MAPS: Ancient History

Check out this very old presentation about the Mail Abuse Prevention System (MAPS) , from October, 2000. I had already left MAPS at that point, but apparently, my personal brand was strong enough to leave my name in the presentation, as it indicates that RSS was created by me. Also, I designed that presentation template, as well as the MAPS logo and logotype of the time. Oh, how horribly dated it all seems today. MAPS created the first Realtime Blackhole List (RBL), the very first DNSBL, way back in 1997. It's hard to believe that anti-spam blacklists are over ten years old! One of MAPS other blacklists, RSS, was a re-branded version of my original Radparker Relay Spam Stopper (RRSS) blacklist, which I first shared with the world back in May, 1999:

Subject: BLOCK: Radparker Relay Spam Stopper
From: Al Iverson 
Reply-To: Al Iverson 
Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 20:57:03 -0500
Content-Type: text/plain

Hi gang. Just wanted to take a second and toot my own horn about a new
tool I'm proud to be able to share (with the help of many others) with
the internet community.

The Radparker Relay Spam Stopper (RRSS), at
, is a realtime DNS-based list of open relays, to be used by fellow
antispammers as a shared blocking list. What makes this different than
the IMRSS or ORBS is that I'm only interested in listing relays that
have obviously been used in a spam run. And, a sample spam from that run
is cataloged, and presented upon request, when you query my web server
about that specific relay.

Also, my focus is primarily on overseas (meaning non-US) non-English
speaking countries, and US companies with seemingly unmanned mail
servers, my current #1 source of relay spam. I'm generally not going to
list "multi-level relays," and there's no way in hell I'm going to list
some huge ISP like Earthlink (or whomever) unless they have serious
totally open relays that we've complained about for months with no
response. I'm less interested in collateral damage, and more interested
in blocking spam.

I'm hoping to avoid the pissing matches that people seem to get into
with regard to tools like ORBS.

Submission to the list works both manually and automatically.
Submissions occur automatically, when they are from spam auto-trapped by
my system, or forwarded in a special manner by a few trusted
contributors. Submissions are manual (send me the spam via email) for
all others. By doing so, I intend to lessen the amount of "fudging the
tester"[1] problems that seem to plague us open relay blockers -- you
know what I mean, people who block the tester, or make their machine
relay for (just) the tester, in the name of some misguided form of
social dissent.

To also lessen the amount of relay testing, there will be no automatic
removal process. I'm not going to retest a relay every few weeks, as it
will simply inflame the relay operator. They are able to contact me
easily via mail or web, even if their site is listed and therefore they
can't mail

Additionally, I discussed the creation of the RRSS with my service
provider before implementing it. I would not have implemented it if they
had misgivings about it, or didn't understand what I'm doing. I'm lucky
that my provider is very anti-spam and supportive of my efforts, so
there WON'T be any "BCTel effect" of bogus complaints getting me bounced
off line. (Even if that did occur, I've already been offered other
hosting arrangements! Yay!)

The system has been up since last Wednesday, and it's working quite well
so far. So far, there are 123 relays listed. About, oh, 10
administrators have already taken the time to write me and let me know
that their servers have been repaired, and I should remove their
listing, which I was happy to do. (If a relay is also listed on IMRSS or
ORBS and the operator tells me it is closed, I also forward that
notification along to either IMRSS or ORBS.)

Fellow SPAM-L subscribers, please feel free to email me or post to the
list any comments, questions, or suggestions you might have about the
RRSS. I welcome and appreciate your input.

Thanks to everyone who helped me get this up and running, especially
Peter Seebach, and Gordon Fecyk, who basically held my hand through
setting up the DNS servers and scripting the auto-updates.

Best regards,
Al Iverson
Operator, Radparker Relay Spam Stopper
[1] Also known as "giving people named Al or Alan the finger because
they don't like your testing system."
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