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Inoculating Your Web Site Against Email Harvesting

Wpoison is a free tool which can be used to help reduce the problem of bulk junk e-mail on the Internet by thwarting the efforts of junk emailers who regularly scan web pages, looking for target e-mail addresses to harvest (which they subsequently bombard with junk e-mail).

The idea behind wpoison is really very simple. Junk emailers write programs ("robots") to automatically scan thousands and thousands of web pages, looking for email addresses to which they then send unsolicited junk email (or which they sell to other spammers). These programs can be easily fooled into accepting lots and lots of completely fake and useless e-mail addresses, as long as the bogus addresses appear to reside on ordinary nondescript web pages. That is where Wpoison's role comes in.

Wpoison creates dynamically generated Web pages full of convincingly lifelike - but completely bogus - email addresses that spambots will pick up and add to their hitlists. But the page also contains randomly generated links that the bot inevitably follows - links that loop right back to the same page, now re-armed with a fresh set of random fake email addresses. Caught in an endless loop, the robots feed on the addresses until they are bloated and full.

To install wpoison, Telnet or SSH to your Virtual Server and run the following command:
    % cd (change to your home directory)
    % tar -xvf /usr/local/contrib/wpoison.tar
In order to properly implement a site inoculation, you will want to use a combination of empty <a href> tags on your home page and throughout your web site à la <a href="/leeches/index.html"></a> as well as add the following lines to your web server config file (httpd.conf):
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^ExtractorPro.*
    RewriteRule ^/.* /leeches/index.html [L]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^EmailSiphon.*
    RewriteRule ^/.* /leeches/index.html [L]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^eCatch.*
    RewriteRule ^/.* /leeches/index.html [L]
To prevent legitimate spiders from indexing the wpoison-generated pages, create an entry in your robots.txt file (or create the file in your ~/www/htdocs/directory if it does not exist and add an entry) to "disallow" the /leeches/ directory. An example entry is shown below:
    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /leeches/

Blocking Email from Specific Addresses

POP-before-SMTP Anti-spam measure

Solutions to the Spam Problem

Creating Email Accounts


Removing the Spam: Email Processing and Filtering
Removing the Spam:
Email Processing and Filtering

Stopping Spam
Stopping Spam

Marketing With Email Marketing With Email

Programmer's Guide to Internet Mail : Smtp, Pop, Imap, and Ldap
Programmer's Guide to Internet Mail:
Smtp, Pop, Imap, and Ldap

Internet Messaging
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