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Many email users around the world have been unable to send messages because of ongoing technical problems with a popular service designed to prevent spam from reaching its intended destination.
The problems at SORBS — short for the Spam and Open Relay Blocking System — began on Wednesday and continued into much of Thursday, said Michelle Sullivan, who founded the real-time blacklisting service in 2002 and sold it to GFI Software last year. As a result, messages sent from a huge number of legitimate mail servers were labeled as junkmail and returned to sender.
The snafu was the result of a transition from one SORBS system to another that corrupted a database containing potentially millions of IP addresses,
SORBS admins have responded by temporarily clearing out the entire table of faulty listings under the theory that it's better to let through spam than to block real email. They are in the process of rebuilding the database and populating it to user servers around the world, a process that could take up to 24 hours.