News: Nope, still not listed at Spamhaus

Published: 2022-06-05

Every day we see a few outbound emails rejected, claiming our sending IP to be listed at Spamhaus. Those users who sent those emails will receive a message back making this same claim, that an IP of ours is listed at Spamhaus. It isn't true, not even a little. Such an event would be nuclear in our field, we wouldn't let it slide for a moment. So let me tell you what is actually happening:

Spamhaus does not accept queries using public DNS servers. Using public DNS servers is actually one of the most common things that people configure servers to do. Recently, they've been cracking down on their policy and actually rejecting the queries. Many of the servers in question interpret this rejected query as a blacklisting, even though it isn't.

Most system administrators who notice this behavior quickly resolve it, but there has been an increase in servers that are not managed by administrators who are observant or capable of resolving it. They don't think it's a problem, you're the one listed at Spamhaus so it must be your problem, right? Well, you can't fix stupid. So if you see this happen to you, write your recipient a nice letter and have it delivered by your postal service telling them to get an email provider that doesn't nap all day and night.