Mmm… Honey

I just installed a honey pot on this site. The idea of a honey pot (or honey trap) is to create a tempting target that attracts wrongdoers, but once they put their hand in the honey pot they leave sticky fingerprints everywhere they go.

In Internet terms, the honey is a seemingly-innocent email address placed on a Web site, invisible to humans but easy for robots to find. When the spam harvesters scrape the email address off the site and use it, both the harvester and the spammer are caught and blacklisted, which reduces their ability to run robots and get their mail through.

The more people who participate, the more trouble spammers have spotting the honey pots. How can you help? Even if you don’t have control of your site or run a blog through one of the major services, you can pitch in. Go to Project Honey Pot and sign up. You can provide invisible-to-humans links to honey pots on other sites, if nothing else, and it doesn’t cost you diddley-doo.

If you click on the “swag” link in the header, you will see that they could also use a graphic designer. I imagine a spam-bear with his head stuck in a honey pot. How you communicate that it’s a spam-bear and not an ordinary bear I leave as an exercise for the visually talented.

Once Project Honey Pot compiles its list of villains and ne’er-do-wells, what happens next? Many major services use the list, and I also use a program called Bad Behavior which blocks blacklisted bots and spammers from reaching my site. Recently I added another layer called CloudFlare which is awesome enough for me to devote a separate episode to it. So, you have that to look forward to.

In the meantime, I encourage you to join the crusade to make life more difficult for those who want to use the Internet for evil.