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Everything in Moderation...

When I added comments to this web site, one of the things I didn't add right away were anti-spam measures. I added e-mail notification of new comments, but all spam removal happened by hand. This worked quite nicely for a while. I got one comment spam early on, but due to a bug in my code for reporting the last modified date of a page, that spammer never got to see their comment, and so didn't come back. Of course, eventually I decided to fix that (sort of...), and a while ago the spammers came back.

So today I decided that it was time to change things. I implemented a very simple system that puts all new comments into a separate database, and then I can simply click one link in my site management section to approve pending comments. So, just in case anyone is wondering: Yes, all comments to this site are moderated from now on. But then again, this is my site, and I know the code-fu of FTP, so I could've moderated comments before. Nothing much will change, except for a slight delay before comments go live.

One odd thing, though, is the nature of the spam messages I got: They contained URLs and HTML to well-known company sites. I doubt these big shot companies need the added Google rank, so I'm kinda wondering what the payload of the spams was. Maybe an attempt to get some E-Mail addresses spammed? The E-Mail address was the only part of the spams that changed and wasn't in any way well-known. Any of my two readers have an idea?

Update: I just got the first genuine hacking attempt: Some stupid spammer tried to inject additional headers and MIME separators into my contact form.

I also went through my referral logs today and added redirects for the usual hotlinking forums. They now get nice text-only image files saying "every time you hotlink, a kitten dies" and stuff like that, plus a link to my new hotlinking explanation page.

Reader Comments: (RSS Feed)
Aaron Ballman writes:
I think the spammers are just spamming so that they can spam. Seriously. Here's an example of the latest in spam I'm getting on my blog: "Name: 1434 | IP: 1434 You are invited to visit some helpful info about 392 " "Name: 419 | IP: 419 Take your time to check the pages on 1449 " I think all spammers are idiots.
Uli Kusterer replies:
Somehow those messages don't read like someone's just doing it because they can. Maybe it's someone testing their new spambot (either with fake values, or with the right values in the wrong fields -- I occasionally get spam e-mails where someone obviously entered the wrong values in some placeholders). Another case would be some wannabe-do-gooder (aka idiot) who thinks he has to educate people about how "insecure" their sites supposedly are. Maybe it's the pattern-matching machine in me, but I can't quite believe that "because I can" is the reason for this.
The Other Reader writes:
You know what, I think script-kiddies and idiots download some L33t Sp4m W1zard that walks them through the steps of user-friendly spamming. And most of them still don't get it right... The internet seriously lacks some kind of survival of the fittest type of selection. Trojan horses violently kicking back, stuff like that. That would so teach them. ;-P If it was just about some poor Google being fooled into attributing a high relevancy to shtoopid webpages, I'd understand. But the trouble is real people responding to spam and actually buying shit. :-( I know fools never die, but well, the internet basicly encourages anonymous trolling (virtually no negative feedback etc). :-( The internet hasn't reached the level of uselessness yet, but I'm really interested in the users' reaction as soon as >50% of what you get is courtesy of Spam, Scam, Troll & Hoax inc. What's the next step?
Aaron Ballman writes:
I think I agree with you, it does seem like someone's using me as a testbed. But don't you honestly wonder just how much money there is in the black-teen-shemale market that they feel the need to spam people's blogs? I mean, really, is a midget having sex with a barnyard animal that interesting? I hope to never find out. :-P
Uli Kusterer replies:
I herewith happily announce that the first spam ended up in the moderation queue and got vaporised. One thing that's odd is that they include 'rel="itsok"' in the link attributes... which is kinda odd. 'rel="nofollow"' exists to indicate Google is to ignore a link, but "itsok" is AFAIK pretty pointless... But I guess I should be happy that our spammers currently come from the more shallow end of the gene pool. Let's hope it stays that way. Costs me less time.
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Created: 2005-11-03 @857 Last change: 2023-09-25 @357 | Home | Admin | Edit
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