Spammer tracking valid email addresses with image links.
Side issue: Not having an option to email your company, or hiding the email address so well on the web site that it s impossible to find is not good customer support.
I don t necessarily want to join you forum to share what I have to say bellow
Spammers are using HTML email containing my email address as a parameter to image file links.
Just the mere fact of checking such an email forces the email viewer to go retrieve the email and tells the spammer that my email address is still valid.
At the office I noticed that our corporate firewall strips out images from html email by renaming the link appending a short string, which can be edited back to it s original form if the image needs viewing.
I also noticed that much of the spam now are images of text which presumably are harder to filter out, while the html contains random phrases probably meant to fool spam filters.
1- Is there a way to configure the spam filter to rename images in html email so that I won t be giving away the fact that my email address is valid?
2- If you don t have this feature already in your spam filter, it may be a good idea to filter out email which contain the email address of the recipient in non-viewable portion of the email. Most likely if my email address is in the non-viewable portion of an email it is so that the spammer can confirm my address is still valid as the link gets accessed when viewing the email. While doing this you have to be careful not to filter out email that have been replied to and where my email address is visible in the visible portion of the email.
Here is sample html that was not filtered out by the spam filter (I edited out part of my address with ***) with the address verification embedded. I have other example as well where they are even more clever and my email address is not in plain text but encoded on the image links.
img src="http://d-bymaga.net/track.php/C71027F4D4/fast/icon.gif?email=******%40coast.net" height=1 width=1 alt="">
Operating System:Windows 2000 Pro
Product Name:ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite
Message Edited by fvilleneuve on 07-06-2006 02:27 PM