Email Obfuscation Techniques

Lou Quillio public at
Tue Apr 12 21:59:22 EDT 2011

On Tue, Apr 12, 2011 at 2:47 AM, Wander Nauta <info at> wrote:

> I agree, entity-encoded mailto: links work quite well. They may not work

> forever, though, and some Drew McLellan made a good point here:


>> In some ways, obfuscated addresses are even more valuable

>> to spammers, as the very act of obfuscation could suggest

>> that the address is important to someone.

Certainly true, but the obfuscating user (or system) also signals that
he's spam-resistant: he filters aggressively, blocks ads, isn't
gullible, etc. Spam is a numbers game, I understand, but cracking my
obfuscation gets you access to a hardboiled skeptic who's already,
umm, large enough, thank you. Wouldn't want to scare the ladies. ;)

Seriously, I think we're still in an age of leet stratification. A
comparatively small group signals that it's generally insusceptible to
spam, and then there's everybody else. If I were a spammer, I don't
know how hard I'd work to get access to the first group -- since my
emails probably still won't get through, and they won't click anyway.
Obfuscation is one of the ways we signal our low-value to spammers.
It could be they're glad to know it and go where the fishing is
better, which is everywhere else. And everywhere else is growing.

None of this helps my mom, of course. But it helps me.


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