For almost a year, I’ve been annoyed by spam bots pressing the “Send Key” link on Behold’s download page, to a non-existant e-mail address. This results in an e-mail bounce and some administrative headaches on my part. The most blatant of these is one I get about twice a day with a return address of firstname.lastname@example.org. (Type that e-mail address into Google and you’ll see over 800 other sites that are getting hit by it as well.)
Since then, I’ve been trying to find an e-mail verification program so that I can trap bad addresses before I send to them. I tried about 4 different ones now, and I’d pay the $200 to purchase one that would work. Two of them qualify, but both require installation by my webhost, and unfortunately for me, they are unwilling to do that.
So the alternative was to write one myself. This took me away from 4 days of Behold development, but I now must say I know just about everything about the way e-mails work and how to validate them. I was able to write a program to do exactly what I needed.
That was the good news. The bad news is that Delphi programs must be called from server side include pages. They cannot be called from ASP script pages or standard web pages. Server side include pages do not have the capability to send the e-mail address and then to receive the response and take the approriate action.
So I’ll put that on the backburner for now and maybe an idea will come to me some night in the middle of my sleep. In the meantime, I’ll block the IP addresses for the spam bots as a partial measure.