DIY Craigslist email collecting tools empower spammers with access to fresh/valid email addresses

By Dancho Danchev

In need of a good reason to start using Craigslist ‘real email anonymization’ option? We’re about to give you a pretty good one. For years, the popular classified Web site has been under fire from spammers using DIY email collecting tools, allowing them to easily obtain fresh and valid emails to later be abused in fraudulent/malicious campaigns.

Let’s take a peek at some of the DIY Craigslist themed spamming tools currently in (commercial) circulation.

More details:

Sample screenshots of the tools in action:



Craigslist_Emails_Harvesting_02 Craigslist_Emails_Harvesting_03 Craigslist_Emails_Harvesting_04

What makes an impression is not just the degree of customization of these tools, but also the fact that logical development in terms of introducing ubiquitous features typical for these DIY tools took place. Such features include, but are not limited to, the introduction for proxy support, outsourcing the CAPTCHA solving process, QA in terms of avoiding the collection of anonymous Cragislist emails, as well as the ability to tailor the collection process to the needs of the spammer though the use of custom keywords or a specific period of time.

Sadly, Craigslist isn’t the only Web site that’s efficiently targeted by spammers. Despite raising awareness on the concept of harvesting fresh and valid emails from Twitter, in real-time, back in 2009, the practice is still taking place, empowering spammers with access to an endless pool of email addresses. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Craigslist users are advised to take advantage of the site’s ‘email anonymization‘ feature, in an attempt to prevent spammers from successfully collecting their emails.

You can find more about Dancho Danchev at his LinkedIn Profile. You can also follow him on Twitter.

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