Overview
Purpose
Design Implementation

Overview

The Email Blocklist (EBL) contains email addresses used to receive responses to spam emails. These email addresses are sometimes called contact email addresses or drop boxes. The initial target of this blocklist was "Nigerian" 419 Advance Fee Fraud spam. As time passed and more types of spam that used drop boxes was identified, these drop boxes also were listed. The EBL now lists significant numbers of drop boxes used in spam sent by Chinese manufacturers of high-tech and light industrial products, SEO/web development companies, direct spam services, list sellers, and a number of fraudulent or outright illegal products sold by botnets.

The features that all of these types of spam have in common are:

The EBL is currently in public beta testing. You can configure your mailserver to query it without cost at least through the end of beta testing. Plans are to provide a free query platform indefinitely for private, small businesses, and small non-profit organizations that operate their own mailservers. For information and links to tools, see the Implementation page.

Credits

Finally, the EBL team owes more than a few thank yous. While it would have been possible to design a blocklist without reference to existing blocklists, it would not have been neither easy nor wise to do so. The team hesitates to name names, for fear of leaving somebody important out, but there are a few teams and specific people who must be recognized.

In addition, the team is grateful to spam filter designers, antispam researchers, and mail administrators who have beta tested the EBL and provided valuable feedback.