Is it typical for Linode to issue IPs to new clients where the IP is blacklisted?

I was introduced yesterday by my consultant and moved my site over to Linode. Now, all my emails to MSN, OUTLOOK, HOTMAIL, ATT, SBCGLOBAL (it continues) are blocked because the IP Linode provided is well known blacklisted. Now, if an email server can tell that an IP is listed why can't Linode save clients grief? I've spent yesterday and today attempting to unblock. I submitted tickets almost 24 hours ago with zero reply. I think Sales should really step up efforts to sell only clean products. It will hurt what is otherwise a good product if the first impression is sour. I hope I am the only client who has this trouble.

For other potential clients looking to move here, make sure, in advance, that the addresses provided are clean. Almost all other providers do that before issuing a node for clients.

So my question to Sales is: Is it normal to issue IPs that are known to be blacklisted?

10 Replies

@mcintosh:

@dubidubno:

It would be fairly easy to script a check against common blacklist before assigning an IP to a customer. Doesn't Linode do this?

There are hundreds of blacklists with varying agendas - which ones get to determine whether an IP is assignable or not? I don't think it is feasible to ensure that a customer never gets assigned an IP address that is on some sort of blacklist.

That's why I used the qualifier common.

Does Linode check any blacklists before assigning an IP address to a customer?

Linode does not check customer IP addresses against blacklists as part of the allocation process

Oowh, someone got his panties in a twist.

People have built bigger and more complex things than that, the rest is just excuses.

Hell of an argument you're making there. Sure, we put people on the moon with less processing power than a modern pocket calculator. That's great. It just has no bearing on what you should expect your VPS provider to do.

As I mentioned before, SBLs do not have an interest in allowing VPS providers some sort of back channel / automatic delisting process. It would be negligent on their part really, as there's the potential that the hosting provider could then abuse that privilege to delist addresses that are still sending spam. Should Linode raise their prices to pay off UCEPROTECT because some stupid administrators use it?

If you can point to a single Linode-equivalent provider that actually does what you're talking about I'll shut up.

@IfThenElse:

if the blacklist owners care to help.

That would be a bad assumption.

Linode is routinely in communication with blacklists - there's absolutely not a way to automate that process across the different requirements of various providers. I'm pretty surprised anyone would think that a hosting provider of Linode's size isn't reaching out to blacklists. Just the mention of UCEPROTECT here shows that you don't know what you're talking about - they literally require you to pay for delisting and they shouldn't be taken seriously by anyone.

Moreover, having done this work for Linode in the past, I can assure you that the blacklist owners don't care to help, much less allow you to build your own automated back channel to delist your IPs. This is antithetical to their goal (at least the goal of legitimate ones) which is to ensure that the spam / abuse in question has been carefully mitigated.

It's always "not too much effort" when you don't know what you're talking about and you're not the one responsible for implementing it.

> Almost all other providers do that before issuing a node for clients

lol no they don't. Providers mitigate blacklists by keeping out fraudulent customers or shutting them down as soon as they begin abusing resources. No one gets this right 100% of the time, it's simply not possible. If you go and generate enough machines on any equivalent provider (DO, Vultr, etc) I assure you you'll receive an IP listed on some blacklist. In the last couple of years Linode has become much better at keeping this kind of stuff out, but every provider gets an IP blacklisted at some point.

So no, it isn't typical to receive a blacklisted IP but it is indeed possible, if somewhat rare. You should check the IP before going and building out your email server or whatever - if it's listed, just create a new machine or request an IP swap. Linode does go through its listed IPs and handle the delisting process, but as anyone who has dealt with blacklists can tell you, that process can take some time.

It would be fairly easy to script a check against common blacklist before assigning an IP to a customer. Doesn't Linode do this?

@dubidubno:

It would be fairly easy to script a check against common blacklist before assigning an IP to a customer. Doesn't Linode do this?

There are hundreds of blacklists with varying agendas - which ones get to determine whether an IP is assignable or not? I don't think it is feasible to ensure that a customer never gets assigned an IP address that is on some sort of blacklist.

I beg to differ. I believe Linode should at the very least, check the top blacklists (like spamhaus, spamcop, uceprotect and sorbs). Linode could open a communication channel with each of those top lists, so they can de-list their own addresses quickly, before re-issuing them to new clients. I believe its feasible, without too much effort, and the process can be automated if the blacklist owners care to help.

While not the same, there is a similar thing being done with blacklists (like spamcop), that submit instant data back to email providers, so offending accounts are quickly deleted.

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