E-mail address on webpage

Discussion in 'HTML' started by David Mackenzie, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. Every so often, someone posts a method for obscuring their e-mail
    address on a webpage - normally to attempt to defeat spambots.

    These methods either rely on Javascript which is unreliable at best,
    or "encrypts" the characters to their HTML entities which shouldn't
    defeat even the simplest spambot.

    Do spammers actually consider webpages a worthwhile source of e-mail
    addresses? I have only ever had one spam e-mail to the address on my
    page, whereas the address I use for Usenet gets around 25-30 per day.

    I only have the one website, so I would like to ask others here who
    have more: Do you get many spam e-mails to the addresses on your
    webpages (assuming they only appear on your webpage) ?

    --
    David. (Please modify address to david@ before replying!)
     
    David Mackenzie, Jun 23, 2003
    #1
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  2. David Mackenzie

    PeterMcC Guest

    David Mackenzie wrote:
    > Every so often, someone posts a method for obscuring their e-mail
    > address on a webpage - normally to attempt to defeat spambots.

    <snip>
    > I only have the one website, so I would like to ask others here who
    > have more: Do you get many spam e-mails to the addresses on your
    > webpages (assuming they only appear on your webpage) ?


    Around a one third/two thirds split - web page/newsgroup address.

    --
    PeterMcC
    If you feel that any of the above is incorrect,
    inappropriate or offensive in any way,
    please ignore it and accept my apologies.
     
    PeterMcC, Jun 23, 2003
    #2
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  3. David Mackenzie

    Mr. Clean Guest

    In article <>,
    says...
    >
    > Every so often, someone posts a method for obscuring their e-mail
    > address on a webpage - normally to attempt to defeat spambots.
    >
    > These methods either rely on Javascript which is unreliable at best,
    > or "encrypts" the characters to their HTML entities which shouldn't
    > defeat even the simplest spambot.
    >
    > Do spammers actually consider webpages a worthwhile source of e-mail
    > addresses? I have only ever had one spam e-mail to the address on my
    > page, whereas the address I use for Usenet gets around 25-30 per day.
    >
    > I only have the one website, so I would like to ask others here who
    > have more: Do you get many spam e-mails to the addresses on your
    > webpages (assuming they only appear on your webpage) ?
    >
    >


    The obfuscators no longer are a safe way to keep harvesters at bay.
    The only way is to use scripting. If your host has PHP capabilities, I can send
    you a PHP script that will show you how. You can also be modify it to work with
    ASP, if you'd like.
     
    Mr. Clean, Jun 23, 2003
    #3
  4. David Mackenzie

    Freeserve Guest

    "Mr. Clean" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In article <>,
    > says...
    > >
    > > Every so often, someone posts a method for obscuring their e-mail
    > > address on a webpage - normally to attempt to defeat spambots.
    > >
    > > These methods either rely on Javascript which is unreliable at best,
    > > or "encrypts" the characters to their HTML entities which shouldn't
    > > defeat even the simplest spambot.
    > >
    > > Do spammers actually consider webpages a worthwhile source of e-mail
    > > addresses? I have only ever had one spam e-mail to the address on my
    > > page, whereas the address I use for Usenet gets around 25-30 per day.
    > >
    > > I only have the one website, so I would like to ask others here who
    > > have more: Do you get many spam e-mails to the addresses on your
    > > webpages (assuming they only appear on your webpage) ?
    > >
    > >

    >
    > The obfuscators no longer are a safe way to keep harvesters at bay.
    > The only way is to use scripting. If your host has PHP capabilities, I can

    send
    > you a PHP script that will show you how. You can also be modify it to work

    with
    > ASP, if you'd like.


    What about if your mail to link is a picture??? Does this fool the spam
    bots?
     
    Freeserve, Jun 23, 2003
    #4
  5. Freeserve wrote:

    > What about if your mail to link is a picture??? Does this fool the

    ^^^^
    > spam bots?


    If you can figure out how to encode "<a href='mailto:your@address'>" as
    a picture *and* have it work...
     
    Owen Jacobson, Jun 23, 2003
    #5
  6. "Freeserve" <> wrote:

    > What about if your mail to link is a picture??? Does this fool the
    > spam bots?


    Well, it surely discriminates against blind people. This would be
    criminal in some civilized countries (like the UK) for public Web sites
    at least.

    I recently read an estimate (in a newspaper article that _favored_
    munging E-mail addresses) that an average user gets 6 or 7 spam
    messages daily. So it takes a few seconds a day to delete the spam. All
    those attempts to "fight against spam" by intentionally forging
    addresses surely cause more trouble than that.

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Jun 23, 2003
    #6
  7. David Mackenzie

    Sam Hughes Guest

    Mr. Clean <> wrote in
    news::

    > The obfuscators no longer are a safe way to keep harvesters at bay.
    > The only way is to use scripting. If your host has PHP capabilities, I
    > can send you a PHP script that will show you how. You can also be
    > modify it to work with ASP, if you'd like.


    When the scripting is done and all, it sends regular, ordinary,
    HTML+Javascrpt+CSS etc to the browser. How would using PHP, using ASP, or
    using any server-side scripting solve your problems?

    Or are you talking about a form-to-email script?
     
    Sam Hughes, Jun 23, 2003
    #7
  8. David Mackenzie

    Mr. Clean Guest

    In article <Xns93A3CEDC9CE34jkorpelacstutfi@193.229.0.31>,
    says...
    > "Freeserve" <> wrote:
    >
    > > What about if your mail to link is a picture??? Does this fool the
    > > spam bots?

    >
    > Well, it surely discriminates against blind people. This would be
    > criminal in some civilized countries (like the UK) for public Web sites
    > at least.
    >
    > I recently read an estimate (in a newspaper article that _favored_
    > munging E-mail addresses) that an average user gets 6 or 7 spam
    > messages daily. So it takes a few seconds a day to delete the spam. All
    > those attempts to "fight against spam" by intentionally forging
    > addresses surely cause more trouble than that.
    >
    >

    Nah, not too much trouble if you have scripting available
    on your host:


    [PHP CODE]
    <?
    // email.php
    // usage:
    //
    // <A HREF="email.php?to=me&domain=mydomain.com">E-Mail Me</a>-->
    //
    //

    if(!isset($_GET["to"]))
    {
    // $_GET["to"] = "info";
    $to = "info";
    }

    if(!isset($_GET["domain"]))
    {
    // uncomment this to have it retrieve the domain
    // from the URL.
    //$_GET["domain"] = "mydomain.com";
    $domain = "mydomain.com";
    }

    $email_address = $to."@".$domain;

    // send email header to page
    header ("Location: mailto:$email_address");
    ?>
    [/PHP CODE]
     
    Mr. Clean, Jun 23, 2003
    #8
  9. David Mackenzie

    Sam Hughes Guest

    "Jukka K. Korpela" <> wrote in
    news:Xns93A3CEDC9CE34jkorpelacstutfi@193.229.0.31:

    > "Freeserve" <> wrote:
    >
    >> What about if your mail to link is a picture??? Does this fool the
    >> spam bots?


    A linked image would still have <a href="mailto:"> and
    </a> around the IMG tag, so that would do nothing.


    > Well, it surely discriminates against blind people. This would be
    > criminal in some civilized countries (like the UK) for public Web sites
    > at least.
    >
    > I recently read an estimate (in a newspaper article that _favored_
    > munging E-mail addresses) that an average user gets 6 or 7 spam
    > messages daily. So it takes a few seconds a day to delete the spam. All
    > those attempts to "fight against spam" by intentionally forging
    > addresses surely cause more trouble than that.


    Speaking of that...

    The most amusing way of spamproofing that I have seen is here:
    http://www.hpcalc.org/contact.php

    However, that is not of much use, as can be seen here:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=""
     
    Sam Hughes, Jun 23, 2003
    #9
  10. David Mackenzie

    Art Sackett Guest

    Jukka K. Korpela <> wrote:

    It's been a long time since I had to disagree with Jukka... :D

    > I recently read an estimate (in a newspaper article that _favored_
    > munging E-mail addresses) that an average user gets 6 or 7 spam
    > messages daily.


    Hmmmm... this would indicate, to me, that the "average" user is behind
    a very effective spam filter. Without my filtering, I would be subject
    to (what I estimate would be) 100-200 spam messages each day. I know
    that I block between 70 and 120 SMTP connections each day, and that
    many of those would be delivering to multiple recipients (each of which
    ends up in my mail reader).

    > So it takes a few seconds a day to delete the spam. All
    > those attempts to "fight against spam" by intentionally forging
    > addresses surely cause more trouble than that.


    It's my opinion that none is obligated to accept another's traffic
    unless/until there's some contractual obligation willfully emplaced by
    the subject parties. If my terms of contact are that the sender first
    pass some Turing test, it's up to the sender to either accept my terms
    or forego the contact.

    That said, I don't and never have munged my email address. I've never
    published an undeliverable address, although some that I advertise
    deliver to my local spamcatcher. ;-)

    --
    Art Sackett,
    Patron Saint of Drunken Fornication
     
    Art Sackett, Jun 23, 2003
    #10
  11. David Mackenzie

    Headless Guest

    David Mackenzie <> wrote:

    >Every so often, someone posts a method for obscuring their e-mail
    >address on a webpage - normally to attempt to defeat spambots.
    >
    >These methods either rely on Javascript which is unreliable at best,
    >or "encrypts" the characters to their HTML entities which shouldn't
    >defeat even the simplest spambot.


    Character references are surprisingly effective according to this study:
    http://www.cdt.org/speech/spam/030319spamreport.shtml

    Note that this email address harvester optionally uses IE, in that mode
    it translates character references flawlessly:
    http://www.mailutilities.com/aee/


    Headless
     
    Headless, Jun 23, 2003
    #11
  12. Sam Hughes <> wrote:

    > A linked image would still have <a
    > href="mailto:"> and </a> around the IMG tag, so
    > that would do nothing.


    Indeed, it would do nothing to help the user who needs the address e.g.
    in order to use a special E-mail program (which has nothing to do with
    Web browsers).

    But it would naturally help spammers' robots get the address. After
    all, mailto:... (in content or in attribute value) is a most obvious
    candidate for E-mail address harvesting.

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Jun 23, 2003
    #12
  13. David Mackenzie

    Clive Moss Guest

    "Jukka K. Korpela" <> wrote in message
    news:Xns93A3CEDC9CE34jkorpelacstutfi@193.229.0.31...
    > "Freeserve" <> wrote:
    >
    > > What about if your mail to link is a picture??? Does this fool the
    > > spam bots?

    >
    > Well, it surely discriminates against blind people. This would be
    > criminal in some civilized countries (like the UK) for public Web sites
    > at least.
    >
    > I recently read an estimate (in a newspaper article that _favored_
    > munging E-mail addresses) that an average user gets 6 or 7 spam
    > messages daily. So it takes a few seconds a day to delete the spam. All
    > those attempts to "fight against spam" by intentionally forging
    > addresses surely cause more trouble than that.
    >
    > --
    > Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    > Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html
    >
    >

    The problem is not only about receiving spam, but also the "stealing" of
    addresses for the "from" field.
    One of my clients got 500 return notifications in one day, obviously from a
    mass mail out that someone had done using his address as the sender.
    I am looking now for ways to avoid putting addresses on any new sites I
    write to avoid this in the future.

    cm
     
    Clive Moss, Jun 24, 2003
    #13
  14. David Mackenzie

    Guest

    >The obfuscators no longer are a safe way to keep harvesters at bay.
    >The only way is to use scripting. If your host has PHP capabilities, I can send
    >you a PHP script that will show you how. You can also be modify it to work with
    >ASP, if you'd like.

    I'd be interested in receiving that, please.
     
    , Jun 24, 2003
    #14
  15. David Mackenzie

    Guest

    >The only way is to use scripting. If your host has PHP capabilities, I can send
    >you a PHP script that will show you how. You can also be modify it to work with
    >ASP, if you'd like.


    I'd be interested in receiving that, please.

    Yoooooors,

    Iain.
     
    , Jun 24, 2003
    #15
  16. David Mackenzie

    Mr. Clean Guest

    In article <>,
    says...
    > >The only way is to use scripting. If your host has PHP capabilities, I can send
    > >you a PHP script that will show you how. You can also be modify it to work with
    > >ASP, if you'd like.

    >
    > I'd be interested in receiving that, please.


    I already posted it...

    [PHP CODE]
    <?
    // email.php
    // usage:
    //
    // <A HREF="email.php?to=me&domain=mydomain.com">E-Mail Me</a>-->
    //
    //

    if(!isset($_GET["to"]))
    {
    // $_GET["to"] = "info";
    $to = "info";
    }

    if(!isset($_GET["domain"]))
    {
    // uncomment this to have it retrieve the domain
    // from the URL.
    //$_GET["domain"] = "mydomain.com";
    $domain = "mydomain.com";
    }

    $email_address = $to."@".$domain;

    // send email header to page
    header ("Location: mailto:$email_address");
    ?>
    [/PHP CODE]
     
    Mr. Clean, Jun 24, 2003
    #16
  17. David Mackenzie

    brucie Guest

    In post <>
    Leslie said...
    [spam]

    > What really pisses me off, though, is the amount of hard core porn
    > spams I'm getting. These aren't just text emails with a clickable
    > link to "Pink City," but embedded pictures of oral sex, bestiality and
    > other activities I don't care to view while enjoying my morning
    > coffee.


    if the email contains remote images as soon as you view the email you
    may be confirming that your address is "live" you should turn off the
    loading of remote images (and all scripting) or better yet
    automatically delete from the server any emails but plain text to save
    you having to download them in the first place.

    > Then there are the emails that 'guarantee to increase my manhood to
    > please ALL the women in my life.' Who the hell are they sending this
    > crap to? I don't even have that body part!


    i can get you a half dozen factory seconds for only $19.95 + P&H

    --
    brucie a. blackford. 02/July/2003 11:02:49 am kilo.
    http://loser.brucies.com/
     
    brucie, Jul 2, 2003
    #17
  18. David Mackenzie

    Leslie Guest

    On Wed, 2 Jul 2003 11:08:43 +1000, brucie <>
    wrote:


    >> Then there are the emails that 'guarantee to increase my manhood to
    >> please ALL the women in my life.' Who the hell are they sending this
    >> crap to? I don't even have that body part!

    >
    >i can get you a half dozen factory seconds for only $19.95 + P&H


    Nah, not interested in seconds, unless they're still sealed in their
    original box. This implies, of course, that they've never been used.

    Leslie
     
    Leslie, Jul 2, 2003
    #18
  19. I just read through the thread, and I have a few thoughts.

    On the account that I used for years and years, I now end up with
    around 100 spam a day. Obviously, I had to stop using that e-mail.
    No matter what I did, I could not get the spam to stop. Filtering
    just didn't work - it just kept coming and coming. This, of course,
    still causes strife because, since I used the address for years and
    years, people still e-mail me there. So, I must still occasionally
    sift through all that goddamn friggen spam. It really amazes me how
    some people can e-mail me on the correct address one day... and the
    very next day e-mail me at my old address. Brain fart or something?

    My website e-mail gets about 2 spam a month. My ""
    address gets spammed all the time.

    I also may have come up with a decent and easy way to "hide" an e-mail
    address.

    I use a javascript trick to remove common markup and make it easier to
    change multiple pages -

    <script language="javascript" type="text/javascript"
    src="filename.js"></script>

    and in filename.js I write:

    document.write('text HTML blah blah blah')

    I have noticed that in doing this, that robots can't crawl the
    javascript (to fix the linking problem, I have put a link to a site
    map on the main page). Assuming that harvesting robots would work the
    same as search engine robots - then the harvesting robots will never
    be able to see the e-mail address if you put it in filename.js

    So... what you could theoretically do is have this where you want your
    e-mail:

    <script language="javascript" type="text/javascript"
    src="email.js"></script>

    and put this in the email.js file:

    document.write('<a href="mailto:"></a>')

    and it would work... right? maybe?

    Just an idea. Thought I'd throw it out there. I think I may just try
    it now. Actually, I currently have my address as me(@)domain.com
    'cause I figured anyone with any brain cells would realize to remove
    the "( )" - but I think this javascript trick might just be better :)
     
    Kathleen Coyne, Jul 2, 2003
    #19
  20. David Mackenzie

    PeterMcC Guest

    Rob McAninch wrote:
    > Jukka K. Korpela
    > <news:Xns93A3CEDC9CE34jkorpelacstutfi@193.229.0.31>:
    >
    >> "Freeserve" <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> What about if your mail to link is a picture??? Does this
    >>> fool the spam bots?

    >>
    >> Well, it surely discriminates against blind people.

    >
    > If you indeed intend it to be a mailto: link then you have to put
    > the address in there.
    >
    >> I recently read an estimate (in a newspaper article that
    >> _favored_ munging E-mail addresses) that an average user gets
    >> 6 or 7 spam messages daily. So it takes a few seconds a day to
    >> delete the spam. All those attempts to "fight against spam" by
    >> intentionally forging addresses surely cause more trouble than
    >> that.

    >
    > I probably get around 50 between two accounts each day - still
    > doesn't take long to delete them.


    OT ish but thought that it might bring a little joy - I have been the
    defence witness for btopenworld in a case in which a company called cube80
    were suing because BT had stopped their service after my spam complaints.
    It's taken 6 months but yesterday, at Winchester Crown Court, the spammer's
    case was thrown out - Yes!

    The moral of the story - it is worth making those complaints to abuse@...
    and good on BT for taking it seriously.

    --
    PeterMcC
    If you feel that any of the above is incorrect,
    inappropriate or offensive in any way,
    please ignore it and accept my apologies.
     
    PeterMcC, Jul 2, 2003
    #20
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