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Spam Rapidly Increasing In Weblog Comments

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the generally-defined-as-not-good dept.

Spam 387

dsurber writes "BBC News has a nice article discussing 'flyblogging', the phenomenon of spammers leaving advertising-related posts on personal weblogs. The writer comments: 'None of the other blogs I contribute to or run has been affected yet, but I can only assume it is a matter of time before the spammers move in, as they did first with UseNet and then with e-mail. It depresses me to think that any open medium can be so easily undermined by people with no scruples, no sense of responsibility and no idea of the damage they are doing.'" It seems a little surreal that people are having to develop anti-spam weblog tools.

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Fr1st Rams Pr0st33Z! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320281)

Bulger rawx!

The rest of you all suck ass.

Fuck you all.

Love Always,
News For Turds

E-A-G-L-E-S (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320315)

Fly Eagles fly!
On the road to victory!
Fly Eagles fly!
Score a touchdown, one two three!

Hit 'em low,
Hit 'em high!
And watch those Eagles fly!

Fly Eagles fly!
On the road to victory!


Re:E-A-G-L-E-S (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320348)

You'll get over it ... Just take two cheesesteaks and call me in the morning.

Wikis too? (4, Insightful)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320288)

They would seem vulnerable to spamming. I was on a lojban wiki for awhile which was under the radar enough to avoid it, but don't know about now.

Here's My Solution (5, Insightful)

notsewmit (655779) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320295)

Since most blog spammers will search for "Remember personal info?" in various search engines to quickly find personal blogs, I edited my MovableType templates. Now, instead of saying "Remember personal info?" on the comments page, I have something else that spammers don't normally search for.

Re:Here's My Solution (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320392)

Are you not meeting the desires and needs of your mate? Does she OR he desire a bigger member to satisfy their needs? WE CAN HELP. You too can gain 4 to 6 INCES in two weeks using our PATENTED method of PENIS ENLARGEMENT. Send $53.90 to lon@McGowanTech.com

No spam here... (0, Offtopic)

Ceren Rocks (717225) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320296)

How can people say BSD [freebsd.org] is dying when it has a mascot [freebsd.org] like this?! Linux [debian.org] needs to get its act together if it's going to compete with the kind of hot chicks [hope-2000.org] and gorgeous babes [hope-2000.org] that BSD [openbsd.org] has to offer!

You just can't take Linux [redhat.com] seriously when its fronted by losers [nylug.org] like these. Would you buy software from them? I don't think so! You Linux [suse.com] groupies need to find some sexy girls like her [hope-2000.org]! I mean just look at this girl [madchat.org]! Doesn't she [madchat.org] excite you? I know this little hottie [madchat.org] puts me in need of a cold shower! This guy looks like he is about to cream his pants standing next to such a fox [spilth.org]. As you can see, no man can resist this sexy [spilth.org] little minx [spilth.org]. I mean are you telling me you wouldn't like to get your hands on this ass [kurtspace.com]?!

With sexy chicks [kurtspace.com] like the lovely Ceren [kurtspace.com] you could have people queuing up to buy open source products. Could you really refuse to buy a copy of BSD [netbsd.org] if she [kurtspace.com] told you to? Come on, you must admit she [kurtspace.com] is better than an overweight penguin [tamu.edu] or a gay looking goat [gnu.org]! Don't you wish you could get one of these [drexel.edu]? Personally I know I would give my right arm to get this close [kurtspace.com] to such a divine beauty [kurtspace.com]!

Join the campaign for more cute [madchat.org] open source babes [madchat.org] today!

This is why... (4, Funny)

Sanity (1431) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320297)

...you need Locutus [locut.us]! Its absolutely FREE and works with Outlook, Outlook Express, and Eudora!

So why not try the best anti-spam tool on the market and wave goodbye to those pesky spams?!

Re:This is why... (0)

banky (9941) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320325)

Nice plug, and all, but how exactly does it do anything to stop spam posted via HTTP to my MovableType installation?

Re:This is why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320459)

You apparently missed the <sarcasm> </sarcasm> tags.

Re:This is why... (2, Informative)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320362)

I guess I just saw a blog as a different thing from what other people are using.

I login to my blog page and add to the running log. No place for people to spam.

Though as a side note, I love getting spam about anti-spam software!

Re:This is why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320502)

Many blogs allow for anonymous comments to be posted. This is likely what we are talking about here.

Mod (5, Funny)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320304)

Perhaps these 'web logs' could come up with a kind of 'moderation system' to let users filter out the crap.

Re:Mod (1)

Spoke (6112) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320326)

This would work well on web logs who have lots of users (IE, slashdot), but won't work well for web lots who have few readers.

Re:Mod (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320364)

Oh please, it doesn't even work on Slashdot half the time. Intelligent posts get modded down all the time because they're not the majority opinion.

Don't be rediculous (4, Funny)

Sanity (1431) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320454)

That would lead to censorship by majority and the inability to say anything that contradicts the weblog's collective "groupthink" without getting moderated down.


Google? (2, Interesting)

The Tyro (247333) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320306)

How much truth is there to the statement that increased links equal increased google rank?

This article implies that all these postings are an effort to stack the google rankings, in order to place spam sites near the top. I'm not a google wizard... is this actually a usable loophole in google's ranking system?

Re:Google? (3, Informative)

realdpk (116490) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320371)

Yes. That's partly why Google's search results are nearly useless any more - especially while looking for information about specific brand-named products. This whole blog-spam thing has been known about for a very long time, and I have yet to see it addressed - I'm surprised that it's finally picked up by the media though. Maybe that'll force Google to update their ranking code before their IPO.

Re:Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320480)

Google's apparently got something in the works. Rumor is, blogs will be separated into a new search category one of these days, so links in blogs won't affect google rankings at all.

Re:Google? (1)

cmowire (254489) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320389)

Very very very much truth, if done properly.

I got number 1 in Google for "arianna huffington spammer" and number 6 for "arianna huffington spam" just with my slashdot sig, without spamming weblogs.

Now that the election's over and us Californians have the Guvernator, I hafta figure out what I'm going to googlebomb next -- preferebly something amusing this time. As I'm indecisive, I haven't changed it yet.

Re:Google? (3, Interesting)

devphil (51341) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320472)

How much truth is there to the statement that 2 + 2 = 4? A lot. Why? Because that's how it's defined to work.

How much truth is there to the statement that increased links equal increased google rank?

Uh, that's how Google documents it. That's how all of Google's employees define it. That's how everybody's experience pans out. Maybe they're all just making shit up with nobody ever calling them on it, but I'd argue for "that's actually how it works" myself. Try going to Google and clicking "About".

is this actually a usable loophole in google's ranking system?

Only if the log owners let the spam sit there long enough to be googled. If they do that, then my guess would be quite possibly yes.

Maybe compile a list of such spammers, then a list of the advertised sites. I'd like a checkbox on my google searches that says, "Ignore results on sites whose page rank is mostly due to asshole tactics."

Re:Google? (1)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320484)

Yes - I've done searches for the terms being spamvertised in my blog and they're usually in the top 5.

I've resorted to not linking the "username" field with the URL provided, instead doing it like:

Posted by ceejayoz (www [slashdot.org]) on Date

Arms race in the making (2, Interesting)

jmerelo (216716) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320308)

The arms race has just started: spambots becoming increasingly more sophisticated, and bloggers having to go to greater lengths to avoid spam.
The root of the problem might be in the impact a weblog link has on google ranking. Spammers have taken note, and they're acting on it.

fucking bloggers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320309)

why is it the world has assumed suddenly that it
has anything important to say, or that anyone wants
to hear musings on every mundane event? .. nobody
gives a shit what you think about this, that or the
other thing.


christ .. please .. someone either launch the bomb
or release the germs .. just get rid of the race ..
this whole goddamn planet has gone to shit

Re:fucking bloggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320498)

parent = case in point

I've Noticed (3, Insightful)

Starquake (245822) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320313)

I read LiveJournal [livejournal.com] and I have noticed this. Anonymous comments with a link to some page I guess they are hoping you will click on out of curiousity. LiveJournal allows you to easily delete such comments but like e-mail spam it is still a hassle. The solution is simple: stop buying what spammers are offering and they will go under soon after.

Re:I've Noticed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320340)

oh, good .. you read livejournal .. do you post,
too? .. do you have a SHRINE to KURT COBAIN? ..
do you write POETRY? .. R U A POET? .. oh the purple
lake of desolation here is the surprise it is my


choke on your own vomit

you and the rest of livejournal

Re:I've Noticed (1)

snatcheroo (576329) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320344)

Another solution is to dissallow anonymous comments. Although thats not always a prefered option, if a persons account is suffering from spam posts it is a small compromise.

Re:I've Noticed (1)

Starquake (245822) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320400)

Good point. The next level of attack after that would be spammers with valid accounts. So then you have to screen each comment from anyone who is not on your "friends list".

Re:I've Noticed (1)

Ricwot (632038) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320372)

Who actually buys from spammers anyway?, is it just dirty old men after porn.
If so I say we got out the hunting pinks, get on the horses, and hunt the bastards down.
If we can't hunt foxes what can we kill?

Re:I've Noticed (1)

mhesseltine (541806) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320482)

Who actually buys from spammers anyway?

I'm not sure about the demographics, but I saw a story on the local news channel about the U.S. government getting involved in spam. They said that about 30% of people request more information, and 7% of people place orders.

The best thing that could happen is that the spammers let us know who they successfully sold to, so that we can collectively beat the crap out of them for making spam a worthwhile thing for the spammers.

Re:I've Noticed (1)

WolfStar76 (708609) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320377)

It's because of fears over things like this that I keep my (LiveJournal) blog set so that comments are moderated. Anyone can leave a comment, but until I clear it, nobody else can read it. So far I haven't been spamblogged, and if I start to get spammed, I'll simply set my comments to be available for posting by "friends only". Then only people I've authorized will be able to comment on my blog. *shrug* The original poster is right though. It's just somehow wrong that any open media, especially those that *I* pay for, are so quickly mucked up by advertising.

Re:I've Noticed (1)

obsidianpreacher (316585) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320463)

Blockquoth the parent:
The solution is simple: stop buying what spammer are offering and they will go under soon after.
Umm ... no. The simple rebuttal to your argument is that if even a handful of people buy from this spammer, that's enough cashflow to run another five trillion emails out to everyone else. The only way to completely stop the spammers is for EVERYONE to not buy from them, which is a very, very difficult task to accomplish.

Re:I've Noticed (5, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320504)

The solution is simple: stop buying what spammers are offering and they will go under soon after.

This is one of those simple-sounding, and utterly worthless "solutions".

You see, you can stop buying what the spammers are offering, but will everybody else? You see, this world is chock-full of people who just don't get it when it comes to spam. They don't realize the mechanical nature of SPAM, many think the message was sent by somebody to them personally.

Scams were common in the 20th, 19th, 18th, 15th, and 11th century, why would they stop now?

So, really, what you in fact just said was " The solution is simple: change human nature for every person on the earth to a very cynical nature and then spend billions of dollars in education so that people know what SPAM is and how best to treat it, and they will go under soon after." .

Utopia doesn't exist, and won't as long as there are people to pollute it. In the meantime, we have to deal with the fact that this world has both unscrupulous people and suckers.

The solution is to change the protocol of Email to introduce enough resistance to communication to thwart SPAM. Until that happens, SPAM will be a problem.

fr1st ps0t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320316)

I've got it this time!!!!!!!11

YOU FAIL IT!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320357)

Now go back to your mom's bed where you belong.

It is natural (1, Interesting)

Zanek (546281) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320317)

This is as natural as evolution. The spammers remind me of roaches. You can try to engineer
them out of existance but life always finds a way.
I dont hate them, but I do find this phenomenon curiously interesting with its parallels to life

Re:It is natural (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320369)

Cockroaches can never adapt to the bottom of your foot.

Or the head of a hammer.

How long until.... (1)

devphaeton (695736) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320318)

.... spam (and viruses, and parasites) invade every part of the WWW, making it completely unuseable or impossible to enjoy? Or until a significant portion of the internet bandwidth is trash.

Will that kill tha intarweb as we know it?

Will it chase away the 80% (read: non-geeks) and give it back to the geeks?

If the internet population decreases, will the spam/viruses decrease?

Gawd... some things i don't like to think about.

Re:How long until.... (1)

Ricwot (632038) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320406)

And then maybe we'll be back to the good old days of black text on grey pages

or even better, just terminals!

slashdot spam (1, Flamebait)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320319)

Every time someone puts their sig in the comment itself, I feel like I've just been spammed. The only additional moderation tag I've ever whined for has been a -1, Spam moderation.

I have a quick and dirty solution. (5, Interesting)

Ignorant Aardvark (632408) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320321)

Use the same type of human verification system that Yahoo uses when signing up for an e-mail account. If you can't type in the mangled letters in the image, then your post to the weblog is ignored. This would only be required for anonymous postings - if you're logged in, presumably you've already passed the human verification test upon account creation, so you don't have to go through the hassle each time you want to post.

Re:I have a quick and dirty solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320394)

Perfect. So you just have a spammer spend a day signing up for accounts, and then they have hundreds/thousands of "authorized" accounts for spamming. Everybody wins!

Increase Penis Size! (-1, Troll)

CracktownHts (655507) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320324)

Like many men I was unhappy with the size of my penis, so I began searching for a safe and effective method to increase my size. After many, I repeat many, attempts at different methods I finally found something that worked!

Visit for more info! [penis-enla...planet.com]

Uh, try disabling comments altogether... (3, Insightful)

ccnull (607939) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320328)

This is reason #1 why I don't allow comments on my weblog [chrisnull.com] or any other site I run. Have you read the comments most people post on these things, anyway? They're even more asinine than the weblogs themselves...

Not every single web site needs to be a two-way communication system. That's what email and discussion groups are for.

Re:Uh, try disabling comments altogether... (4, Funny)

aliens (90441) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320478)

Have you read the comments most people post on these things, anyway? They're even more asinine than the weblogs themselves...

Yeah I mean who reads these comments anyway? Can you imagine a site full of these asinine people writting about stuff they don't even know the first thing about?

What a stupid stupid idea ::)

Cry me a river. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320337)

So this means that the self-referential circle-jerk known as the "blogosphere" finally enters the real world of good comments and crap comments, on-topic notes and goatse links, and all the rest? Boo fucking hoo. If you don't like being an admin and either moderating or deleting comments, then don't allow them. Sorry.

Solution to the problem (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320341)

1) Only allow people with verified accounts to post.
2) With every post, display the advertising policy (buying an ad on the site is $5000)
3) Make sure they confirm that if their message is an ad, they agree to pay the $5000
4) Host their ad for them, and collect your money. Small claims is helpful here.

I wrote my own blog framework (0)

donnyspi (701349) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320342)

I use .htaccess files in Apache to get into the part where I can add entries.

My blog [donnyspi.com]

Re:I wrote my own blog framework (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320483)

While surfing the internet last week I had an unfortunate experience. I came across a website that upon loading gives one's computer a virus/worm and hijacks one's web browser. It set my default home page to its own site and no matter how much registry editing I did, I couldn't fix it. On that same website was an ad for a product they sell claiming to get rid of symptoms not unlike those my computer was experiencing! This company screws your computer up when you visit their web page then they try to sell you the remedy!! They were using a 3rd party to process their transactions (www.2checkout.com) for their orders, so I contacted them. I totally didn't expect a response, but to my amazement, they suspended the offending company's account! That's awesome!!!

Jesus Christ (-1, Flamebait)

Wind_Walker (83965) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320345)

It depresses me to think that any open medium can be so easily undermined by people with no scruples, no sense of responsibility and no idea of the damage they are doing.

Jesus Christ on a pogo stick, could you be any more naive? Could you be any more melodramatic? Could I be any more sarcastic and condescending?

I can only hope that you're 12 years old and are still inexperienced in the real world. I'd hate to think that an adult still has such a narrow view of the world.

Blog-B-Gone (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320351)

My company produces tiny wireless software that prevents users from posting advertisements to your blogs and discussion forums. You can buy it here for a low introductory price of only $19.95 http://www.blog-b-gone.com [localhost] :-)

Awkward Alternative. (5, Funny)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320353)

Although the term flyblog has been used already to mean either blogging about flying, or blogging while flying, I would like to claim it for the practice of posting spam comments to people's blogs like this: I have just been comprehensively flyblogged

I like I have been splamogged much better. Just rolls off the tongue.

I have already seen this with my blog (2, Interesting)

chrisgeleven (514645) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320356)

It is a huge pain in the butt, especially considering that I have not found an easy way to mass delete comments with Movable Type [movabletype.org] yet...so I have to go to each comment individually and delete them.

This past week alone I cleaned out about 20 spam comments.

Re:I have already seen this with my blog (1)

MKalus (72765) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320468)

There is an Anti-Spam Module out there for Movable Type. So far I have only been hit once, and I hope it stays that way, but who knows, if people would start reading my blog I am sure I get more.


image reading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320365)

why not present the poster with an image with some random text, and ask him to type in the text in order to have it posted?

It is used in some loging sistems, but could be used to allow anonymous postings on such things

Re:image reading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320515)

That would annoy real posters so much they would have to fecal japan and goatse you into oblivion.

Direct financial impact on users (1)

banky (9941) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320373)

For many people email spam is largely transparent; I have a high-speed, unmetered connection (cable modem) and anti-spam protection (Apple Mail.app) so in my email, I see virtually no spam.

However the site that I run is hosted on MovableType through a commercial host. I have a metered limit on database queries and bandwidth. Excessive blog comment spamming could end up costing me money!

A new version of MT-Blacklist comes out today. Use it!

This was happening to my guestbook too (5, Informative)

Phoenix-kun (458418) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320375)

I had the same problem with the guestbook on my website. I was used to the occasional, manually entered, advertisement that I would then promptly remove. However, suddenly my guestbook was being hit with dozens of spam advertisements at a time, all at the same time. This was taking place every couple of days. It was always the same ads with bogus compliments, but the source IP addresses would vary widely from attack to attack. A review of my access log showed spybots looking for the presence of certain common guestbook scripts, one of which I was using. Then later, the spambot would hit my site executing the scripts directly. I got around it by changing the file name of the script. Normal users to my site would follow the link and get to the guestbook with no problem. But since the spambots depended on the script being a certain name, they would fail with a 404 error.

Solutions, e.g. Drupal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320384)

Drupal [drupal.org] offers a good solution because it can require logons for comments etc... Other solutions are trying to integrate BBS systems like YABBSE with Blogs - they are giving that a try at the agonist [agonist.org] and it works quite well and helps to build a community.

The answer is of course punishment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320385)

Some crimes are very easy to get away with. Embezzlement is one. As an insider with access to the books a CFO can potentially reek havoc and get away with it. The answer? Making the punishment so bad that it is not worth the small chance of getting caught.

Although most ppl probably think something along the line of "boy I'd like to grind spammers into big macs" as they open their mailboxes on Monday morning (except the morons who actually buy the stuff), we don't want to be emotional about this. The punishment for spam needs to include jail time in the minimum sentence, even if it's a month. Fining these guys hurts but they probably make enough money for the fines to not force them out of business. Tech solutions only work against yesterday's attacks, as the RIAA and others are actively *not* learning.

Of course we can simply kill them and feed their bodies to pigs.

Beat Down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320388)

I suspect as the flood of spam reaches a threshold limit, certain offenders are going to find burning minitowers on their front lawns, scrawled pentagrams with the UFie Dust Puppy painted on their garage doors, and flaming bags of actual spam on their doorsteps.

This is what the flash mob was invented to do!

Go on, incite a riot of righteous protocol! Deliver a DDoS to the gonads of your local spammer! Rise up, and show that you are more than a vulnerable Inbox or open blog!

Kick a spammers ass today!

Re:Beat Down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320494)

I find that a simple photograph of them or their relatives in daily life, combined with crosshairs drawn with a Sharpie, is most effective.

Google.. (1)

Uhh_Duh (125375) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320397)

Remember, google page-ranks are based on who links to you. This seems like a great way for spammers to get their web-sites ranked higher in search engines.

Of course, I can't remember the last time I had to google for 'penis enlargement'. Companies have been kind enough to save me the trouble and send the results straight to my inbox.

Side note: My blog gets about 2 of these a week now.

Why let users comment on your blog at all? (3, Insightful)

crazyphilman (609923) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320398)

You're blogging to publish your thoughts to the world, right? Weeelllll, if your users want to say something, let them get their own blog. There's no law that says you have to start your own mini-slashdot. Make your blog read-only and the spam problem goes away.

Doesn't it?

I think the whole "open forum" thing is overrated... Look at all the junk that gets published here, on Slashdot, one of the more serious of the open forums (yeah, I know how crazy THAT comment is, but it's true).

Think human nature. (0)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320481)

People want a reply. That's why (most of us) don't talk to brick walls. That's why you probably loaded your comment page first thing on slashdot to see this reply.

in soviet russia, bloggers spam you (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320403)


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I've seen far worse from spammers. (3, Interesting)

Rahga (13479) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320408)

I've got a website [rahga.com].

Last year, I closed my hotmail account and two spammed-to-heck e-mail accounts. To keep old friends and family from getting shafted, I had an autoreply attatched to those addresses, announcing that those addressess were closed and that I could be reached through the contact form [rahga.com] on my website, prior to sending those e-mails to /dev/null .

To date, through this manual entry, effort-draining contact form, I have had at least 20 offers to increase my manly-ness, 10 offers to find the love of my life, and 5 death threats from annoyed spammers. Only one charitable organization had a problem with my auto-reply, because a spammer was using their e-mail address to send junk to me over and over again.

Increasingly, spambots mimic human behavior ... (0)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320412)

until Skynet is completed. Then they develop time travel technology and send a spambot back in time to eliminate Sarah Conner and take over the state of California.

Legislation (3, Interesting)

Schmucky The Cat (687075) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320415)

This isn't that new but it's becoming a nuisance because spammers now have automated tools.

It's taken eight years since email spam became an issue for signifigant legislation to pass.

We need an easily amendable federal law that simply says unwanted, unsolicited, uncompensated advertising is simply illegal.

Usenet, fax, email, public chat, blogs, RPC messenger, any forum that allows public input for free has become a spammer magnet. They don't own it, get them out.

We need a law that says this, as a statement that to live under our social contract you can't be an annoying louse.

Re:Legislation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320507)

I find the "laws will solve the problem" ideas quite pathetic.

You really think there's only the USA on the planet, or what?

Technology will solve the problems, not laws.

Heck, there's laws everywhere, in every country, and people break those every damn second.

Just like Graffiti (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320420)

IMHO, I think spamming blogs are like graffiti. The only difference is that it's a graffiti for Viagra. They'll be there for a while, but once their IP gets banned and the spam is removed, they move on to other pastures (or change IPs and spam again). By the way

Budget generic vii.agra-x, lowest price on the web.No trouble plain wrapper shipments.No prescription needed.

See full advantages.

I've been seeing this for months (2, Insightful)

einer (459199) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320426)

I run a phpbb [phpbb.org] based blog, for my friends and family, and it is definately a problem. So far, the only solution I've found is to block all users who register with an e-mail address from .ru and .tw. This is obviously a sub-optimal solution.

It's frustrating on so many levels. The spammer always sees a hit from your website in their logs if you do a background check on the user (you have to visit the site in order to realize it's spam), so the insentive to spam is reinforced. On the other hand, you run the risk of deleting a user who is truly interested in your site if you don't investigate their profile information.

Unfortunately, it's really easy to use google to find phpbb based sites, and it's just as easy to write a script to register yourself with all of these sites. The signal to noise ratio is making it hard for me to justify the admin time costs of running a public site.

The other (not as easy) solution is to modify your site code in some non-standard way so that their scripts fail.

Another interesting phenomenon (1)

pridkett (2666) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320427)

I've also noticed that there is another interesting phenomenon related to this, that is the spamming of online status pages. I used to have a web page where people could go and look at statistics of my site (powered by AWStats). However, I started to get a lot of false requests with referrers from various spam farm sites. The thought that these people had was if you spammed the sites that made their referrer logs available then people would look and see how they linked, when in fact they didn't. It was fairly easy to stop, I just blackholed all of China, Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore at my router, but it shouldn't be the preferred method.

To hell in a handbasket, i tell you! (2, Interesting)

Dwarfgoat (472356) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320432)

This is why I had to shut down the guestbooks on several of my sites. It didn't help when I changed the input form, then used a new URL for the posting page, THEN deleted any connection to the CGI script whatsoever. It was only after deleting the script from my webspace that it stopped.

My hosting company was unsympathetic to my pleas for help. Needless to say, I now host elsewhere. I mean, sheesh...my mother reads that that thing. The last thing I want to think about is her and my dad...and viagr^H^H^H


An interesting double standard re: spammers (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320441)

I guess I'll get modded down for going against the grain, but here goes;
I find it bitterly amusing that /. readers are all pro freedom of speech even when it's things going as far as speech about how to crack corporate networks, but as soon as something as harmless as one or two adverts turn up in your inbox/browser, there's hell to pay. Guess what; you can't get everything for free. When you're not paying for things directly, you're paying for the 'net indirectly via adverts. Think it through the next time you start ranting against people exercising their rights to free speech to promote their fledgling business.

Solutions (2, Insightful)

ChuckDivine (221595) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320448)

One blog I frequent -- Samizdata [samizdata.net] (a libertarian site) -- was recently hit with this kind of stuff. They've initiated a technology that forces people to enter a code supplied on the comments page before being allowed to post a comment.

Slashdot's moderation feature may also help with this problem. If the spammer's goal is to be seen, rather than just Googled, moderating down spam as offtopic or some other negative category may help reduce that visibility.

I have also seen this (1)

Punk Walrus (582794) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320465)

I first saw some in my Slashdot journal, and then I noticed some in my main journal on my site. [punkwalrus.com]

On my main site, I use Greymatter [noahgrey.com], and I view my control panel log every few days. It gives me who has commented since I last cleared to log, and I have only had a few posts to some "porno4u.nu" stuff, and since I could trace the IP, I added it to my "blocked IP" sites.

Still, my journal does not get a lot of traffic, so my way of working with this is fine. But if I had hudreds of posts a day, then, no. I'd need "anti-spamming" of some kind.

How long until... (1)

Jhon (241832) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320467)

...we start seeing spam appear in WIKI [wikipedia.org] material? Sometimes we need to design systems which take in to account the "lowest possible denominator".

Alan's Rules (1)

Alan (347) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320470)

Alans Rule #1,456,483

"Any useful tool will eventually be inandated with porn spam and advertising, therefor making it useless"

No Spam Blogging Here... (2, Funny)

bluethundr (562578) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320471)

Get 500 by tomorrow. It's quick, easy and confidential.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW!!! [emailpls.com]

Use the money anyway you like:
  • Pay off your bills
  • Help you and your family through an emergency
  • Repair your car
  • Go shopping
  • Enlarge your penis!

...sigh. Okay, I keed I keed and I know I'm going to get modded down for posting some actual spam I found in my inbox. But I have actually heard of this problem [lyricsdir.com] before. I wish it would just go away along with the majority of our obsessivly consumerist culture. But thank god, though I have seen some folks accuse Slashdot of being in bed with some of the product manufacturers it features in its stories (an accusation I don't actually subscribe to), I have NEVER seen blatant spam (that wasn't a blatant troll [slashdot.org]) mixed in with the blogging on this site. Could it be that the lameness filters are admirably effective in blocking this sort of content? Or have, I wonder, the spammers not figured out how to interface with Slashdot as of yet? Repeat: yet?


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7320477)

This blog entry sponsored by the American Neck Pain Institute.

How about... (1, Interesting)

revmoo (652952) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320489)

Why couldn't we just create a new html tag, something like , then blog coders could simply set the comments sections of their sites up with the tag.

Then, google would still spider the page, but any spam would fail to be indexed.

Of course, blogs aren't the only application for such a thing, any time you take user input to be posted online you could surround it with a tag to aleviate any spam possibilities.

Re:How about... (1)

revmoo (652952) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320519)

Not to reply to my own comment, but what I meant was to have a:

Tag, slashcode must have stripped it from my comment, oops :-)

Personal Guestbooks have been targeted also... (2, Interesting)

Diplo (713399) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320490)

This relatively new phenomena isn't just confined to blogs - it's been happening to personal guestbooks for a while. I discussed [mozillazine.org] this recently on the Mozzaline forums and it's apparent I'm not the only one to suffer from this automated spam. A brief summary of what I said :
Recently I've had 3 enteries in my guestbook that are blatant adverts for rather-dodgy commercial websites. I've deleted them, but wondered if anyone has had similair problems? One was an advert for 'bingo cards' and another for one of those dodgy 'casino' types. Now, what's interesting is that I log the user_agent that was used for all enteries, and all of these adverts stated the user_agent as
Snoopy 0.95 [freshmeat.net]. If you follow the link you'll see that Snoopy is, infact, a PHP class that emulates a web browser.

Obviously someone has been using it to automate the task of spidering the web and looking for guestbooks and then filling them in with this blatant spam. What suprises me, though, is that I custom wrote my own guestbook, so I'm a little suprised that what appears to be an automated process can work out how to fill in all the fields correctly. I guess my field names are fairly common, but it still managed to work out which was the 'sign' page and fill in the form, including checking radio boxes etc.

I have feeling that the reasoning behind this spam is that it automatically creates a link from my website to the spammer's website (since I have a field for guests to fill in their own website). My guess is that this is a way to generate lots of links back to the spammers' site and increase their Google page ranking. It just amazes me the lengths these people will go!

The article misses the point (4, Interesting)

HealYourChurchWebSit (615198) | more than 10 years ago | (#7320516)

The BBC article misses the point, as does a similar article in Wired [wired.com]. Seems the editors are more focused on name-dropping and doomsdaying than on focusing on some recent solutions. For example:

Point is ... perhaps we'd all be better service if said articles spent less time on the hype and a bit more investigation on some of the solutions ... whether they succeed or fail ... as both are educational.

Just so long as no one attempts to use a rather evil solution [nielsenhayden.com] I discovered here on /... ... that would be wrong [slashdot.org] ...

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