[Michael T. Babcock] E-mail spam honeypots

What's a honey pot? A honey pot is a way of attracting a target on purpose to analyze their behaviour. In this case I'm speaking specifically of E-mail honeypot addresses.

Sounds strange

"So you're collecting spam on purpose?" you may ask, and you'd be correct. Yes, I have purposeful spam-collection addresses not-so-well-hidden on all my web pages. These addresses are designed to be collected by spider bots that pick up our E-mail accounts on a regular basis. However, as the spammers send messages to these accounts, they identify themselves as spammers because, as you may have guessed, they are unique and not used for normal E-mail traffic at all.

For example, I have a few really obvious addresses like "imaspammer-blockme@mikebabcock.ca" that I might drop on a website. If you were so silly as to send me a message to that address, your future E-mails would not be certainly blocked, but would be sent off to several places that do spam reporting, including Vipul's Razor and my local Spamassassin Bayes database.

Sounds like effort

I have my qmail aliases configured to drop incoming mail from those accounts into an mbox file. That mbox file is then periodically locked and set aside by a service (you could use cron) and that copy is analyzed and reported on. I can also do some other analysis on these files as they pass through at that time, but a simple spamassassin -r --mbox /var/spool/mail/spam.mbox will do for most people.

My way works better

Well then feel free to share it.

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