Jan 28, 2009

The EmailReg.org project.

I would like to take a moment to talk about the EmailReg.org project.

This project's goal is to create some safe list of Domains/IPs.
The main differences with existing whitelisting solutions are the fact it's pretty not expensive and that it lists the couple Domain/IPs.

The point is to take responsibility for emails sent from your IPs. By associating (on demand from the domain owner) the domain and sending IPs, they hope to get rid of false positives (legitimate emails filtered as spam).
The goal is to make it simple for spam filters to check incoming emails:
If the Domain and IP match the EmailReg safe list, then the email has to be considered as legitimate and bypass the Spam filters.
Should these emails trigger user complaints, then you'll simply be removed from the safe list until you solve the issue.

This safe list (the RESL as Registered Email Sender List) can be quite simply queried either by spam filtering solutions or by end users.

One good point about this safe list, is that it's not a pay according to the sent volume solution, you only pay on the Domain registration process ($20 per Domain).

Another good thing is that among the Spam Filtering Solutions using this tool, there is barracuda.

On the broadcaster side "all" you have to do is to minimize the number of complaints and of course update your anti-virus solution once in a while to make sure you never turn into a "Zombie PC" sending Spam all around the world.

The requirements to register a Domain/IPs are the following:
- You have to prove domain ownership by adjusting your DNS as instructed.
- Your domain must be properly registered in the WHOIS database
- You must be willing to provide real contact information
- You need to be willing to take responsibility for all email coming from your IP addresses with your domain on it.
- Pay the Registration fee (currently $20.00) for the domain.
- Your domain must be registered at least 6 months and have a history of sending email.

I haven't tested this solution yet, but will definitely push my company to do so.

If you have any experience on this solution and either successful or not, please feel free to comment.

More info and registration available on the EmailReg.org website

22 comments:

Huw Reddick said...

how can forcing people to pay $20 be a legitimate way to fight spam, it is a scan pure and simple.

I have about 20-30 domains on my mail server which is now being blocked (un necesarily) by baracuda and I have no recourse other than pay $30 per domain per year just so I can send email!!!!

bloody outrageous, no spam has ever been sent from my mail server in the 10 years it has been online.

Anton said...

I do understand your point of wiew... in a sense.
I've been in the business for quite some time now, and usually when someone is blacklisted somewhere there is always a good reason to it (by good reason I mean hitting a couple of spam traps or too many complaints).

I'm not saying you are a spammer (not at all), I have plenty of examples of legitimate senders that got spamtraps entered in their list through an unsecure subscription form or a prize winning competition.

Steve said...

How is the emailreg list any different in anti-spam effectiveness than the spf listing I can provide for any of my domains for free simply by adding an SPF record to my DNS?

This appears an attempt to "blackmail" email senders into paying for a record they already can create for free, essentially privatizing what is now an open-source and effective anti-spam solution. Unless Barracuda also recognizes SPF records, which I don't believe they do.

Bette said...

Have you really looked into this 'organization'?

EmailReg.org is owned/run by Barracuda but there is no mention of the affiliation on the emailreg website; while the Barracuda site implies that emailreg is an independent organization, which it's not. This is what my grandpa used to call "a racket".

Anonymous said...

If you read the emailreg.org website it does clearly state that they are receiving donations which probably includes hosting from Barracuda. Its nice of Barracuda to support an organization that is trying to do good. The $20.00 may not be liked. But no one says you have to pay it or sign up. Its just a whitelist. If you don't want to be on the whitelist don't pay it. It has nothing to do with a Barracuda blacklist from reading the site.

Anonymous said...

Don't be an idiot. If 1) Barracuda Reputation blocks your legitimate, non-spam email, through no fault of your own, and 2)your only recourse is to pay $20/year to emailreg.org, and 3)the same company owns emailreg.org and barracuda, then 4)that is blackmail, not whitemail. I smell a class action lawsuit in the works.

Hal Pomeranz said...

I've filed a complaint with the FTC regarding these practices. I urge other affected entities to do the same.

Jesse said...

I have also filed a complaint with the FTC. Just another reason to remove more barracudas

Anonymous said...

I've got an even better idea -- I've notified the admins at a small university that their Barracuda is blocking legitimate e-mail from a larger, more prestigious university. Perhaps they'll be motiviated to throw the Barracuda in the trash and get a better solution. Mirapoint is working well for us.

Anonymous said...

I'm an admin that uses a Barracuda and honestly, emailreg.org has been a PIA for my side of this as well. Sources I WANT to block cannot be blocked because Barracuda has taken some money to allow them through their system. If my antivirus company allowed virus senders to bypass my antivirus system for money they'd be gone in a second. Honestly, good intentions or not, this smells bad.

ColtonCat said...

This is nothing but a brilliant piece of marketing.

If EmailReg.ORG where the world-wide defintive list, openly and independently run on an open and transparent basis by some non-profit organization, then yes I could see that $20 would be value for money.

As it stands, this appears to be a creation of Barracuda's marketing brains, to boost their bottom line, and a clever one at that. Big bonus to the one who came up with that idea!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last comment, this is a commercial enterprise, nothing more. Blackmail? Probably...

Anonymous said...

This is extremely frustrating to deal with. In the last week - I have registered 2 domain names and started the email servers up. Less than 10 messages have been sent from either domain - but both have been blocked.
Obviously these a-holes are trolling the lists - looking for new domains to block so they can make 20 more dollars per year.
Its a scam - pure and simple.

This is very similar to the infection of spyware you get, that advises you to download and pay for a tool that removes the spyware that the company purposely infected you with.

Ridiculous.

Rob, an Admin in Vancouver, B.C.

Nick said...

One of my IP's got blocked by Baracude Networks for sending alleged spam in the last 30 days... Seen as I have the maillogs for the last 60 days and have not been able to identify any spam being sent that seems highly unlikely (this is a very low traffic mail-server)...
Upon requesting the date, time and proof of this alleged spam I have not received answer from them for a couple of days now.

As far as I'm concerned, Baracuda Networks and their EmailReg.org are scammers worth the spammers they allege to fight!

Evert said...

Have the complaints to the FTC had any response/effect yet?

Evert

Jan said...

Hi, I've the same problem with this racketeering. I'm not gonna pay to them ever. How can I fill a complaint please? Thank you.

MiHae Hooper said...

I had a virus infection at a client site a month ago. After the cleaning it took less that 12 hours for all of the other blacklists to clear the IP, but then I got notifications WEEKS later that employees were getting bounces from some recipients.

Three different domains were bouncing their mail 3 weeks after the domain was cleaned (and the firewall was set to only allow outbound SMTP from the Exchange box) because of Barracuda.

The first time I did the non-EmailReg removal, but continued to get bounces for another week. Now I applied for removal again, and sent email to all three domains suggesting they turn off BSBL and consider non-Barracuda devices.

patenttranslations said...

You say, "If you don't want to be on the whitelist don't pay it."

That sounds like what the mob says when someone complains about paying protection money. In fact, it is exactly the same operation. Barracuda is saying that, unless we pay it protection money, it intends to take active steps to harm our business. How can you condone that in a post with "Ethics" in the title?

Dana said...

I do not understand why I should pay $20 for my outgoing email, but have no protection from incoming spam. This is a joke and a rip-off and it is causing me a great deal of trouble. It just suddenly appeared last night without my asking to install it. How do I get rid of it?

Jeff and Rita's Excellent Adventure said...

That's annually... I just got an auto charge from emailreg.org

Anyone interested in doing a class action lawsuit? I'm also planning on contacting Senator Al Franken (who has been doing a lot of internet legal challenges lately)?

AndyB said...

EmailReg.org claim to have 400,000 domains registered. At $20 a pop per annum, that's $8 million a year. This is a moneyspinner, pure and simple. There is no "service" involved.

Wilson Pennington said...

While installing an exchange server, I decided to determine if my newly configured MX record had propogated...and it had. Still having time to kill during installation I checked the blacklists. Much to my surprise (until I found this blog,) I was blacklisted by Barracuda. I sent in the revocation request. Still installing and waiting for a response. In other words, as of this moment my email server is still not live but I have been blacklisted. Draw your own conclusions.