Russell (zimzat) wrote,

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Ship going down in the night and are officially unofficially ships going down. I just tried to simply respond to a couple of personals and you're now required to pay them like ten bucks a month for even that. Yahoo sucks for this reason too. I've gotten around that little requirement on my profile by obfuscating my email address (zimzat(at)zimzat(dot)com) and supplying my IM contact information, but that requires people to look at my profile first. Oh well.

... Has anyone ever considered that such a simple method of obfuscation is easy to get around with an equally simple regular expression?

EDIT TO ADD: [-.\w]{3,}([\s]*|[([{]*)(@|(A|a)(T|t)|[Nn][Oo][Ss][Pp][Aa][Mm])([\s]*|[])}]*)[-.\w]{3,}([\s]*|[([{]*)(\.|(D|d)(O|o)(T|t)|[Nn][Oo][Ss][Pp][Aa][Mm])([\s]*|[])}]*)[.\w]{2,}
That regular expression will get around the two most common obfuscation methods: address(at)domain(dot)com and address NOSPAM domain NOSPAM com or any mix of the two. If someone wanted to get around LiveJournal's obfuscation they'd have to make something specific for LiveJournal, but then they have access to everyone's LiveJournal email.

Real obfuscation would have to be more ... random. Less methodical. It would have to be a combination of various methods. It would also require the end-user to think, which might keep some potential people/clients from getting it.

For example, here's an idea that would let the user get the email, but confuse the heck out of email harvesters:
To send me mail, remove all capital letters, numbers, and special characters: z%i4mTzW$$at(AT)$zi3m@*za()t(DOT)^co7m
... ok, so that's a lot of work, but once they got it they would put it in their address book or write it down.
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