(Note that I no longer work for IronPort - but I did, and was even the
SE for NZ for a while, so...)
On Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 1:23 PM, Brett Healy <brett.healy(a)btw.co.nz> wrote:
I think what you are referring to is
IronPort sell the hardware/subscription that use the list and bypass the
SenderBase runs the reputation list
ReturnPath runs Bonded Sender and people pay to by pass the list and the
hardware (even if its spam) , those caught are spamming apparently face
IronPort (now Cisco) sells anti-spam appliances, and corresponding
services/licenses that go along with that hardware.
One of those services is SenderBase, which is IronPort's Reputation
system. At the end of the day, SenderBase is basically just a
combined RBL, which takes data from over 100 different "sources', and
munges them into a single number between -10.0 and +10.0. IronPort
customers can then choose to block connections coming from a hosts
with a reputation below a specific level (normally -3.0 to -2.0 for
people in NZ). The "sources" they use range from public blacklists,
through to domain age, ownership (both IP and domain), reverse
loopups, spam traps (IronPort owns SpamCop), statistics reported back
by owner IronPorts, commercial black/whitelists, and many other
ReturnPath does indeed run Bonded Sender, after they bought it from
IronPort back in 2005. ReturnPath and Bonded Sender are now completely
independent from IronPort, however I believe their Bonded Sender list
is still used as one of those >100 sources that IronPort uses to give
an IP a reputation.
The fact that you are on Bonded Sender will give you a slight
"positive" as far as reputation goes. eg, if you might otherwise have
had a reputation of +4, then if you're listed on Bonded Sender you
might be +4.5 (It's not that simplistic, but hopefully you get the
The cheapest way to get unlisted is just wait (30mins
to 7days depending on
Actually that's pretty much the _only_ way to increase your
reputation. An IronPort customer can raise a support call to IronPort
who will be able to see why a host has a low reputation, and whilst
they will be able to fix some of the (very rare) obvious errors such
as hosts marked as a dynamic IP when they are not, they generally can
NOT increase the reputation of an IP.
The quickest way is to sign up for ReturnPath and pay
min 1000NZD (yearly
If you're signing up for ReturnPath as a short-term solution to
getting yourself unlisted as a spammer, you're going about things
completely wrong. Not only will it most likely not work, odds are
that they will not even accept your subscription.
The most expensive way is buying IronPort hardware,
2-4k NZD (then yearly
subscriptions of around 1-2k NZD)
This will give you _zero_ benefit. Other than the ability to contact
Ironport support directly (rather than through the IronPort customer
who is blocking your mail), absolutely NO preference is given to
IronPort customers when it comes to reputation calculations. Zero.
None. Not even a +0.1
If this all sounds like blackmail that's because
it is, its a con and
everyone is getting played.
Be definition, nothing on the IronPort side comes even close to
blackmail - no matter how much money you throw their way they will not
change your ability to get mail through.
ReturnPath also isn't blackmail, simply because they only work in
terms of positives, not negatives. Not being on Bonded Sender will
not reduce your reputation in any way. Joining their Bonded Sender
program _may_ increase your IronPort reputation a little, but it's in
no way a guarantee that you'll be unblocked - and anyone that tells
you otherwise is either misinformed, or lying.
As far as the best way to stop yourself getting blocked by IronPort
Reputation, it's actually quite easy - Don't send spam! Once you take
out the concepts that most anti-spam products use such as dynamic IP
lists/etc, the vast majority of the factors used to calculate your
reputation are based on the volume of spam seen, both by other
IronPorts as well as various spamtraps.
Bonded Sender itself isn't a bad concept for the right type of
company. Bonded Sender allows you to say "I promise I won't send
spam", and then put your money where your mouth is! If you send spam,
they charge you a fee for each spam.
Bonded Sender isn't at all intended for ISPs, because we all know that
all ISPs _will_ send spam at some stage. It's designed for marketing
companies and corporates, who may send out large volumes of mail which
is spam-ish in nature (newsletters, opt-in advertising, statements,
etc), but which isn't spam. Many email companies use their lists to
weight anti-spam software towards or away from a particular message
being spam. Hotmail, Yahoo, many large ISPs/cable companies, IronPort
(to the extent mentioned above), and many more.