NoMoreFunn – NoMoreEffective

November 10, 2009 at 2:45 pm 3 comments

In general, using Blacklists to control spam is a highly ineffective and innaccurate choice.  And that’s mainly because of the sites like the NoMoreFunn or No-More-Funn list. 

If you want to incorporate Blacklists, the best way is to use that information very minimally, as 1 method of detecting spam.  For instance, if there are multiple characertistics of spam then adding the use of a Blacklist can help.  Or if a domain is on multiple Blacklists, that can be an issue. 

But when you are checked against 99 Blacklists, and your domain is only listed (erroneously) on ONE blacklist, then the odds are that you are on the error-prone NoMoreFunn list who adds entire blocks of addresses to his list.  At my office, this is what we generically refer to as “a guy in his garage”.  It’s the guy who can fix some cars…in his garage.  He can play some music…in his garage.  A lot of people are frikkin’ geniuses, in their garage.  

When I examined the listing, he said he’s blacklisting an entire block of IP Addresses from my ISP – not my mail server, not my IP address – an entire block.  An ISP has thousands and thousands of addresses with thousands of customers.  To arbitrarily make these false accusations against companies is not just ineffective but it’s irresponsible (it’s interfering with work).  It’s like saying you got of piece of junk mail from company “x” in New Orleans, so the most effective way to eliminate junk mail will be to block all the mail from New Orleans.   The NoMoreFunn lists weakens the entire world of Blacklisting.  Because he lists entire blocks, a mail server can never send a single piece of spam, yet still be listed on Dr. Mash’s NoMoreFunn list (a Blacklist that contains non-spamming mail servers is a completely useless list).  Like it says when you attempt to remove yourself from his list: If you don’t want to get listed again, don’t send spam.  As though that’s the only way anyone gets on that list. 

NoMoreFunn Blacklist Removal

NoMoreFunn is NoMoreGood

So that is why Blacklists are ineffective and that is why Dr. Mash’s NoMoreFunn Blacklist is the most ineffective list of the 100 lists it was compared with by MXToolbox. 

One of  the best ways to identify and authenticate your mail server is to use Sender Policy Framework (SPF).  It uses existing infrastructure (DNS) and it’s FREE.   When shopping for SMTP Security / Anti-spam services, be sure to look for systems that can take multiple actions based on SPF validation.   The use of DNSBL or RTBL should not be relied on. 

If you’re using Blacklists, I’d recommend that you (A) Don’t reject messages solely based on these lists and (B) Don’t rely at all on the NoMoreFunn list. 

The guy running the blacklist provides some information about himself – if your System Administrator is letting your business’s communications rely on this guy’s blacklist, then your System Administrator might be an idiot.  

I’m living with my wife, Berit, and our cats Louis, Lauritz and Agnes at Nøddeboparken in Vallensbæk, south of Copenhagen, Denmark.
 
When I’m not working or trying to sell my house, i’m probaly e-mailing, drinking beer, drinking more beer, bowling, playing backgammon.

Generally, we’ve had trouble with RoadRunner account – looks like those idiots aren’t sure how to effectively fight spam.  We’ve encouraged our business customers to get a host who is more effective than RoadRunner.  We’ve also had trouble with one or two small companies (under 5 people).  All of the mid-size and up companies have IT personnel on staff who can weed out useless blaklists like No-More-Funn.

If you want to check up to 147 Blacklists, go to http://www.mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. MxToolBox  |  November 19, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Great post! We agree that it’s not a great idea to take action based on any one blacklist. It’s not too uncommon for a list to add an entire C-block of IPs due to spam however. It’s just very important to understand why a list will add somebody before you start using it to block messages.

    Thank you,
    MxToolBox

    Reply
  • 2. Jason Blackley  |  December 2, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    We use http://www.spamblacklist.co.uk to reduce the spam comiing into our mail servers. Its a highly effective tool to check what networks are blocked. anything that reduces spam in my opinion is a good idea.

    Reply
    • 3. Jasen Betts  |  January 16, 2012 at 3:30 am

      If anything that reduces spam is a good idea, just stop using email.

      RBLs can be effective, but they all give false positives.

      Reply

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