Harvesting data from Weblogs, eh? Hmm. I seem to remember hearing something about an infamous email campaign. Something along these lines:
(1) In your database create a nonsense, but unique, filename for each "target".
(2) Use that to include in a well crafted HTML email that references an external graphic. http://www.myserver.not/winnerimage/GH567#QWCF99.jpg
(3) Now harvest the logs from the web server every day.
The HTML email has the height and width of the IMG tag set to 1 pixel each. Who would pay any attention to a failed
graphic in an email. To be more evil set the alt text to say "Hidden for security".
Now the directory "winnerimage" does not even exist
on the web server. You don't want to waste the space. You are only interested in the errors in the web log. Note that "GH567#QWCF99" is the key back into the database.
Each error from attempts access these images tells quite a story. You now know when that email was opened or PREVIEWED
. You have the date, time, and IP address at a minimum.
There are still places that will buy lists of verified email addresses at 2 to 5 cents each.
This is not your project, is it?