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Mailtraq's dbl feature looks up the ip address of the delivering mail server in dns based blocklists or blacklists(dbl) and, if a match is found, either refuses the connection or re-routes the messages delivered to a specified mailslot. SMTP blacklists work on the initial connection, POP3 blacklists on message routing. Both types are configured in a similar way

One of the best dbl available is Spamhaus which we use later in this tutorial. Others are available, such as Spamcop.


There are a number of ways to configure dbl, which can vary according to your requirements.

It is always good practice to back-up your configuration before making a major change to mail routing.

  1. Make sure that you have a working mail collection. Anti-spam controls work by rejecting or diverting mail so it is important to be sure your mail flow is correct before you start.
  2. Create a new mailbox in Mailtraq and call it 'spam'. This need not be a Primary (blue) mailbox. It can be a Secondary (gray) mailbox assigned to an existing user.




Set Up - SMTP mail receipt

If you receive your mail direct from the Internet, by SMTP, use this method. Remote POP3 is discussed below

In Services - SMTP Mail Server, Properties  dialog box click the tab marked 'Black Lists' . Click 'Add'. The DNS Blacklist Lookup dialog box will open.

Set the DNS Lookup Expression to be:

In the Response Handling and Interpreting Window enter the following line:

Message=Blacklisted by DBL
Header= DBL

Click the Rerouting-tab at the top of the DNS Blacklist Lookup dialog box and Reroute the Blocked messages to the mailbox you created earlier called 'spam'.

Then similarly add (see image above):

Then click 'OK', back to the Console.

Make sure that the 'Enable DBL verification' check box has a check-mark for the DBL server(s) being used.

From now on, Mailtraq will look up the ip address of every connecting smtp client at spamhaus and accept messages if there's no entry and reroute messages to 'spam' if 127.*.*.* is returned.


All your spam mail is now being diverted to your 'spam' mailbox. You need to decide what you want to do with it. Typically you will want to Expire the messages after a short period of time - say a week.

A common scenario is to Reroute to 'spam' and then share that mailbox with all users, who can then check for themselves if an expected message has been routed as spam.

It is essential that appropriate Archive Expiry rules are applied to such a 'spam' mailbox as it can receive very large amounts of messages.



You should remember that your email is now being routed according to these dbl rules. It is possible that legitimate email that you wish to receive will accidentally be included. The prudent user will check the rerouted spam on a regular basis to ensure the rules that have been set are still doing what you intend.

IMPORTANT: Once you are confident that valid mail is not being mis-routed you should set your Rerouting-tab to 'Reject the message'. This will greatly reduce the load on Mailtraq and increase your system efficiency. 

Set Up - POP3 Collection

If you collect your mail by POP3 from your ISP then use this method.

In your working 'POP3 Collection Properties' (in Remote POP3 Mailboxes in the Console tree-view) dialog box click the tab marked 'Black Lists' (not Mail Filtering). Click 'Add'.

The DNS Blacklist Lookup dialog box will open, then proceed as above.

In the Response Handling and Interpreting Window enter the following line:

Message=Blacklisted by DBL,
Header= DBL

If you have other Remote POP3 mail boxes you collect from, or receive mail by SMTP, and you want spam control on those collections, then visit each of the Properties boxes and make sure that the 'Enable DBL verification' check box has a check-mark for the DBL server(s) being used.


The rerouting option should be set to reroute to a local mailbox, and then set the expiry - see above.

Configuration Tips:

Setting the 'Message' value
Each response line has a configurable message that can be set. In the current example it is set to a generic 'Blacklisted by DBL'. You may set this to be different for each response - for example, 'Blacklisted by zen'. Similarly for the 'Header' entry. This setting is useful in helping you determine which of may anti-spam tests you may have set is causing the rejection or rerouting of a message.

Fine tuning
See KB article - Tuning DBLs - Additional configuration  

Best Practice
Read a Forum discussion about 'best methods' - here

How can I check if this is working?

If you are receiving spam, then examining the 'spam' folder will show messages accumulating in that folder.

If you do not receive any spam, and still want to check that the dbl settings are working you can perform the following test. It is not normally necessary.

Add the ip address of one of your lan machines to the hosts file on the Mailtraq machine with a match test entry in Mailtraq's dbl setup.

For example, if your machine on the lan is, enter it in reversed octet order to the hosts file on the Mailtraq machine, like this ...

... then, on the same line, preceed it with "   " (note the spaces) and follow it with ".test", like this ...

... then create the following dbl rule in Mailtraq ...


... and assign a lookup result of to a score greater than 100. 


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Mailtraq Highlights...
 SMTP Server     Mailtraq SMTP email server video IMAP Server     Mailtraq IMAP email Server video
 POP3 Server     Mailtraq POP3 email server video Proxy Server     Mailtraq proxy email server video
 Webmail Server     Mailtraq webmail email server video Mailing-list Server     Mailing list email server video
 Groupware Services     Mailtraq groupware email services video Spam and Virus control     Spam and virus control email server video


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