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Thread: Stopping Spam

  1. #1
    ********* Scotland Saltire's Avatar
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    I remember seeing a bit of code somewhere a few weeks ago, (but I can't remember where!) that you insert at the top of a page to stop spammers from getting your email address. I have 10 email addresses on a page and every one of them is being spammed at the moment

    Any help is much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Destiny Manager Plebius's Avatar
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    There are various perl scripts out there that can trap a spambot and wreak havoc on them. Since my site is run entirely in perl, I just check the HTTP_USER_AGENT variable for some of the spambots out there, and if one comes along I feed it some nice addresses like admin@$ENV{'REMOTE_HOST'} and abuse@localhost so they might end up spamming themselves or their ISP. Looks something like this:

    if ($ENV{'HTTP_USER_AGENT'} =~ /spambot1|spambot2/i)
    {
    print "Content-Type: text/html\n\n";
    print qq~admin@$ENV{'REMOTE_HOST'}
    abuse@localhost.yahoo.com
    root@$ENV{'REMOTE_ADDR'}~;
    exit;
    }


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    Plebius Press - An independent media network

  3. #3
    ********* Scotland Saltire's Avatar
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    So do I just insert this code into the HTML code or do I have to run it as a script?

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot Isaiah's Avatar
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    I like that idea LuZer - get them to SPAM their ISP's abuse email.

    Anyway, another thing that I like is the CGI/Perl scripts that you link to on your home page (invisible to your visitors of course).
    The script then feeds the spambot as many fake email addresses as you specify. It can be 100-10,000...all of which are fake gibberish that will send thousands of "bounce-backs" to the email server of the spammer.

    Here are a few links to some "Spam-Bait" CGI script sites:

    The Email protector script (Hides your email address as well as offer "spam-bait"): http://www.siteware.ch/webresources/.../perl/emp.html

    Cliff's Spam-Bot Killer v1.0: http://www.shavenferret.com/scripts/spam/

    Get That Robot!: http://www.catskillweb.net/users/download/robotease/

    Spamscript: http://www.mega-zine.com/spamscript.html

    Hope this helps!

    ------------------
    Isaiah Walter
    Founder and Owner
    ------------------
    Federation Fire - Internet Solutions
    Professional Internet design for non-professional prices™

    [This message has been edited by Isaiah (edited March 14, 2000).]

  5. #5
    Destiny Manager Plebius's Avatar
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    You'd have to run my script as a perl script. I don't know about those other spambots that were pointed out, they are probably more effective than mine for most sites though.

  6. #6
    ********* Scotland Saltire's Avatar
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    Further to my point about robots crawling my site, I was intrigued by the email that I received this morning, regarding some robot that had been crawling my site! I've posted the email below, for you to read, but I've modified the address of my site, so as not to make this look like a self-promotion. Follows the email:

    There appears to be a problem on this page of your site.

    On your page http://www.myurl.freeserve.co.uk/dir/filename.htm
    when you click on your link to http://www.myurl.freeserve.co.uk/dir...reeserve.co.uk
    you get the error: Not found

    As recommended by the Robot Guidelines, this email is to explain our robot's
    activities and to let you know about one of the broken links we encountered.
    LinkWalker does not store or publish the content of your pages, but rather
    uses the link information to update our map of the World Wide Web.

    Are these reports helpful? I'd love some feedback. If you prefer not to
    receive these occasional error notices please let me know.

    Roy Bryant

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Roy Bryant, roybryant@seventwentyfour.com
    President
    SEVENtwentyfour Inc. ("Always watching the Web")
    http://www.seventwentyfour.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Now, the page in question just went up on the site a few days ago, and I forgot to check and see if the email address was set to mailto: but I must have left it as an http, and when they've clicked it they've got sent to an url instead of their robot collecting the address. Now, exactly why did their robot have to be checking the email addresses on my site? I haven't replied to this email, nor do I have any intention to do so, unless some of you guys reckon it would be worthwhile.

    If there are any organisations out there who try to stop spam and stuff who you think would be interested in this email, please let me know! Funnily enough, usually I get about 10 spam emails a day from my one site, this morning there were none! If this was the robot, do you think the link that was broken stopped it in its tracks?



  7. #7
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Feedback forms are a very effective way of stopping spam robots. Using forms you can embed your email address in the server-side script and the robots will never see it.

    ------------------
    Wayne Luke
    Internet Media Provider

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    Saltire,

    I got that email, too. The pages that they referred to didn't even exist on my site anymore, as I had just changed everything to .shtml pages.

    I found it amusing!

    ------------------
    Street Bikers United protecting the rights of motorcyclists worldwide.
    Cosmic Custom Airbrush - Hawaii's premier airbrush studio.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Karl's Avatar
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    Regarding the email from Roy Bryant, they are not looking at your website for email addresses, they are acctually checking it for broken links, this is what SevenTwentyFour do. They found a broken link on your site and like it says they have follwed the Robot guidelines to the letter and sent you an email notifying you of this broken link.

    They have done nothing wrong.

    ------------------
    Karl Austin
    KTech Design Associates - No URL Because It's Not Finished

  10. #10
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Their email wasn't solicited and it is probably being sent out in mass mailings. Customized mass mailings but mass mailings all the same. Now If you asked them to map your site and inform you it is one situation. If they just assume to provide you with this "service" then they are no better than any other spammer. Nor do they give you any way to opt out of their "free service".. I can almost bet that the next email they will get from SevenTwentyFour.com is one that offers to sell them their subscription service now that they have had their free trial.

    ------------------
    Wayne Luke
    Internet Media Provider

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard jonese's Avatar
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    wluke,

    i've actually recieved many of these e-mails and i have never recieved any form of solicitation except for what is seen in the e-mail. while yes it is annoying at times all of my e-mails have provided me with ACTUAL broken links. i'd rather them notify me of it before a client finds it.

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    Eric Jones - WR Moderator / Administrator
    http://www.computermoles.com
    "Digging up the best in computer software!"


  12. #12
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    Did I mention that the broken link they sent me was from a page I had deleted a week before I got the email?

  13. #13
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    The things I don't like about seventwentyfour.com is that they don't give you the option to OPT OUT of their service and I didn't see any guarantee that they won't sell the millions of email addresses that they are harvesting along with the links.

    ------------------
    Wayne Luke
    Internet Media Provider

  14. #14
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    There is an effective javascript method of hiding your address from the mailbots. There are several widely available at many of the big free java script sites. Just search on one of those sites using keyword "spam" and you should find one.

    They are all simple little ditties that break your address into parts and then [effectively] rebuilds it when someone clicks. I'd just post the code but I am unfamiliar with the copyrighting (although these things are so small and simple they are probably public domain). Feel free to e-mail me if you can't find one.

    ------------------
    Ted

    DSM Trader


  15. #15
    Destiny Manager Plebius's Avatar
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    Due to popular demand, I have written a javascript that will hide your email address from all but the smartest of spambots. You may get it at http://www.plebius.org/cgi-bin/article.pl?aid=000296



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    Plebius Press - An independent media network

  16. #16
    ********* Scotland Saltire's Avatar
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    I agree with wluke, they shouldn't be sending these mass mailings, even if they are customized. If I wanted my site monitored and to be notified when a broken link was found, I would sign up with a service that offers this. Isn't there some sort of organisation that is against spam and unsolicited mass mailings?

  17. #17
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    If you really didn't like their service couldn't you add a meta tag that says noindex and nofollow? Like <meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow">? Or maybe a robots.txt file? I'm aware that not all robots support those, but wouldn't it be possible? BTW - I also agree that they should offer a way to opt-out of their free service; but these methods could work, right?

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    John Schrom
    Webmaster - 4Webmasters


  18. #18
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    It is also possible to hide your emailaddress from spambots by encoding it with the HTML entities for the individual letters. E.g. "a" instead of "a". The user will not see anything unusual, but most of the harvesters can't read it.
    I read about this method somewhere on the net, I just can't remember where. So I wrote a script, that lets you "encode" your emailaddress that way. It is accessible at http://www.jbbdesign.f2s.com/tools/email.php3

    jbb

    ------------------
    <A HREF="http://www.jbrenner.de


    " TARGET=_blank>http://www.jbrenner.de


    </A>

    [This message has been edited by jbb (edited March 20, 2000).]


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