How-To Geek

Directory Harvest Attack

A Directory Harvest Attack (DHA) is a method used by spammers in order to build a database of valid (working) e-mail addresses. This is done by generating lists of random or common names and sending them out to valid domains like Yahoo, Gmail, etc.

If an e-mail address is not valid, then a “Not Found” or “Error” message of some type will be returned to the spammer; otherwise, the randomly generated e-mail address is considered valid and added to the database.

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