Preventing Spam by Dynamically Obfuscating Email-Addresses

T. Eggendorfer and J. Keller (Germany)


: – Unsolicited Commercial Email – Prevention – Dynamic Obfuscation – Webserver


Filtering unsolicited commercial email has proved its untrustworthiness by not keeping spam out of the inbox and marking solicited mails as unsolicited. As filters only cure a symptom of the spam-epidemic, it seems more promising to resolve the problem at its roots. According to different studies, spammers rely on email addresses pub lished in a machine readable format on the world wide web. We have tested different approaches to obfuscate email addresses in the www and present experimental results that indicate their usefulness. However, modifying exist ing webpages only to obfuscate mail addresses on them means a lot of work and forces web designers to under stand the techniques and concepts used to conceal addresses. Instead we provide an output filter for the common Apache webserver, which allows to leave even dynami cally generated web pages unchanged.

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