Saturday, December 19, 2009

Trick Bots from Stealing Email Address with jQuery

I’ve used several techniques for tricking the web robots into stealing an incorrect email address, but I think I finally found the easiest and trickiest way. If the web robot understands JavaScript, then this may or may not work depending on some variables. Anyhow…

I setup a basic href like this:

email: <a href="" title="email me">realaddress[[at]]mydomain[[dot]]com</a>.

When a robot comes along, I’m hoping they’ll just do a scan for mailto: and then take that address and assume I haven’t done anything else on the page. The href is a real address for my site so users that don’t have JavaScript enabled can still email us, but we primarily set it up for bots and spammers.

On to the jQuery!

<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript">
function() {
'a[href^=mailto:]').each(function() {
e = $(
'[[at]]', '@')
'[[dot]]', '.');

this.href = 'mailto:' + e;

All this small script does is scans the page for href that starts with mailto: and loops through them to perform the replace function. I have a variable there called e for email and it gets the text of the href and replaces the [[at]] and [[dot]] with the actual @ and .. After I replace the @ and ., I set the href equal to a new mailto: with the e variable and then I set the text to match. Pretty simple & tricky I thought.

Please let me know your thoughts! Thanks for reading!

kick it on

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