GrRBL goes django

I’ve had this thought for some time now, I needed a nice interface for GrRBL so that it would make it easier for others, read more, people to contribute. Many people have been, politely, complaining about lack of features, policy and so on.

Right now most people use either the submission form or they bounce their emails to grrbl [at] void [dot] gr. Then their emails get manually processed, filtered and if everything goes well the “useful” parts of their email end up in the DNS RBL or the email address blacklist. This process is not automated at all, entries are manually added to a database, and is therefore quite time consuming. What’s worse is that people who are listed don’t have an ‘easy’ way to opt-out, apart from emailing us. The algorithm of adding someone to these lists is also not well-defined. The main rule that is followed is that an IP or email address is added to these lists when at least 3 people have submitted them on different days.

Hopefully this is about to change soon (I don’t know how soon, but soon!). During the past month I’ve been trying to code an interface in django, even though I had no prior experience in it. It’s mostly a self educating process and I like it very much. This django application will be generic enough to cover submissions and listings for IPs, emails and possibly URLs.

  • Short term goals:
  • Anonymous users will only get to see details about an IP they search for. People though will be able to register and add their own entries to a database. These registered users will be able to see the complete listings. Each user will belong to a group and every group will have a different weight which will depend on his ‘expertise’ (I know this is broad, but read on). For example, the group of the individual users will certainly have less weight than the group of the postmasters of Greek ISPs (yeap there are some who regularly contribute). Using their weights users will be able to vote on each entry that’s inside the database. Upon a certain score these entries will be flagged as eligible to be on the blacklist. Listed people will be able to opt-out but this process will be moderated by the superusers, that means that spammers like the infamous sofokleous10 will never get a chance to opt-out even for a single second.
    Most of this functionality is already coded and is working quite well.

  • Mid term goals:
  • Various export formats will be supported (BIND/RBLDNSD, Spamassassin/Postifix/Exim/sendmail/etc). Selective/custom export of entries will be provided. Users will be able to select if they want to export/use a strict blacklist, that is hosts that are scored very high, a moderate one and a very broad/risky one. Levels have yet to be defined. An API will be published so that entries can be re-used in other applications (json format ?)

  • Long term goals:
  • A method/interface that someone would copy/paste their email and it would automagically parse it, provide the user with the discovered malicious entries (IP, emails, URLs) and propose him to add them to the database. Maybe automate this even further so that they are added on a separate moderated queue without user interaction, that would be suitable for submitting entries via email plugins for clients such as mutt/thunderbird/etc.

  • The code:
  • The django application code resides in github for now: Everyone is welcome to submit ideas (as issues) and code! Feel free to download, test and provide feedback.

  • Greek Adblock Plus Filter
  • Since the code is very flexible I am thinking whether Greek Adblock Plus Filter can also be benefited by this voting system. It probably can, so expect some changes to that list as well. One interface to rule them all.

    Many thanks go to @apoikos who has been helping me a lot with the tons of questions I still have on django stuff.

    Update on Greek Spammers Email Addresses Blacklist

    The pet-project of GrRBL,which is an IP-based blacklist, The Greek Spammers Email Addresses Blacklist, previously described at a previous post of mine, has grown to 400++ verified addresses of Greek spammers.

    From now on, apart from the usual rsync access to anyone who asks for it, there will be a public link on the web with a PGP/GPG signed list of the spammers for anyone to get. The public link will not update as often as the list from rsync, probably once or twice per month is enough.

    For anyone who wants to read a bit more:

    Direct link to the signed Greek Spammers Email Addresses Blacklist.

    Don’t forget to read the disclaimer and to submit greek spam at GrRBL Submission.

    6 years! + grrbl news

    It’s been exactly 6 years (!) since I started this blog:

    Too bad I don’t have as much free time as I had in the past to post about interesting things. It’s a also a time for a redesign…I think I have the same theme for more than 5 years…

    Anyway, GrRBL got redesigned yesterday by Christine and now there’s also a submission form for those who prefer it over forwarding emails. I also merged my other Greek spammers email addresses blacklist with lists by a couple of friends (postmasters) and now the list contains over 300 unique, verified, spammer addresses. This list is not yet public but if you are interested to use it and test it, give me a shout and I’ll give you access.

    Greek spammers email addresses blacklist

    In the beginning of the year I announced my RBL for Greek spam emails. The blacklist is growing larger by the day, thanks to some really kind people forwarding me their Greek spam emails, and has reached more than 120 IP addresses of verified Greek spammers.This alone though is not enough.

    Some spammers use their aDSL lines which have dynamic IPs to send their massive email “newsletters”. These people are split into 2 sub-categories. The ones that use their own PC as an SMTP server and the ones who use their ISP’s mail server as SMTP. I’ve tried to complain to some of their ISPs…some replied back saying that they were willing to look into the issue (but did nothing at all in the end) and others did not even reply to me. For both sub-categories, GrRBL is ineffective since I can’t add dynamic IPs in the blacklist nor can I add the IPs of the email servers of those major Greek ISPs.

    Another category of spammers is the one that uses their gmail/yahoo accounts to send their emails. GrRBL is ineffective for this category as well since I can’t add gmail/yahoo to the blacklist…

    So there was no alternative but to gather all those email addresses of these 2 categories above and add them to a new blacklist, one that will contain email addresses. I use this blacklist with my spamassassin configuration to eliminate Greek spam that GrRBL can’t. Each time I receive (or someone forwards me) a new Greek spam, I add the “From:” email address to this new blacklist. This new blacklist grows far more aggressively than GrRBL since it’s a lot easier to gather the data and already has more than 140 addresses.

    There are two available formats of the blacklist, one ready for use by spamassassin and another one with clear formatting ready to be used even by SMTPs to drop these spam emails without even touching your inbox.
    The blacklist is currently only distributed to a group of well trusted people and it is available only through rsync with a username/password.

    I don’t want to make the list completely public yet, but if you are interested you can request it at the contact email of GrRBL and I will reply to you about accessing it.

    If you need a good tool to check a host again some RBLs, adnsrblcheck by Yiorgos Adamopoulos is the way to go (and it includes GrRBL!)

    Greek adblock plus filter on the official subscription list

    Six months after my original post on the creation of Greek Adblock Plus filter, the filter is finally added on the official subscription list thanks to Wladimir Palant.
    Apart from Adblock Plus add-on for Firefox/Iceweasel/etc, the filter is also usable by the AdThwart extension for Google Chrome/Chromium

    Until today the list peaked at 70 subscribers…I hope this will make more people trust my filter list and reach at least 100 subscribers.

    As a sidenote, my RBL for Greek spam has moved to a new, better server thanks to a very kind person who donated it and some people administering mail servers have already added it to their spam filters. Since the original announcement the RBL jumped from 500 reqs/min to 2000 reqs/min.

    RBL for Greek spam emails

    It’s been some months now that I’ve started collecting some IP addresses of well known Greek spammers and I’ve put them on an DNSBL. I’ve named this list GrRBL. The software I use to run the list is rbldnsd.

    The list is strictly moderated by me and only me and I try to be very selective on hosts I add to the list. The list contains hosts not only in .gr zone but also “foreign” hosts used to send spam messages either in Greek language or of Greek interest.

    There’s a minimalistic guide on using it with spamassassin, exim, sendmail and postfix on GrRBL’s website. There are currently no statistics and no public listing of IPs in the blacklist. If there’s enough demand for statistics I might create some.

    There’s also NO automatic deletion support, once an IP is in the list there’s no automatic way out. Since I am the only one adding IPs to the list, I am also the only one removing them, manually of course.

    Even though I use GrRBL in all of the mail servers I own/manage, still I consider the service as beta. I don’t think it’s ever going to eat your emails, but you are still the only one responsible if this happens.

    To submit new spam messages for inclusion please send me an email with FULL headers of the spam message to grrbl [at] void [dot] gr and I will try to take a look at it as soon as possible.

    If you use it, or plan to, please leave a comment or even better, submit some spam messages so the list gets bigger and better.

    P.S. In case you wonder, yes the list contains the IPs of the notorious sofokleous10 spammer.