The Harvester Project

Discussion in 'ten-forward' started by Mike_Healan, Sep 28, 2002.

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  1. Mike_Healan

    Mike_Healan Registered Member

    Mar 6, 2002
    Not quite sure which forum to put this .....

    The Harvester Project
    The Problem

    If you have had internet access for very long, you know that it is a very bad idea to leave your email address on message boards, newsgroup postings, and web sites. Why? Because web crawler robots (spambots) controlled by spammers will detect the address on the web page or newsgroup posting and add it to their database. The spammers have made it very difficult to conduct business with these email harvesting spambots, particularly for those who must publish a contact address for their site visitors.

    Fighting back

    The purpose of this project is to deliberately sabotage the results these spambots bring back to their owners. By having dozens of pages on your web site, each with dozens of bogus addresses, the results these spambots produce will be garbage. Rather than having legitimate addresses to spam, the addresses collected from a member's web site will all bounce and the spammer controlling the bot will be unable to sell or use those addresses. This project hits the spammers where they'll feel it most, in their wallets.

    I do this on this site. On the main page there is a 1 pixel by 1 pixel transparent .gif graphic that eventually leads to thirty pages of randomly generated html pages, each with between fifteen and thirty bogus email addresses. That means that a spambot crawling just this site alone will bring back between 450 and 900 addresses that are guaranteed to bounce.

    I hope to enlist thousands of web site owners all over the internet into this project to do exactly the same thing. Multiply 900 bogus addresses by 100 web sites .... or by 1,000 web sites. I think you can see just how effective this can be. If enough of you join in this project, we can make the practice of email harvesting more costly than any return it might generate. The ultimate goal of this project is to force spammers to abandon harvesting as a means of collecting email addresses.
  2. Tinribs

    Tinribs Registered Member

    Mar 14, 2002
    I wish you well Mike, although it may prove futile,it may not, someone is doing something proactive to stop this trade, I wish you all the luck. :)
  3. Primrose

    Primrose Registered Member

    Sep 21, 2002
    I alway wanted to save up all the junk mail I got through the it up..and one rainy day put it all in those prepaid envelopes and send it back all scrambled to the worst offenders in blunk. It would not cost me anything.

    Then I remebered it was all metered mail and would not stop their activity...and I thought about the poor guy/gal getting paid minimum wage at those places and having to deal with it also even though they were paid to do it.

    So I decide the best way would be to keep my name off as many as I possibly could by being careful myself..and asking my firends not to sign me up for the stuff no matter how much they thought I would enjoy it..and any business I did give out the also not sell it off to someone else.

    I am all for websites and forums doing their best also to help with the email type spam...but I am wondering if you also have a plan B. :)

    I am certainly with you in Spirit on this venture. And makes me feel good you are working on it.

    I have nothing bad to say about your decision.

    Thanks Mike.
  4. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

    Apr 27, 2002
    As promised I´m lobbying MAO ;)
    I hope this catches on.

    Thnx for your initiative.


  5. Mr.Blaze

    Mr.Blaze The Newbie Welcome Wagon

    Feb 3, 2003
    on the sofa

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