Spamhaus' Data Query Service (DQS) enables email provider, Universo Online (UOL) to protect millions of users from spam and other malicious email threats. Only taking minutes to implement, DQS has taken the "legwork" out of email filtering, freeing-up 20% of the team's time resources, alongside reducing infrastructure costs.

Client profile

UOL is the largest email provider in Latin America*, with 5 million users on its platform. Beyond email, the UOL Group is the largest Brazilian provider of content, technology, online payment methods and services.

The challenges with Rsync

UOL used a well-known, established practice to protect their users from being compromised by emails distributed by bad actors. To block spam and other email-borne threats, the team queried IP and domain validity via DNS, with local lists synchronized through Rsync. It delivered for a long time and kept users safe.

The challenge was relying on updates via Rsync, which requires time to batch process, and has occasional synchronization delays. While processing takes place, there’s no protection from newly listed threats. A risky strategy as cybercriminals become increasingly sophisticated and quick to exploit vulnerabilities. UOL, with long-established credibility, were keen to update their approach before any issues arose.

Solutions based on Rsync do not update in real-time and consume many resources. Not only was infrastructure investment costly, but it was also time-intensive from a maintenance perspective. Additionally, with so much to process locally, there were occasionally latency issues which affected their customers’ experience.

Selecting the right solution

UOL had been consuming Spamhaus’s data since 2008. In updating from Rsync to a real-time solution, it saw an opportunity to reaffirm this data was still best-in-class. UOL began extensively testing and analyzing comparable network threat blocklists.

Their findings

Competitors’ solutions were restrictive, with less effective catch rates. Spamhaus’ DQS comprises of several IP, domain and hash blocklists, with catch rates over 99% and false-positives under 0.02%.

Being a real-time solution, as soon as a threat is identified, it’s pushed to the 80+ Spamhaus servers across the globe, ensuring UOL is protected immediately. Furthermore, with the intelligent routing of queries based on geolocation, latency isn’t an issue, positively impacting customer experience.

With enhanced protection, what’s the impact on infrastructure?

DQS rejects spam and other email threats at smtp.connect. This means there’s less data to process and store within UOL’s infrastructure, eliminating the need for two servers running concurrently.

Rejecting spam at this level also limits the exposure of users coming into contact with, and being compromised by, bad actors. With all this competitive advantage, UOL selected Spamhaus DQS as their preferred solution.

Implementing DQS

The product simply plugged into UOL’s existing infrastructure and was implemented by a single team member within 15 minutes. Once live, results were instantly reported on UOL’s internal logs, and no further work was required, making­­ DQS a “Ëœset and forget’ solution, updating automatically.

The solution has helped UOL maintain its world-class email security while reducing its high infrastructure investment and its reliance on resources to manage its solution. In the words of Alcides Zanarotti Junior, UOL’s Director of Technology, “The best bit? We get all this benefit for a great price. Spamhaus has provided us with multiple benefits.”

But the proof is in the output…

  • Latency reductions: UOL now receive updates in real-time with “totally imperceptible” latency.
  • Increased customer satisfaction: As a result of the latency improvements there has been a significant drop in calls to customer services, and improved customer satisfaction.
  • Freed-up 20% of resources: For the team themselves, this easy to implement solution has freed-up resources, providing them with an additional 20% more time to focus on other pressing tasks to keep users safe.

Having now been live for a year, Alcides Zanarotti Junior, confirmed, “DQS is so fast – it’s amazing.” he explained, “We are instantly protected, and our users are so pleased with the service we’re providing.”

To sign up for a free 30 day Data Query Service trial, click here.


* beyond Google, AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo

Related products

Data Query Service (DQS)

Spamhaus’ Data Query Service (DQS) is an affordable and effective solution to protect your email infrastructure and users.

Using your existing email protection solution, you will be able to block spam and other related threats including malware, ransomware, and phishing emails.

The service has never failed and utilizes the longest established DNSBLs in the industry.

  • Proactive & preventative
  • Save on email infrastructure & management costs
  • Actionable


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