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HomeUncategorizedThis security guru is banishing spammers to a hilarious 'password purgatory'

This security guru is banishing spammers to a hilarious 'password purgatory'

Either John Wick or Count of Monte Cristo , we all love a good revenge story. Right now, my current favorite is a wholesome nerd story by Troy Hunt.

You may already know that Hunt is the force behind Have I Been Pwned, an invaluable security resource for our norms on the internet. The site will tell you if your email address or phone number has been found in a data breach, and if you wish, can let you sign up for notifications if your information is later exposed.

But he also documents his various side projects. His latest: A little reward for spammers because they steal time from him. Punishments included sending them to what he called “crypto purgatory.”

Using a mix of Microsoft Power Automate and CloudFlare tools, Hunt tricks spammers into thinking they’ve found a simple flag. All they have to do is go to a simple signup form on his website, create a username and password, and profit from sweet, easy website links. Except… he’s just toying with them.

Troy Hunt Password Purgatory results
Almost makes one want to pretend to be a spammer just to see how ridiculous the password requirement is.

Troy Hunt /

Target? See how long those who take the bait can put up with the increasingly hilarious password demands. He was also kind enough to share the results with the rest of us for our entertainment. I like to think of these as the software engineer’s version of those flashbomb videos on YouTube in which porch pirates suffer shocking, unexpected flash explosions after stealing packages.

very satisfied. And it’s fun.

You can check out the full details of how Hunter put together this wonderfully evil form of purgatory in his blog post – which includes a Github repository of Link all the code he uses. You can also let spammers pass the ringtone if you want.

Written by Alaina Yee, Senior Editor

    Alaina Yee is PCWorld’s resident bargainer – when she’s not into PC manufacturing, computer components, mini-PCs, and more, she’s looking for the best tech deals. Previously, her work has appeared on PC Gamer, IGN, Maximum PC, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can find her on Twitter at @morphingball.



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