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Trap for Spam Weasel
by James Glave
Ron Guilmette is doing his part to help win what he describes as a technological arms race with spammers. The author of the forthcoming Deadbolt spam filter has released wpoison, a simple CGI script designed to trap and clog up the bots that traverse the Net gathering email addresses.
“It became obvious that spammers were using robots to scan Web pages [for email addresses], so I thought, let’s give ’em something to chew on,” said Guilmette.
Wpoison creates dynamically generated Web pages full of convincingly lifelike – but completely bogus – email addresses that spambots will pick up and add to their hitlists. But the page also contains randomly generated links that the bot inevitably follows – links that loop right back to the same page, now re-armed with a fresh set of random fake email addresses.
Caught in an endless loop, the bots “feed on [the addresses] until they are bloated and full,” said Guilmette.