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

Barry Warsaw barry at list.org
Wed Jun 9 21:47:14 CEST 2010

On Jun 08, 2010, at 10:22 PM, Rich Kulawiec wrote:

>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.

Agreed.  The least we can do is make mailing lists and their archives so much
more valuable that it's worth the cost of doing business.


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