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Thursday, November 22, 2012, 14:51

Spam Traps

Category: General

Solution ID: 00000175


What are "Spam Traps" and how can I use them to reduce spam?


Spammers are constantly scouring the Internet looking for fresh targets for their trash. Empirical studies show that Spammers harvest e-mail address from web-sites, discussion groups, web blogs, chain letters and any other source they can find.

Spammers are so effective at harvesting e-mail addresses from websites that some people report receiving spam on their website published e-mail address in as little as 8 hours from the time the e-mail address is first posted to the site. It is because of aggressive website e-mail harvesting that many people believe that it is no longer practical to publish your e-mail address on your company or personal website.

PerfectMail™ is so effective, you can safely publish your e-mail address on your web site.

Surprisingly, an effective way to defend against spam is to give Spammers exactly what they want! PerfectMail includes a feature aptly called Spam Traps. Spam Trap accounts are e-mail addresses that are used to trick Spammers into identifying themselves.

The Spam Trap strategy is simple; create a bogus e-mail account, hide that account on your website, let Spammers harvest the bogus address from your website and then block all e-mail traffic that includes the Spam Trap e-mail addresses in a message's recipient list.

PerfectMail's spam trap feature looks for pre-defined Spam Trap e-mail addresses in the recipient list of every in-bound message. If a Spam Trap e-mail address is found in the recipient list, PerfectMail will:

  1. Quietly removes all legitimate e-mail addresses from the recipient list (so legitimate users don't receive spam).
  2. Adds or updates its reputation system to mark the sender as a Spam Trap spammer.
  3. All the real recipient e-mail addresses are rejected to encourage them to "prune" your valid e-mail addresses from their lists.
  4. All the spam trap e-mail addresses are accepted to encourage the spammers to keep using them.
  5. Silently discards the message.

This strategy is effective because it gives PerfectMail notice when a spammer is targeting your server.

Tags: mail, server, antispam, spam, trap, honeypot

See Also:

Link to this article: kb/spam_traps_honeypots

Updated: Thursday, November 22, 2012, 14:51

-- David Rutherford


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Last modified: 2012-11-22, 14:53

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