So how do I get out of the Database of servers sending spam...?

First, you need to answer the questions 'Am I an Internet Marketer?' or 'Am I a spammer?' If your answer to either question is yes, you probably will not get out of the database. The same applies if you answer any of the following questions no...
'Do I run a confirmed Opt-In mailing list?' (As defined by MAPS and Spamhaus)

If you got this far, and answered honestly, you may be in a position to get out of the database.

Second, answer the following.

  • Is my IP address in the neighborhood of a spammer?
  • Is my IP address in a huge listed block?
If your answer to either is yes, then you have an "Escalated" listing and it is most likely that you will have to talk to your Internet service provider about getting the problem solved. If the listing was not caused by your own actions, which is frequently the case with shared equipment (including, but not necessarily limited to, the Internet service provider's outgoing mail servers, co-located servers, free web mails) and listings of more than one IP address in a particular range, then it also follows that the only party capable of addressing the problem is the real owner of the equipment and IP address(es) in question.

Third and finally, if you are really not a spammer, or you are truly reformed, de-listing is relatively easy. You log in to the SORBS Support System and answer the questions truthfully and honestly. If you are within the thresholds and limits you will be presented with a 'Delist Me' button which you may use to "Self-Delist" the listing.

Note: The self delist button is not available for "Escalated" listings and you have to be logged in and use the IP address listed to be authorised.

How did I get listed in the first place...?

There are many possibilities.

  • The IP address that you use for your outgoing mail was used to send spam to a SORBS spamtrap or administrator. There are multiple possibilities for how this could have happened:
    • You spammed directly.
      • Either you are a dedicated spammer, or
      • you operate an insecure mailing list to which the address of a SORBS spamtrap or administrator was added without their knowledge or consent.
    • It is a shared server and some other user on the same server spammed directly.
    • The machine was illegally taken over via vulnerabilities in software and abused for spamming. This includes vulnerabilities on servers as well as viruses and Trojan horses on end-user computers.
  • You are an ISP who provides supplementary Internet services (DNS, web hosting, mail exchanger) or a credit card operator who provides credit card processing services to a domain advertised in spam that was received by a SORBS spamtrap or administrator.
  • You are an innocent party whose IP address is listed as part of a larger range of blocked IP addresses because your Internet service provider is not taking action against other customers of theirs that engage in spamming.
  • You inherited a listed network after your provider moved the previous tenant, who was a listed spammer, elsewhere. They may have simply moved them around in their own IP address space, or they may have terminated the spammer. At any rate, it would have been kind of the ISP to double-check whether the address block was block-listed anywhere before reallocating it.

What are the thresholds for delisting?

The formula SORBS uses for allowing self delisting are fairly complex and are time based. In all cases the formula works out the "minimum time to delist" and this is applied to your IP from the last time spam was received from your host.

Follows are the thresholds and time periods:

  • For first time listees you must have less than 10 spams recorded and wait a minimum of 48 hours.
  • For second time listees you must have less than 50 spams recorded and wait a mimimum of 7 days.
  • For third time listees you must have less than 100 spams recorded and wait a minimum of 30 days.
  • For forth time listees you must have less than 200 spams recorded and wait a minimum of 183 days (6 months).
  • For fifth time listees you must have less than 300 spams recorded and wait a minimum of 365 days (1 year).
The minimum perriod formula is a little more complex than described above and therefore delisting maybe longer based on the number of spams you have sent, however what is described is the minimum period.

If you fall outside of these ranges, you will need to log a support ticket with the SORBS Support Staff and explain why you should be delisted.

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