Wpoison is a free tool
that can be used to help reduce the problem of bulk junk e-mail
on the Internet in general,
and at sites using
helps to combat the junk e-mail problem by
effectively thwarting the efforts of junk e-mailers who regularly
scan web pages, looking for target e-mail addresses to harvest.
(The junk e-mailers subsequently send junk e-mail to all of the
e-mail addresses that they harvest from various web sites.)
The idea behind
is really very
simple. Junk e-mailers write programs to automatically scan
thousands and thousands of web pages, looking for e-mail addresses
which they then send unsolicited junk e-mail to, or which they sell
to other spammers. By and large, these address harvesting
web crawlers are about as intelligent as the spammers who use
and/or develop them, which is to say not very.
The majority of these programs
can be easily fooled into accepting lots and lots of completely fake
and useless e-mail addresses, so long as the bogus addresses in
question appear to reside on ordinary nondescript web pages.
That is where
is what is called a web
CGI program. A CGI program is just like any other
program, except that its purpose is to generate web pages
on the fly and with dynamic content that
can be different each time the program runs, which is to say each
time the URL where the program is installed is referenced, either
by someone's web browser, or else by some web-scanning robotic
In the case of the
the dynamic content that is generated each time the
program is ``visited'' (by a web browser, or by a web-scanning
is just a list of randomized bogus e-mail
addresses, together with a list of randomized web hyper-links.
Now here's the catch... and this is the clever part.
Each of the randomized web hyper-links that
exactly like an ordinary web hyper-link that leads off to someplace
else, i.e. to some different web page having a different
web URL. But in fact, that is just a matter of
appearances, and the reality is that
if you follow any one of these hyper-links, you will actually end
up coming right back and executing the
CGI program again, at which
point you will get yet another randomized dynamically
generated web page, and that new page will contain its own
totally new set of bogus E-mail addresses and also a
fresh new set of randomized hyper-links. And of course, each of those
new hyper-links will, if followed, lead right back to the
CGI program yet again, thus
starting the whole cycle all over again.
It is important to note that when
is generating its randomized bogus e-mail addresses (and also its
randomized pseudo-hyper-links) it uses an algorithm which makes the
total number of different bogus e-mail addresses and
pseudo-hyper-links essentially unlimited.
is capable of generating an
infinite number of different bogus E-mail addresses!
So the basic idea behind
is to trap unwary and badly engineered address harvesting
web crawlers, and to fool them into adding
of completely bogus e-mail addresses
to the E-mail address data bases of the spammers, thus polluting
those data bases
so badly that they become essentially useless, thereby
putting the spammers who are using them out of business, or at
least shutting them down for a time and causing them some major
headaches while they try to clean up the messes in their
now-heavily-polluted e-mail address data bases.