Some very basic DNS blocklist hit information for the last 30 days

June 30, 2013

Our inbound mail gateway anti-spam stuff logs when a connection is from something listed in the CBL or in (and yes, we know that that's sort of redundant, it's a long story). Because of how it's implemented, we only check if we don't find the IP in the CBL.

(It turns out that the log message I'm looking at only fires when we accept an RCPT TO from such an IP address and I think it may fire multiple times for multiple RCPT TOs. This makes me think that I need better logging, although I've already seen that spam filter stats can be complicated.)

Over the last 30 days, we accepted RCPT TOs from 90,000 different IP addresses that were in one or the other (some were detected as being in both at different times). The CBL is the dominant source, at 77,000 or so; Zen is good for another 15,000 or so. I also have stats for RCPT TOs that we rejected due to the source IP being in one of the DNS blocklists; over the same 30 day period we rejected 13,500 different IPs (for a total of 92,000 rejected RCPT TOs), again almost all from specifically due to a CBL listing (12,000 to 1,500). Roughly 8,500 of these IPs also had some RCPT TOs accepted.

(For scale on the RCPT TO rejections, over the same time period we fully accepted somewhere around 540,000 RCPT TOs (counting email that got all the way to the end of DATA).)

Generating ad-hoc stats like this makes me think that I should work out what stats are interesting in advance and then make sure that we're logging enough information to reconstruct them. Maybe I should also put together scripts to generate stats automatically on demand (which would mean that I might look at them more).

(The advanced version is having logstash or some equivalent digest all of the logs and provide real-time versions of the stats. But while that might look pretty, it's not really useful; there is nothing actionable in these stats (to use the jargon), just things of vague interest.)

Written on 30 June 2013.
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Last modified: Sun Jun 30 01:09:30 2013
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