Re: Anti-spambot hacks?

From: Kent Landfield <>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999 08:43:23 -0600 (CST)
Message-Id: <>

# I was wondering if people had discussed on this list the possibility
# of adding anti-spambot features to hypermail, so an online hypermail
# archive wouldn't become grazing grounds' for spambots?

No we haven't discussed it here.

# There are all sorts of examples of how this could be done out there,
# and I'm considering implementing some of the following here on my own
# copy of hypermail (I'll send in a patch when I'm done):
# + Turning "" into "bre (at) mmedia (dot) is", or
# "bre _at_ mmedia. is", or random permutations of the above.
# + Wpoison style fake addresses inserted into real ones, as comments.
# + Replacing the _at_ character with something else, e.g. !
# (useful for mangling signatures w/o changing line lengths - nobody
# really uses bang paths anymore, do they? :-).
# Comments?
# Suggestions?
# I realize that this won't stop the most determined address harvestors out
# there, but it slow them down a bit.

It won't stop or even slow down anyone. The problem is they go into the code and see what the algorithm is. The source is and will be available to all. Now with that info they simply code in a recognition of the archive type and harvest the addresses. The only people who are affected are the normal users that just want to read and use the archives as originally intended.

While the intent is reasonable, it does little to solve the problem and makes the archive much harder to deal with since no address is respondable. That sort of defeats the purpose of posting new messages from the archive options and responding directly to posts from within the archive. Both are used constantly here and on the numerous lists I manage.

I see no reason to add this kind of capability to the base hypermail system. If you are afraid of harvesting then don't put the archive up on the web and use majordomo or listproc "GET" commands to let people get the archives.

(But wait.... Then they'll just harvest the addresses from the list server archives...)

Kent Landfield                        Phone: 1-817-545-2502             
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Received on Mon 08 Nov 1999 04:44:47 PM GMT

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