Frequently Asked Questions, Comments and Answers.
Publish your error report complete with relevant email headers including your IP address so that an Administrator can find it. If your IP address is in a bad neighborhood (CIDR), inform your Internet Service Provider (ISP). There are positive results for some who published here.
Ihr Fehlerbericht komplett mit relevanten E-Mail-Header einschließlich Ihrer IP-Adresse, so dass ein Administrator kann sie finden zu veröffentlichen. Wenn Ihre IP-Adresse ist in einer schlechten Nachbarschaft (CIDR), informieren Sie Ihren Internet Service Provider (ISP). Es gibt positive Ergebnisse für einige der hier veröffentlichten.
Publicar su informe de error completo con cabeceras de correo electrónico relevantes, incluyendo su dirección IP para que un administrador lo puede encontrar. Si su dirección IP está en un mal barrio (CIDR), informe a su proveedor de servicios Internet (ISP). Hay resultados positivos de algunos de los que aquí publicados.
Il sera préférable de publier votre rapport d'erreur complet avec têtes de courriers électroniques pertinents, y compris votre adresse IP afin qu'un administrateur puisse le trouver. Si votre adresse IP est dans un mauvais quartier (CIDR), d'informer votre fournisseur d'accès Internet (FAI). Il ya des résultats positifs pour certains qui ont publié ici.
Sarà meglio pubblicare il report di errore completo di intestazioni delle email importanti compreso il Vostro indirizzo IP in modo che un amministratore può trovare. Se il tuo indirizzo IP è in un brutto quartiere (CIDR), informare il provider di servizi Internet (ISP). Ci sono risultati positivi per alcuni che hanno pubblicato qui.
Será melhor para publicar o seu relatório de erro completo com cabeçalhos de e-mail relevantes, incluindo o seu endereço IP para que um administrador pode encontrá-lo. Se o seu endereço IP está em um bairro ruim (CIDR), informe o seu Internet Service Provider (ISP). Há resultados positivos para alguns que aqui publicadas.
Q1: What is APEWS?
|A1: APEWS is a list of areas on the Internet that several system administrators, ISP postmasters, and other service providers have assembled and use to deny email and in some cases, other network traffic, from.
| Q2: Why is APEWS?
|A2: In most cases, spam blocking and filtering systems work after the fact. There is a time lag between the spammer setting up shop, spamming millions, and getting their network ranges block-listed. APEWS identifies known spammers and spam operations, listing them right as they start, sometimes even before they start, spamming. Also, several of the other popular spam blocking systems have become bogged down due to an overload of requests, this lessens their effectiveness; as a result, APEWS was created to assist.
| Q3: Why not let Internet Service Provider (ISPs) and the large data network companies handle the spam problem?
|A3: We'd love to, but given the history of the ineffectiveness of some ISPs and networks due to lack of interest, lack of funds, and no lack of uneducated security/abuse people, the only way one can attempt to fully stop spam is at the recipient end rather than the point of origin.
| Q4: Why not let the government handle the spam problem?
|A4: Governments are years behind the problem, most current laws are nearly worthless or, as in the USA, have been co-opted by the DMA and other spam friendly entities. Even with current and future laws, many of the APEWS listed spammers have no qualms about breaking the law and unless prosecuted, will never quit.
| Q5: Why are network addresses listed if no spam has originated from them?
|A5: They are listed because they have been set up by known spammers and spam support operations, most with a demonstrable repeated history of spamming or spamming services. They are also listed if they host websites advertised in spam, as this too falls under spamming services - these listings normally occur if the owners of that network address range do not remove the offenders.
| Q6: How did "I" get into APEWS?!
|A6: Normally it is not "you" who was listed but your ISP or host. They may have been listed due to spam originating from their section of the Internet or due to their hosting or providing services for known spammers. The APEWS bounce page covers this in more detail. Now if you are a spammer, or spammer supporter, yourself, you were listed for that reason.
| Q7: Most of my spam comes from dialup modem pools, not spammer owned network blocks. So using APEWS won't really stop any of my spam. Why doesn't APEWS list dialup modem pools?
|A7: We want to list any identifiable network block that is owned or run by the spammers or spammer supporters themselves. This way we can lessen their effectiveness at spamming. Even if the spam doesn't come from there, they may use it to host spamvertized sites or use their network connection to harvest email addresses from Internet webpages. We do try to educate the dialup ISP to clean up their spam problem.
| Q8: Why not educate the people before listing them?
|A8: Most, if not all, APEWS listed spammers know what they are doing, are pro-spam, and have a long history of abuse, some even have criminal records and civil judgements against them. In most cases, attempting to educate these types is a lost cause. But you're welcome to try. We do try to educate some of the hosts and ISPs the spammers use.
| Q9: Why use APEWS instead of advisory-list ABC, XYZ, etc?
|A9: APEWS is normally not an "instead", but a supplement to other blocking/filtering strategies. We recommend using open relay, open proxy, and dialup block-lists as a first line of defence. This will normally catch the majority of ones incoming spam.
| Q10: Isn't APEWS censorship?
|A10: No, APEWS is a list of areas of the Internet that some people do not wish to communicate with. Think of it as one group's Consumer Reports review of portions of the billions of Internet addresses. These are the ones APEWS members have a poor opinion of. APEWS is not anti-commerce and fully supports the USA's First Amendment and other nation's free speech protections. In fact, the USA's Supreme Court agrees with the APEWS view. The creators of APEWS are its main users and who it was designed for, if others decide to also use its data, they are exercising their own rights. No one is forced to use APEWS.
| Q11: I'm a spammer and I'm listed in APEWS, I want out! Will you do it?
|A11: Sorry, APEWS is a list of known spammers, spamming operations and spam supporters, if you fit the criteria there's a good chance you will be listed and stay listed. If you are a spammer, may we suggest you get a real job?
| Q12: As a spammer or spam supporter listed in APEWS, don't I have legal grounds to sue APEWS?
|A12: Not in any jurisdiction we've seen. APEWS is just an opinion report, used by some to filter Internet traffic, others to read for amusement, it was not created, intended, or used to libel or defame anyone. The USA's Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov) recommends the filtering option and directs people to a CDT report detailing the spam problem and solutions to it. Many other people and places have implemented this government suggested option.
| Q13: What gives you the right to stop spammers, or anyone for that matter, from sending you email?
|A13: Basic private property rights and basic freedoms to associate with and not associate with whomever we chose. Our email systems and mailboxes are our and our client's private property, some of us tried putting up "no trespassing" signs ("don't spam here" banners), when they were disregarded we hired the equivalent of a "nightclub bouncer" who has a list of past trespassers and potential troublemakers we'd rather not let in. The bouncer is our email/packet filtering software, the list it uses is called APEWS.
| Q14: Why do you hate spammers so?
|A14: We don't hate anyone, in fact we love all. We hate what spammers do. Again, we are not judging the morality of anyone whose network is listed in APEWS, we just don't want to communicate with them.
| Q15: How do I know you won't list places you may dislike for non-spam reasons? Political candidates, controversial sites, adult sites.
|A15: The reason why APEWS exists is to stop spam (aka: unsolicited bulk email). That is what APEWS is designed and intended to list, nothing more.
| Q16: I'm not a spammer or spam operation... heck I hate spam, but my email is getting bounced by someone using APEWS, or I can't access a website due to APEWS based blocking.
|A16: You maybe part of the rare "inadvertent blocking" that can occur when a spam friendly provider is listed in APEWS. Your best option is to try and educate your provider or switch to one who is not listed in APEWS as spam friendly. APEWS aims to avoid listing any non-spammer or non-spam support areas if possible - we just want to stop spam.
| Q17: I was spammed from network XYZ, I want them added to APEWS!
|A17: Unlike other block-lists, APEWS does not take submissions or nominations. Entries in APEWS are made by the people who run APEWS for their own blocking and filtering needs. It is provided to the rest of the Internet as an educational tool, or an opinion to use if anyone wishes.
| Q18: If I decide to use APEWS, what will it cost me money wise?
|A18: Nothing, viewing APEWS is free. Much as reading the majority of Internet webpages, just go there and look at its data either with your eyes, or your computer's email/packet handling system.
| Q19: I've found that my ISP/Host/etc. is using APEWS to block/filter email and I don't like that!
|A19: You can ask them if they are able to just "tag" the incoming email as possible spam instead of bouncing it. If they are unable to do this, we are sure there are plenty of ISPs/Hosts/etc. who do not use APEWS and would welcome you as a customer.
| Q20: Why don't places like AOL/Hotmail/Yahoo/Bigfoot use APEWS to filter my email there?
|A20: It's their choice, they are quite welcome to use it.
| Q21: Why does APEWS have two levels of listings? What is Level 1?
|A21: APEWS publishes two lists. Level 1 lists domains only. Domains owned by spammers or spam supporters and also by cart00neys trying to sue blocklist operators will get listed. We don't even try and educate these types as any past attempts at education have failed. If a known spammer buys a new domain but hasn't started spamming from it yet, it is still eligible to be listed here. blocking a domain whose owners use human shileds will result in collateral damage, which some users might not want. Also note that Use of L1 might reject messages that use of L2 does not; maximum blocking requires the use of both. This is a significant difference from SPEWS, where the relationship was hierarchical.
| Q22: What is Level 2?
|A22: Level 2 lists IP addresses and netblocks of known spammers, anyone who is spam-friendly, or more worse supporting spammers. Listing starts at single IP's and can escalate up till the entire netrange of a spammer or spam supporter is listed. The Level 2 list will have some inadvertent blocking (non-spammer IP addresses included in listed blocks), but can still be used by small ISPs or individuals who want a stricter level of blocking/filtering. By having a two style list, you can make the hardcore spamfighters happy; those who want to block first and ask questions later. Also, a listing in the Level 2 list may exert a bit of pressure on spam friendly sites and may keep them from turning totally bad - but that is not really the point, stopping spam is. Note: For maximum blocking use *both* L1 and L2.
| Q23: As an ISP/Host/Network, what is the best way to keep our IP address ranges or domains out of the APEWS list?
|A23: It's quite simple, steer clear of spammers, spammer hosts, and sellers of spamware. If one does appear on your system, terminate immediately before the complaint level rises. Search out, and copy for your own, the best Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs) and stick to the letter of their wording. And the most obvious way; pay attention to and act upon email in your "abuse@" mailbox!
| Q24: Why isn't the big emailing company who sends me opt-out junk email listed in APEWS.
|A24: These large corporate emailers (aka: mainsleaze) are not die-hard spammers or spam operations, they can, after a time, be educated to run a proper, verified/confirmed opt-in only, system. In the past, MAPS did a good job at this and it seems they do intend to continue pursuing this goal into the future.
| Q25: Will APEWS ever list the big corporate spammers?
|A25: Yes. If they venture into the pure unsolicited emailing world, or have an un-managed "affiliate" program that causes spam problems they will be listed.
| Q26: I've been spammed though an open email relay, why aren't these in APEWS?
|A26: APEWS does not normally list open relays. Use an Open Relay advisory list like DSBL or the MAPS RSS to filter these. If a spammer or spam operation has an open relay, it will be listed on that basis. APEWS does not do relay or mailserver testing.
| Q27: If I use APEWS, is there an chance that non-spam email will be blocked?
|A27: Yes. If you rely on the information supplied by APEWS (or almost any block-list), you have chosen to reduce your email connectivity and refuse email from certain sources based on the information we list. We do not warrant that the information we provide is complete or accurate - how you choose to use it is up to you.
| Q28: Will using the APEWS list as a filter block all my spam?
|A28: No. There is no practical way at present to stop all incoming junk email, only to limit the quantity. Using APEWS in conjunction with one or more of the open relay/proxy and spam advisory systems will dramatically cut down on the spam you do get.
| Q29: How can I or my ISP use APEWS?
|A29: Several places get and publish both APEWS Level 1 and Level 2 lists in several ways. Router/firewall DENY tables, Procmail filters, MTA access lists and records made to be used as DNS zone files.
| Q30: Wow, this is great, I want to hook my mailserver up to APEWS right now, how!?
|A30: Sorry, the APEWS system is private and used by its developers to filter their own email by this method. You can RSYNC to a local copy of the dataset.
| Q31: Okay, I'm still sold, what's the easiest way to use APEWS then?
|A31: At this time the easiest way to use the APEWS list for yourself is to use the DNS lookup based filtering provided by us. The APEWS Level 1 & Level 2 data can be accessed from our spam prevention database (l1.apews.org / l2.apews.org). Use of this system is also free. Other systems may soon follow and offer this zone for DNS lookups. The best and fastest way to use APEWS is to set up your own DNS server and mirror one of the DNSBL lists that include APEWS.
| Q32: Are you associated with any other APEWS domains?
|A32: Nope, APEWS.ORG is our only site. We have no idea what any others are.
| Q33: I'm a spammer and hate APEWS, can I get APEWS-SUCKS.COM and put up an anti-APEWS website?
|A33: Why not? It's your opinion. You can even block us from you and your spammer buddy networks... in fact, please do!
| Q34: I'm a spammer, what can being listed by APEWS do for me?
|A34: Since most spammers "say" they don't want to send email to people who don't want it (why else would there be dozens of "remove" lists), having your address in APEWS will prevent your email from reaching people who don't want it. Consider it a "pre-removal" list.
| Q35: Who is APEWS? Isn't APEWS like some kind of "star chamber" of unaccountable people who are banning others?
|A35: No. APEWS is a just a list made by people who deal with the spam/junk email problem on a daily basis. They are from all over the world, N. & S. America, Europe, Asia, Australia. Spam knows no borders and the people who try to limit it are global in this day and age. APEWS people are accountable, accountable to their many users and clients who like getting reduced spam, but would not like having email of value rejected. This accountability to others keeps APEWS functioning smoothly.
| Q36: Where can I go and see discussions about APEWS, spam and other email abuse issues.
|A36: Before considering where to go, consider what you wish to discuss. Do not post removal requests to any of the fora mentioned below; that won't affect the listing and will annoy those in a position to give you advice.
There is a SPAM-L mailing list, SpamCop.net has a mailing list and User Forum. Note that posting messages in these newsgroups & lists will not have any effect on APEWS listings, only the discontinuation of spam and/or spam support will.
| Q37: How do I find what type of spammers and spam supporters are in APEWS?
|A37: Visit the Spamhaus.org website and view their database of spammers and the Register Of Known Spammer Operations (ROKSO). Also Spamsites.org has a massive list of the sites that enable spammers by selling them the tools they use to spam, hide, and steal from others. These places can also be blocked using lists published by Spamhaus.org and are the types of places included in the APEWS list.
| Q38: I have my own spam blocking system set up, why should I use APEWS?
|A38: Keep using yours, but by adding APEWS you may be able to stop some spammers you've missed or do not know about - yet - and that's a good thing.
| Q39: Is APEWS global? Is in only good in the USA, Europe?
|A39: APEWS can be used by any system located anywhere in the world to filter email or block packets from the addresses listed in APEWS. We will try and have different language versions of the APEWS bounce page as time goes by, but much of the site will remain in English.
| Q40: There must be some evil scheme to profit from this endeavor?
|A40: No. APEWS is in the category of many "just for the good of the community as a whole" Internet projects. Everyone involved does it based on this. There may be an increase in profits for people who use APEWS, as having to deal with spam costs money.
| Q41: How does one contact APEWS?
|A41: One does not. APEWS does not accept removal request by email, fax, voicemail or letters.
Bugging the APEWS maintainers is considered as additional abuse and will lead to escalations. Abusing forum / lists by posting a removal request, you will make a fool of yourself and you are at risk to end up in additional private blocklists, so think twice before posting. Be aware that posting ones email address to any publicly viewable forum or website makes it instantly available to spammers. If you're concerned about getting spammed, change or "munge" the email address you use to post with.
| Q42: My IP address/range is being listed by APEWS but I'm not a spammer and I just signed up for this/these address(s). What can I do to be removed from the list?
|A42: APEWS listings in Case 1 are just automated entries, if spam or spam involvement (hosting spammers, selling spamware) from your IP address/range ceases, the listing will drop out of the list in time. Normally the listing involves spam related problems with your host and the first step you need to take is to complain to them about the listing, in almost all cases, they are the only people who can get an address/range out of the APEWS list. If there is a spam related problem with your host, their IP address/range will not be removed until it is resolved. If your host or network is certain a listing mistake has been made, ask them to read this FAQ,do not post messages yourself about apparent errors in the listing of your provider.
The network owner (and no one else) can then post a message in a public forum mentioned above with the APEWS record number (eg. E=211497) and/or the IP address/range/domain information in it. Placing the text "APEWS:" in the subject can help a APEWS editor or developer see the message and they may double check the listing - note that, although others may, no APEWS editor or developer will ever reply to the posting. Will this get your IP address/range removed from a APEWS listing? Again, not if there are currently spam related problems with your host. Be aware that posting one's email address to any publicly viewable forum or website makes it instantly available to spammers. If you're concerned about getting spammed, change or "munge" the email address you use to post with.
| Q43: I am a spammer or spammer host and my IP address/range is being listed by APEWS. What can I do to be removed?
|A43: If you are a spammer, not much. If you are a spammer host and wish to discuss your APEWS listing you are free to discuss it in the public forums mentioned above. Be prepared to see responses from others in these open forums, if you are a spammer or known as spam friendly, these responses will not be kind. If you are a spammer host, be prepared to be educated about the error of your ways by the people who post here. And a word of warning, most of the people in these forums, like APEWS administrators, have heard every excuse in the book - if making excuses; please be original. Do note that if you are still spamming or hosting spammers - it's probably best not to post any messages at all, it serves no purpose. Be aware that posting ones email address to any publicly viewable forum or website makes it instantly available to spammers. If you're concerned about getting spammed, change or "munge" the email address you use to post with.
| Q44: I'd love to use APEWS and other advisory systems to reduce my spam, but I just can't take the chance that a non-spam email for me or my company would be rejected. What can I do?
|A44: Instead of rejecting the message, most email systems can also be set up to tag it as probable or possible spam. These tags are placed in the message header and can then be dealt with using your email client software. A common technique is to put them into a "junk folder." Then, when you have time, you can scan through these messages to see in any were of value. Email processing systems like Procmail, SpamBouncer and SpamAssassin can be used to implement this. A common practice is to bounce based on the APEWS Level 1 list, and tag based on the APEWS Level 2 list.
| Q45: What other major spam advisory lists and blocking systems are there? What are your opinions of them?
|A45: There are quite a few other advisory lists and blocking systems available. A sampling of them, mostly DNSBL type, and an opinion follow. There is also a weekly comparison published and viewable online, and a less detailed daily comparison posted by tu-berlin.de to the Usenet.
|MAPS RBL: Great for putting pressure on an ISP but too slow to be highly effective, their strict rules makes it very difficult to even list some of the worst spammers. Too much manual work involved dealing with the public and the spammers ("MAPS is not about stopping spam. MAPS is about stopping spammers" - Dave Rand). They also seem more concerned about educating mainsleazers than stopping actual hardcore spammers. That's where using APEWS comes in. [Fee and/or contract needed]
|MAPS RSS: Nice when it worked. ORBS-type lists are better, you should not have to actually get proof of spam through a relay before blocking it. Due to abuse by spammers, open email relays no longer have any place on the Internet. Some may want to debate this, we won't. Also, few open mail relays anymore. [Fee and/or contract needed]
|MAPS DUL: Becoming pointless as time passes, most spammers are not using "direct-to-MX" spamming anymore, ISP port 25 filters take care of this. MAPS should be commended for their efforts to get the major dial-up providers to implement port 25 filters. This one action alone has caused spammers the most grief. [Fee and/or contract needed]
|MAPS NML: A lawyer approved version of the RBL; the "Non-confirming Mailing List" database is a list of mailservers belonging to places that do not run fully verified opt-in lists. Not enough information as to its effectiveness yet, but if it does what it says, it should keep the mainsleazers at bay. [Fee and/or contract needed]
|DSBL: A multi-zoned open relay/proxy/formmail blocklist that will list all machines that allow open email relaying - flexible & very effective.
|SpamCop: Great way for newbies to complain about spam! Their statistics are great for figuring out where the real spam problems are. [Fee and/or contract needed]
|SpamCop BL: In 2001 SpamCop added their own dynamic, real-time DNSBL, free to use and quite flexible as it puts "scoring" into the returned lookup value. Due to problems automating this type of system, to use it to bounce mail on a larger ISP would not be recommended. For personal use, or if used to tag messages as possible spam, it is recommended, the system does work very well.
|Spamhaus SBL: The Spamhaus Project operates a very good blocklist advisory system that contains current spamming areas of the Internet, spamware vendors, and known spamming operations contained in their ROKSO database. Very effective.
|Spamhaus XBL: The Spamhaus Project operates a very good blocklist advisory system that contains explointed servers. If combines the CBL and OPM lists and maybe others. Very effective.
|UCEPROTECT-Network: Project UCEPROTECT-Network operates 3 very good blocklists that contain most abusers of todays internet. They are known to be honest and we have seen that they would even list their own provider. Very flexible & very effective.
|TQM3: TQMCUBE operates multiple lists of entire countrys Republic of China and South Korea and also based on spamtraps . Warning: Seems to be on AUTOPILOT since 21. March 2007.
|SpamBouncer: It takes a bit of work to set up, but will allow people who don't have access to DNS level mail filtering directly to still use the system. It can be used to query blocklists and it does query DNSBL's that include the APEWS list. Effective and very flexible. [It is Procmail based]
|SpamAssassin: It takes a bit of work to set up, but is very powerful and uses an assortment of rule based techniques to determine which emails are spam and which are not. It can query blocklists that include the APEWS list. Very effective and very flexible. [It is Perl based]
|SORBS: A multi-zoned open relay/proxy/spampipe blocklist that will list all machines that allow open email relaying or originate spam - effective & very flexible.
|CBL: A very clever new blocklist method that uses a large set of spamtraps and several other methods to produce amazing results. Very effective.
|SURBL: SURBL differs from other DNSBLs in that it can be used to block or tag messages based on the domain names in message body URIs (usually web sites). Very effective.
| Q46: Okay, I've looked into the APEWS list - It doesn't list anywhere near enough of the junk emailers out there! I want to block more - how?
|A46: Many other people and companies publish lists of their opinion as to who, where and what should be blocked if you feel you need more. Try them if you need more.
| Q47: I have a question that was not answered above, how do I get an answer?
|A47: As mentioned, APEWS issues and further questions can be discussed in the forums mentioned above. Please note that internet newsgroups are not our removal queues.
| Q48: Why is this FAQ so darn long?!
|A48: Sorry, no answer to that one.