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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use the tool to compare domain or URIBL lists?

No, the tool only supports IP lookups. Domain blocklists work very differently to each other, some list hostnames and others have very specific domain stripping rules, so comparing lists becomes very difficult to do accurately.


Can I use this tool against public mirrors of popular DNSBLs?

Yes, but you should NOT do this. Most of the time, public mirrors are offered for free service tiers. The tools will generate a lot of queries in quick succession, so this will usually be against their service terms and is generally unfriendly. You should only run this tool where you have a local rsync copy of the zone, or, you pay for the service and have an API/Query key to make queries.


Do you charge for this tool or the queries made to Abusix Mail Intelligence

No, the tool is designed for those running a trial of Abusix Mail Intelligence. You should not run it if you already have a subscription as it will dramatically increase your average query count which can affect billing.


Can I compare Abusix Mail Intelligence with <Insert DNSBL here>

Yes, the comparison tool works with any DNSBL that implements RFC 5782, so the DNSBL being tested against MUST return positive for a lookup to (to prove it works). The tool runs pre-flight checks to ensure that both lists are queryable and working and will return an error if not.

You should only run the comparison with a list that works in a similar way to Abusix Mail Intelligence e.g. it's a blocklist (e.g. a positive result should be blocked) not a reputational (where the return code denotes trust) or classification list (that classifies IPs into segments or categories).


How many DNSBL queries will the tool make?

The tool will generate between 3x and 4x the amount of DNS queries as IPs input to it.

For example: if you are using log file mode and you've followed the instructions to above to create an input file containing "<occurences>, <ip>" and you have 300k entries in that file, then the tool will make 600k DNS lookups e.g. once for Abusix Mail Intelligence and once for the comparison list. It also does rDNS lookups on each, so that will result in another 300k rDNS lookups and any positive result for the comparison list will result in a lookup into the Abusix Mail Intelligence Whitelist as well.


How much DNS concurrency does the tool use?

It limits the amount of running DNS queries to 50 at time, so at most there will only ever be 50 in-flight queries.


Which DNS servers does the tool use?

The tool uses whatever DNS servers are configured on the host that it is running on, so you need to ensure that the host is configured correctly and can resolve names in the namespace of the comparison list. This is particularly important if you are running a comparison against an internal dataset that you are serving via rbldnsd (e.g. you have to have the appropriate "glue" records along with ACLs to allow the DNS servers configured on the host to allow the tool to query the list.


Does the tool report any data back to Abusix?



Is the source code available for the tool

No - not at this time.


You're supplying a binary, what exactly does the binary contain?

It's a NodeJS run-time along with all necessary modules along with the comparison tool compiled down into a single binary using the "nexe" module.

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