a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

Do feed the spambots

Posted by Thomas Nephew on November 3rd, 2002

Stop spam!  campaign by Joerg Kantel, Along the lines of the telemarketing stuff posted below, here’s another way to Fight Back! (Is that slogan taken already?) This time, the target is nothing less than … spam itself.

I have no idea whether the idea is widespread among the English-speaking digerati yet, but German super-blogger Joerg Kantel, a.k.a. “Schockwellenreiter” (“Shockwave Rider”)*, has proposed a simple anti-spam idea: clutter up your blog web page now and then with a bunch of fake e-mail addresses. If enough people do it, the “crawlers” that spammers use to sift through web pages for e-mail addresses to pester will start to get lower “nutritional value” out of what they’re doing. I suppose this is kind of like the tinselfoil chaff the Allies would throw out of planes to screw up Axis radar. There was some cool code name for that … “Window,” I think. (Hmm.) Anyway, Kantel also recommends using them as CC’s in newsgroup postings and in mailing lists.

Mr. Kantel provides a random-email address generating macro for “Radio Userland” blogware users, along with some instructions. Kantel also wrote or obtained similar tools for a few other blogware (I suppose) applications called Python, Manila, and Frontier.

At any rate, this seems like good, clean, guerilla fun. In case anyone wants it, I built a little Excel file (I know, I know: Microsoft bad, four legs good) that will generate 10 random fake e-mail addresses. Feel free to try out “spambotfeeder.xls” (at your own risk), play with it to introduce numbers, make more “believable” e-mail addresses, and so on.

My first fake e-mail address links are below. Sniff! I’m so proud of you little guys! Go forth and screw up a spammer for me.,,,,,,,,,


* Loyal newsrack readers will recognize Mr. Kantel as one of the people briefly profiled in a piece many moons ago about German blogger responses to an incident in the east German city of Pirna.

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