Re: Email address harversters?

1997-12-04 11:06:55
At 11:38 PM 12/3/97 -0800, paul(_at_)cue(_dot_)com wrote:
I haven't been able to keep up with this group for awhile but need
to ask anyway:

Is there any reason to be concerned about spammers 'harvesting'
email addresses from WWW archives?

Assuming that you're talking about message archives (or this doesn't belong
on the MHonArc list).

I'm sure some advertisers do harvest from these.  Since message archives
are pretty specialized, if an advertiser finds an archive whose topics
match their product, the probability of generating business is higher and
the probability of triggering complaints is smaller than if they used a
general list.

I suspect that the objectionable spam (in eye of beholder?) comes from
general lists, such as downloaded directories of all users at an ISP.  I
get almost no spam to my business or CompuServe email addresses, and too
much to one at an ISP.  It is difficult to get a mass address list from
CompuServe or my employer, trivial at my ISP.

Any good defenses?

Can't think of any that don't interfere with some intended uses of the
archives.  One can delete the email addresses of the conversants (probably
not possible with stock MHonArc), but that makes it much harder for an
intended archive user to reply.

We can thank Perl for making it so easy to parse text files (HTML markup
being no obstacle) for patterns that look like addresses -- 


-- SP

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