[Mailman-Developers] spammers harvesting email'ids [was] UI for Mailman 3.0 update

Rich Kulawiec rsk at gsp.org
Wed Jun 9 04:22:03 CEST 2010

On Mon, Jun 07, 2010 at 02:28:22PM -0400, Barry Warsaw wrote:
> We can try to make it more difficult to harvest email address from mailing
> list archives and posts, but some of that is fairly difficult without
> disrupting the usability of the mailing list.

Agreed, and as I pointed out last year, it's useless.  Spammers have such
an embarrassment of riches when it comes to harvesting addresses that they
really don't need to bother with mailing list mechanisms.  And since
I wrote that lengthy explanation, they've come up with a few more,
including one that's really quite clever since it uses social engineering
to convince users to give up not just addresses, but information on
the relationships between them.

So there is not only zero value in trying to obfuscate addresses, there is
*negative* value since the only people who will actually be impaired in
the least by this are those actually trying to communicate, e.g., those
coming across a message in an archive and trying to write to the author.
Spammers are already so far past this that it's disappeared from their
rear view mirrors.


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