotes from SORBS are in italics):

This list should not list static address space, not even dialups.

Yet as of 18th May 2006, the IP ranges and are both blacklisted as "dynamic IP space", when in fact both ranges are used for statically allocated IPs. All customers of the ISP who owns those addresses have static IPs - the customer retains the same IP, regardless of whether or not they stay connected, until either they manually apply for a different IP block or they cease to be a customer of the ISP; see this page and this page from the ISP's website, which both state that all customers are allocated static IPs.

Screenshot of SORBS website: blacklisted Screenshot of SORBS website: blacklisted

I have, naturally, asked the ISP to get these netblocks delisted because they are static. Their response was that SORBS won't accept that they are static because the IPs could be allocated to a different customer if the existing customer leaves, and continued to the effect that SORBS have their head up their arse on this point and won't listen to reason. For fuck's sake... that's the situation with ANY static-IP customer of ANY ISP. You change ISP, you get a new IP and update your DNS accordingly, that's how it works. On this basis, SORBS might as well blacklist most of the world... which is more or less what the cunts do.

For a more egregious example of incorrect listing see here.

If you wish to request a delisting please do so through the Support System. Yeah, right. It doesn't fucking work. You submit the IP for delisting and it takes you to a blank page. Fucking fat lot of good that is.

Oh yeah, you can also send an email using a contact form. Concerning the DUHL, the contact form has a drop-down option in the "To" field for sending requests about the DUHL and notes that requests for removal will be deleted. There's also a line about how Support messages to Matthew Sullivan will be ignored. So you can't send this fucking little shithead an email telling him his fucking stupid list has an incorrect entry. What a complete arsewipe.

And what is worse, this shit doesn't even limit its effects to people running their own mailservers. It affects ISP's mailservers as well. They say We will also list dynamically assigned address ranges that we come across (most commonly when we receive spam from them) but as we can see they don't actually have a fucking clue as to whether a given address is dynamic or not. So what really happens is that when one customer out of an ISP's millions of customers happens to send spam to SORBS via the ISP's mailserver, that ISP's mailservers go on the blacklist and suddenly loads of people find their email disappearing. What kind of fuckhead implements a wankstain of a list like that?

The abovementioned DUHL FAQ states that new entries are added to the list either following a request from an ISP or if it's an IP they've found themselves. Manual updating, in other words. No excuse for it being wrong, then. On the database lookup page it says:

Information in the open proxy and relay databases, are statements of fact for a given time and address, by SORBS. All other entries (ie, the DUHL and other blacklists) are based upon suspicion and/or opinion of the SORBS administrators, unless otherwise stated.

So, that'll be "Convicted on suspicion without proof", then. Fuckheads.

SORBS is of the opinion that all entries created by the SORBS administrators are correct.

Well they fucking well aren't, sunshine. As you very well know.

Opinions are like arseholes - everybody has one. This guy certainly is one. I don't have a problem with him having an opinion. What I do have a problem with is him hawking this fucking blacklist around ISPs and thereby enforcing his opinion on everyone else.

Listen, Sullivan, you arrogant little piece of shit.

Who the fuck do you think you are trying to force people to route their email through their ISP's mailserver? How other people route their email is none of your sodding business. So stay the fuck out of what's nothing to do with you.
Take your fucking DUHL server and shove it up your arse and I hope it fucking electrocutes you as well as causing intestinal rupture. And if by some chance it doesn't then go and find some way of making money that doesn't involve fucking up millions of random strangers with your fuckwitted arrogant wankstain stupid ideas. I hate spam myself, but I hate your fucking stupid blacklist worse, and with more reason. Spam is just an annoyance. Having my mailserver fucked up for no reason makes me utterly bloody furious. So keep your shitty little prejudices to yourself, remove from the internet your servers which host the most unprofessional, badly-run, prejudice-based, inaccurate blacklist on the planet, and do everyone a fucking favour.

Here are some links which demonstrate thoroughly that the SORBS blacklist is a piece of shit:

Kerio Advisory: Disable SORBS blacklist
Legitimate mailing list fucked up by SORBS
More legit mail blocked by SORBS. Lots of it
And more. Lots and lots.
"SORBS: An anti-spam service worse than spam?"
SORBS: is the cure worse than the disease?
Another innocent victim of this arrogant cunt
Genealogy research site mailing list doesn't work because of SORBS
SORBS is a revenge list, deliberately including incorrect listings. The incorrect listing referred to is still present at the time of writing, over two years after that page was written.
More of the same. Twat face Sullivan listing a legitimate IP space as stolen. Apparently the little fucker's a college student. That would explain why he's got his head up his arse and thinks he can tell the rest of the world what to do. I know, I was a student myself a long time ago.
Matthew Sullivan himself, posting on a forum, proving what a wanker he is and wondering why everybody hates him
Even the usually mild-mannered Wikipedia makes it clear that SORBS sucks arse. Either shit-for-brains himself or others associated with him keep deleting stuff they don't like off this page, but since the stuff they delete is true and backed up by references, it doesn't stay deleted. In case you should happen on this link after stuff has been deleted and before it has been restored, here is a snapshot of the page as on 9th July 2006.
NTLworld use SORBS, and loads of people are pissed off about it.
Some history of SORBS and details of its shittiness, personal bias and unprofessional management. This is one of the pages to which SORBS shills keep deleting the link from Wikipedia.
Some useful Google searches: sorbs extortion sorbs sucks "don't use" sorbs "do not use" sorbs

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