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[ben@linuxgazette.net: [TAG] 2-cent Tip: Poisoning the spammers]

----- Forwarded message from Ben Okopnik <ben@linuxgazette.net> -----

User-Agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)
From: Ben Okopnik <ben@linuxgazette.net>
Date: Sat, 10 May 2008 13:03:36 -0400
To: The Answer Gang <tag@lists.linuxgazette.net>
Subject: [TAG] 2-cent Tip: Poisoning the spammers

I saw a web page the other day, talking about a cute idea: since the
spammers are always trawling the Net for links and email addresses, why
not give them some nice ones? For a certain value of "nice", that is...

However, when I looked at the implementation of this idea, the author
had put a "badgeware" restriction on using it - not something I could
see doing - so I wrote a version of it from scratch, with a few
refinements. Take a look:


A randomly-generated page, with lots of links and addresses - with the
links all pointing back to the script itself (somewhat obscured, so they
don't look exactly the same) so the spammers can harvest even more of
these addresses. Mmm, yummy!

The addresses are made up of a random string "at" a domain made up of
several random words joined together with a random TLD. There is some
tiny chance of it matching a real address, but the probability is pretty

If you want to download this gadget, it's available at
http://okopnik.com/misc/poison.cgi.txt (and, once the next issue of LG
comes out, at 'http://linuxgazette.net/151/misc/lg/poison.cgi.txt'.) I
suggest renaming it to something else :), and linking to it - the link
doesn't have to be visible [1] - from a few of your real webpages. If
enough people started doing this, life would become a lot more pleasant.
Well, not for spammers, but that's the whole point...

[1] '<a href="poison.cgi" border="0"> </a>' at the end of a page should
be invisible but still serve the purpose.

* Ben Okopnik * Editor-in-Chief, Linux Gazette * http://LinuxGazette.NET *

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----- End forwarded message -----

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   at the stake while the votes were being counted."  -- Thomas B. Reed

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