UPDATE (20 August 2010): Spamhaus has released an official statement to clarify that it blocked Google Docs and not Gmail, as this article suggests. Read more about it here.The Spmahaus anti-spam outfit has added IP addresses used by Gmail to its block list, because of Google's failure to remove abusive files hosted on Docs.
The Spamhaus Project is an organization of volunteers dedicated to fighting and stopping spam operations across the world by collaborating with law enforcement authorities and service providers.
The outfit maintains four block lists (DNSBLs) containing Internet resources known to be associated with spam. These are the Spamhaus Block List (SBL), the Exploits Block List (XBL), the Policy Block List (PBL) and the Domain Block List (DBL).
"Spamhaus DNSBLs are today used by the majority of the Internet's Email Service Providers, Corporations, Universities, Governments and Military networks,
" the organization explains.
The Spamhaus Block List (SBL) in particular contains IP addresses or ranges that are known to be involved in spam operations. A new addition to this list is apparently 184.108.40.206/24, an IP block belonging to Google.
The block covers all IP addresses between 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168, of which 22.214.171.124 to 126.96.36.199 are assigned to Gmail, according to
David Dede from Sucuri Security.
An explanation as to the reason why this range was blocked was posted on Spamhaus' website. "188.8.131.52/24 is listed on the SBL as being assigned to, being under the control of, or being otherwise connected with a known spam operation listed on the ROKSO [Register Of Known Spam Operations] database as: Canadian Pharmacy
," it reads.
This is followed by a list of links pointing to spam files hosted on Google Docs, which according to the Spamhaus researchers, are just some of hundreds.
"Please stop supporting spammers. You can start by removing the following,
" a message reads. Apparently Google is doing just that as we're writing this article.
This is not the first time when Spamhaus takes a controversial decision. A week ago the outfit became the center of a controversy
after blacklisting the IP space of the largest Internet service provider in Latvia; a ban that also affected the .LV TLD registry and University of Latvia's Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science.