The Spamhaus Project

Acronym: Spamhaus

Established: 1998

Address: 18 Avenue Louis Casai, CH-1209, Geneva, Switzerland


Stakeholder group: International and regional organisations

Founded in 1998, The Spamhaus Project is an international non-profit organisation that tracks spam and related cyber-threats such as phishing, malware, and botnet. It also provides real-time threat intelligence to major networks, corporations, and security vendors, and works with law enforcement agencies to identify and pursue spam and malware sources worldwide. Spamhaus is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and in Andorra la Vella, Andorra.

Digital activities 

The organisation’s activities centre around issues related to cybersecurity (primarily cybercrime). To this end, Spamhaus tracks cyber-threats, develops real-time databases, and provides threat intelligence to all stakeholders.

Digital policy issues


The Spamhaus Project compiles several widely used anti-spam lists to reduce the amount of malware that reaches users of many internet service providers and email servers. For instance, The Spamhaus Block List (SBL) Advisory is a database of IP addresses from which Spamhaus advises not to accept e-mail.Queriable in real-time by mail systems throughout the Internet, the database allows mail server administrators to identify, tag, or block incoming connections from IP addresses that Spamhaus deems to be involved in the sending, hosting, or originating spam.

Spamhaus also compiles a real-time database of IP addresses of hijacked computers infected by illegal third-party exploits (The Spamhaus Exploits Block List (XBL)), as well as a list of domain names with poor reputations (The Spamhaus Domain Block List (DBL)). Moreover, it also maintains the Register of Known Spam Operations database, a depository of information and evidence on known and persistent spam operations. The database should be of help to service providers with customer vetting and to the Infosecurity industry with Actor Attribution.

As of November 2020, Spamhaus Blocklists have protected more than 3 billion user mailboxes.