Spamproofing the Archives

From: Sellam Ismail <>
Date: Fri Dec 6 20:35:00 2002

On Fri, 6 Dec 2002, Jeffrey Sharp wrote:
> [0] Every email address in the archives is replaced with a shortened form.
> For instance:
> -> user_at_d...

Cool. Yahoo! does this, although I think they require you to enter your
Yahoo! ID and password.

> [1] The shortened address is link to a CGI script like this:
> The script generates a page that asks the user to type in a specific
> string to prove they're human. The query string above is the email
> address with some some simple sort of encryption.

Is the string to be typed in displayed as ASCII text or as a graphic with
some "fuzz" behind it to fool agressive spammers? I've seen this done,
where the background of the text is various sized ovals to fool any OCR
software as well. Wicked.

> [2] The user types in the string and presses Submit, and it runs the CGI
> again, but with the typed string as part of the query string:
> Now the script generates a page with the real email address as a mailto
> hyperlink. The user may bookmark this page if he/she wishes.
> Surely this is enough to defeat address harvesters. Does anyone see any
> problems with this?

Aside from being a tad cumbersome, no.

I think it would be easier to just hunt down and vilely murder all

Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger

 * Old computing resources for business and academia at *
Received on Fri Dec 06 2002 - 20:35:00 GMT

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