Obfuscating email addresses in mailto: links

Discussion in 'HTML' started by JL, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. JL

    JL Guest

    Hi all

    The other day, I encountered a site with a mailto link like this:

    <a
    href="mailto:">

    </a>

    Will this actually prevent anything from harvesting the email address?

    Thanks
     
    JL, Sep 3, 2007
    #1
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  2. JL

    Andy Dingley Guest

    On 3 Sep, 17:09, JL <> wrote:

    > Will this actually prevent anything from harvesting the email address?


    No, but it will discourage it. Empirical studies suggest that this
    simplistic obfuscation does have significant measurable effect on
    discouraging the harvesting of new email addresses for spamming.
     
    Andy Dingley, Sep 3, 2007
    #2
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  3. JL

    John Hosking Guest

    JL wrote:
    >
    > The other day, I encountered a site with a mailto link like this:
    >
    > <a
    > href="mailto:">
    >
    > </a>
    >
    > Will this actually prevent anything from harvesting the email address?


    Would it prevent *you* from doing so (if you were so inclined)? No
    (presumably), because you know what the f codes are and can
    translate them back to the real ASCII-style human-readable address. A
    computer program would only make it quicker for you.

    This example is weaker than some, because the mailto: is not obscured
    and an address harvesting program (which is made to do just that) will
    see the mailto: and probably grab the rest, too. The spam is on its way!

    When I do this, I munge the whole content C of the href="C".

    When all or most harvesters are programmed to detect/translate this
    kindof munging, the technique will be useless (or worse, because of the
    bulk). But right now, I think most of the harvesters just pass right
    over, going for the multitudes of more obvious addresses. There's no
    shortage of that "low-hanging fruit".

    --
    John
    Pondering the value of the UIP: http://improve-usenet.org/
     
    John Hosking, Sep 3, 2007
    #3
  4. JL

    andrew Guest

    On 2007-09-03, JL <> wrote:
    > Hi all
    >
    > The other day, I encountered a site with a mailto link like this:
    >
    ><a
    > href="mailto:info@exa&#109

    ;ple.com">
    > info@exampl

    e.com
    ></a>
    >
    > Will this actually prevent anything from harvesting the email address?


    I have used this technique and it has proved very successful. Because
    I am a little lazy I used the following:

    http://www.addressmunger.com/

    to generate the mess :) A gentleman named Nikita published a page in
    which he spoke of spam / email addresses which is well worth reading:

    http://nikitathespider.com/articles/IngenReklamTack.html

    All the best,

    Andrew

    --
    Andrew's Corner
    http://people.aapt.net.au/~adjlstrong/ubuntu_cli.html
     
    andrew, Sep 3, 2007
    #4
  5. On 2007-09-03, andrew wrote:
    > On 2007-09-03, JL <> wrote:
    >> Hi all
    >>
    >> The other day, I encountered a site with a mailto link like this:
    >>
    >><a
    >> href="mailto:info@exa&#109

    > ;ple.com">
    >> info@exampl

    > e.com
    >></a>
    >>
    >> Will this actually prevent anything from harvesting the email address?

    >
    > I have used this technique and it has proved very successful. Because
    > I am a little lazy I used the following:
    >
    > http://www.addressmunger.com/
    >
    > to generate the mess :)


    I use this shell script:

    ## Convert e-mail address to obfuscated format for web pages
    ## Author: Chris F.A. Johnson, copyright 2007
    w2()
    {
    w2h=$1
    while [ -n "$w2h" ]
    do
    temp=${w2h#?}
    printf "$2" "'${w2h%"$temp"}"
    w2h=$temp
    done
    }

    mailto="mailto:"
    anchor='<a href="'
    gt=">"
    closetag="</a>"

    url=$( w2 "${1// /}" "%%%x" )
    daddr=$( w2 "$1" "&#%d;" )

    link="$anchor$mailto$url\"$gt$daddr</a>"

    printf "%s\n" "$link"


    --
    Chris F.A. Johnson <http://cfaj.freeshell.org>
    ===================================================================
    Author:
    Shell Scripting Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach (2005, Apress)
     
    Chris F.A. Johnson, Sep 4, 2007
    #5
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