What Is a Directory Harvest Attack and Active Directory Attack?
A directory harvest attack searches specified domains for valid email addresses in order to gather current email addresses. The email harvest gathers addresses for email spam purposes.
Other than the obvious privacy issues with a directory harvest attack, the lists of email addresses gathered can number into the hundreds. When the email harvest list is used to send out spam emails, overworked public and private email networks become even more overworked. Not only does the email network have to receive and sort these mostly unwanted emails, invalid addresses must have a return notification sent from the network. “Valid” recipients often send remove-from-list emails and “valid” addresses usually get put on a list for future emails.
There’s more bad news on the email harvest attack front. This technology has been made worse with the recent development of the active directory attack, which targets entire networks to gather security information. In this active directory attack, captured email addresses are used to gain access to the network. Many individuals use an email address for a login ID or password.
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