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SPEWS.ORG Information

About SPEWS

SPEWS is a list of areas on the Internet which several system administrators, ISP postmasters, and other service providers have assembled and use to deny email and in some cases, all network traffic from.

This private list is now available for the general public to read and/or use for email filtering.

Most spam advisory and blocking systems work after the fact. There is a time lag between the spammer setting up shop, spamming millions, and getting netblocks listed by these systems. SPEWS identifies known spammers and spam operations, listing them as soon as they start, sometimes even before they start spamming.

SPEWS also found that several of the several popular spam advisory and blocking systems have become bogged down due to an overload of requests, this lessens their effectiveness. SPEWS does not run a request or nomination based list, entries in the list come from the knowledge and experience of the people who set up and use the SPEWS lists.

Any mailservers using the SPEWS list to filter can be configured to do several things with incoming mail from SPEWS listed IP addresses. The recommend method is to bounce the message back to the sender with a link to the SPEWS "Why was I referred to this website?" page.

How one can use SPEWS

SPEWS can be used in many different ways. It can be used to double check the "spammishness" of a particular range of Internet addresses by using this webpage's test feature. If the IP address is listed in SPEWS, there's a good chance others have been spammed (received unsolicited bulk email) by the same place. One can then use this knowledge to decide how to handle email from this source in the future.

SPEWS also has lists of IP address ranges and associated domain names which can be used by one's email filtering system (i.e. Procmail, SpamBouncer, SpamAssassin) to reject email or "tag" email from SPEWS listed sources.

SPEWS lists are available and can be used on a DNS query level. Either Level 1 or Level 2 SPEWS lists can be checked at systems currently providing this service. These levels are explained in the SPEWS FAQ.

SPEWS can be used to build router or firewall "reject" lists, used to deny any packet traffic to SPEWS listed areas.

SPEWS lists can be used with DNS servers to invalidate SPEWS listed nameservers run by spammers.

On smaller, not highly trafficked systems, SPEWS lists can be used to deny website access to people or email address harvesting robots coming from SPEWS listed areas.

But what if you are just an end user? What if all these technical terms mean little to you and you just came to this website to find out how to cut down on your spam? The best way is to ask and coax your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to use some sort of email filtering system. Most ISPs these days run email software products where it's relatively easy to change a few parameters and get the full effect of the different spam advisory systems. Since many of these systems are free to use, ISPs should jump at the chance to provide better service for their users, not to mention saving themselves money by not having to process and store the spam.

Recently, end users running the Windows® operating system have been given a couple of do-it-yourself options to deal with spam on their own PCs. Check this link to learn about these client-side POP email filtering methods.

SPEWS News

  • Updates - SPEWS news on listings & de-listings.
  • Jul 2003 - List picked up by dnsbl.sorbs.net DNSBL system.
  • Oct 2002 - List picked up by bl.reynolds.net.au DNSBL system.
  • Apr 2002 - List picked up by spfilter.sourceforge.net.
  • Sep 2001 - List picked up by relays.osirusoft.com DNSBL system.
  • Aug 2001 - SPEWS.ORG goes live.
  • Jul 2001 - Public SPEWS in Beta test.
  • Aug 2000 - SPEWS database started and implemented.
  • Jun 2000 - Formal rules for listing in SPEWS defined.
  • May 2000 - Idea behind SPEWS originates.

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