Email Obfuscation Techniques

Fletcher T. Penney fletcher at
Tue Apr 12 22:08:33 EDT 2011

On a related topic --- does anyone know how to pass an obfuscated
email address through XSLT?

I've tried googling various solutions and am coming to the conclusion
that it basically would require manually re-encoding to the output?

Discovered that applying XSLT to a Markdown generated HTML doc with
obfuscated email results in output HTML that has been "de-obfuscated."


On Tue, Apr 12, 2011 at 9:59 PM, Lou Quillio <public at> wrote:

> 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.


> LQ

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Fletcher T. Penney
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