- 2011-08-19: PSBL has experienced a database outage, resulting in
failed removal requests. All removal requests that came
in via email during this period have been removed, people
who emailed without specifying an IP address will have to
use the web interface.
- 2010-01-10: PSBL is experimentally not whitelisting IP addresses
that are in DNSWL at level DNSWL_NONE, because too many
problematic IP addresses were downgraded from DNSWL_HIGH,
DNSWL_MED and DNSWL_LOW into DNSWL_NONE. Let me know how
- 2009-11-29: The firewall was down for a few days due to hardware
problems. Apologies for any inconvenience.
- 2009-10-15: The PSBL database is migrated to a new virtual machine.
During this time removals may not work for a few hours,
but attempted removals will be re-run after the migration
- 2009-10-12: Removed all pre-2007 spamtrap history from the database.
- 2008-12-12: After the ice storm and power failure, the database
virtual machine did not boot up automatically. As a
result the site gave internal server errors for a few
hours, until I manually started up the database system.
- 2008-07-26: PSBL has been holding stable at around 1 million IP
addresses for the last two years. Statistics on the
performance of PSBL
and other blocklists are maintained by dnsbl.com.
- 2006-09-22: The disk holding the PSBL database broke. A new database
has been started from scratch inside a Xen guest on another
computer. Within 4 hours the database passed the 27000 IP
address mark; things should be back to normal blocking
efficiency witihn a few days.
- 2005-12-16: The evidence cgi script has been improved so it shows
the latest 20 spam messages instead of the earliest ones.
- 2005-12-11: The memory test showed no problems, but lmsensors is
showing that the negative voltages in the power supply
are unstable and out of spec, and the +12V voltage is
also fluctuating quite a bit.
- 2005-12-10: The database server will be offline tonight,
undergoing a memory test.
- 2005-10-30: During the move to their permanent new home, one of the
hard disks became seriously unhappy and started returning
bogus data for a few blocks on disk. I have bought a new
hard drive and restored the database from backup. This
does mean that both new listings and removals from the
last day or two got lost.
- 2005-10-27: The hard disks are in another, temporary, computer. I will
move them to a new permanent system this weekend.
- 2005-10-26: The computer containing the PSBL database seems to have
fried some part of its hardware, while I was away on a
business trip. I will place the disks in another system ASAP.
- 2005-09-06: converted PSBL to the new postgres database layout and
started with a fresh database. It should be populated in
a few days, but the history from the old database is gone.
- 2005-06-13: openrbl.org expired, so now I'm linking dnsstuff.com as
the site for people to check whether their IP address
is listed in other DNSBLs.
- 2005-02-06: I have added a new script, to parse the mail server error
log and blocklist IP addresses that connected to the SMTP
server, but did not speak proper SMTP. Since mail servers
do speak SMTP, this measure should only list spam zombies
and open proxies.
- 2005-01-23: the database is being reorganised a little bit, apologies
for anybody affected by the downtime.
- 2004-12-25: Inflow gave PSBL a christmas present - a full portscan of the
host that's running PSBL. The portscan came from
- 2004-11-03: one of the hard drives in the mail server might be developing
problems, so I took the system down to add a new hard drive.
The old disk is still in use for non-critical data. The spam
archive has been extended, so evidence should be held a bit
longer. Note that the current rate is 2GB/day in spam...
- 2004-10-31: the capacity of the spamtrap mail server has been increased,
by moving the mail spool to tmpfs. In other news, the PSBL
spamtrap server is receiving over half a million messages per
- 2004-10-30: configured the MTA to return a 5XX error code when accepting
the spamtrap mail. This should reduce false positives further,
by allowing legitimate mailers to remove spamtrap addresses
- 2004-10-15: on October 20th (or 21st) there will be maintenance to the
electricity grid. The planned outage is only 30 minutes,
which the UPS can sustain, however if the outage takes
longer PSBL might be down for a few hours.
- 2004-10-08: the evidence collection has been switched to a more efficient
storage model, searching on the evidence page should be a lot
- 2004-09-27: mysql ran out of space, the data has been moved to a larger
volume. Apologies for any inconvenience caused by the
short outage during migration.
- 2004-08-21: added another 3GB to the spamtrap news spool, for a total
of 8.5GB. Now it should hold around 8 days of spam, even
when accounting for the recent increase of spam volume.
- 2004-08-19: because of a performance problem with myisam tables the
database is being moved to innodb tables, the site will
have a bit of downtime.
- 2004-08-16: discovered that my spam filter (CRM114) ate a few PSBL
related emails over the last 2 weeks. Trained CRM114 to
not do this again. The evidence CGI should help admins
get the info they want in a much better way...
- 2004-08-15: add a cgi to query the (recent!) spamtrap mail that was
received from a certain IP address, this should help
sysadmins track down the open relays and proxies on their
- 2004-06-10: fixed a bug in spamikaze 0.2's named.pl that meant the
zone file for psbl.surriel.com wasn't generated correctly.
- 2004-06-28: the Spamikaze CVS
snapshot is now running psbl.surriel.com. Version 0.2
is almost ready...
- 2004-06-26: reduced standard expiry time of IP addresses to 5 days,
from the old default of a few months. I hope to balance
this out soon by extending the expiration time of IP
addresses if there are other IP addresses in the same
netblock that are currently still not expired.
- 2004-06-19: added the FAQ.
- 2004-06-08: the power grid maintenance window took until 10:20 instead
of 9:30; the UPS ran out of batteries around 9:45, resulting
in 35 minutes of downtime.
- 2004-06-07: incurred about 10 minutes of downtime, installing a UPS
(that should hopefully take PSBL through this week's
power grid maintenance). Here's to hoping that the power
grid maintenance won't take out the DSLAM...
- 2004-06-05: next week there are 3 scheduled electricity outages, on
june 8, 9 and 10. The outages will last 30 minutes, from
9:00 AM EST / 1300 UTC till 9:30 AM EST / 1330 UTC.
- 2004-06-04: bounce messages (with the envelope from being <>) are
no longer allowed to be sent to the spamtrap email addresses.
Hopefully this will help reduce the number of false positives.
- 2004-06-03: 95% of the spamtraps are now clearly marked as such by
very restrictive SPF
records. There should be no excuse left for sending
bounces to the spamtraps when those are used as forged
- 2004-05-18: the PSBL will switch over to
Spamikaze version 0.2
within a few months. The old and new database formats are
running in parallel for now (transparent to the users).
- 2004-03-20: reorganise PSBL website