For quite some time I have been receiving rubbish emails onÂ variousÂ topics and they all originate from Ziff Davis. I have never subscribed to any of these so called magazine or whatever they are, they haveÂ obviouslyÂ bought some email list that I was unlucky enough to have been on and thenÂ automaticallyÂ subscribed me to every email list under the sun. This is extremely irritating. I’ve written an email to the following people to unsubscribe me.
I have just been combing through the logs because I have been getting hit quite hard recently and was wondering who by and I noticed the strangest thing.
I noticed the following IP address was cropping up under different referrers.
I also found the following blog entry about Layered Tech supporting referrer spam
So far I have noticed them masquerading as the following referrers.
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; FunWebProducts-MyTotalSearch; SV1)" 1 www.uklug.co.uk Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)" 0 www.uklug.co.uk Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Yahoo! Slurp; http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/ysearch/slurp)" 0 www.uklug.co.uk Mozilla/2.0 (compatible; Ask Jeeves/Teoma; +http://sp.ask.com/docs/about/tech_crawling.html)" 0 www.uklug.co.uk Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; BecomeBot/2.3; MSIE 6.0 compatible; +http://www.become.com/site_owners.html)" 0 www.uklug.co.uk aipbot/1.0 (aipbot; http://www.aipbot.com; firstname.lastname@example.org)" 0 www.uklug.co.uk
I am sick to death of spam! Its a pain in the ass but there does not seem to be much we can do about it.
One thing spammers do is harvest emails from the internet. This is surprisingly easy to do because people want to put their emails online and its very easy to write a spider. This is further compounded by the requirement of some applications that you put your email online ie Movable Type is one although it can be turned off but this then means I would get more spam.
One partial solution would be to store emails as a security image. I wrote this utility to create my own email images as png’s. If other people find it useful then I will extend the functionality of it. I know it is not unbreakable as has been proven by those clever cloggs at Berkeley who have managed to crack the gimpy catchpa.
There are a few other methods to do this but the hardest ones to crack are those that use some form of Catchpa mine is almost there but has a bit to go. Any suggestions welcome.
Using a secure image is another way to make it harder for spammers to collect emails.
The image above was created by the email obfuscator tool.
The following email was not produced by me but by BobG. One of the guys who left a comment. I have displayed the image here because I don’t want to allow images to be displayed in the comments otherwise we would give the blog spammers another avenue of attack. Anyway, Bob suggested I add the facility to create color for the background so I suppose I will have to do this over the next few days.