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mysterious spam   ...   blog-on-blog action , comment_spam
fri 2005-sep-02 00:59:27 pdt   ...   permalink

So my blog-comment-spam problem has gotten somewhat worse... For a while it was just a few coming in every now and then. A few weeks ago I got a bunch all in one day, which prompted me to finish the code that I'd started some time before which allows me to very quickly and easily delete a comment. When I did that, it turned out I actually broke posting comments entirely for a little while (which turns out to do quite a good job of stopping the spam, actually!), but then I fixed that.

Then all of a sudden today, I got a big wave of them -- it appears that someone actually went to the trouble of automating the posting of spam to my site. It's already pretty odd that anyone would have bothered to do that, since their scripts are not going to work anywhere else on the web... But wait -- it gets weirder.

When I added the code to delete comments before, I also added code to allow me to blacklist particular URLs, so if a commenter posts with one of those URLs, their comment fails to post. So very quickly, after these spams started coming in, I added their common URL to that list. Since they all used the same URL, it was of course trivial to just block them all, so for the rest of the day today they kept posting to more of the entries on my site, but none of those comments actually showed up on the site even for a minute.

And here's the weird part. I just discovered that the URL they were linking to is not even a registered domain.

So ... this wasn't the usual type of "inflate-my-Page-Rank" comment spam (which of course doesn't even work anymore anyway, but you know, I was thinking maybe the comment spammers hadn't figured that fact out yet). It's just ... graffiti. With no purpose at all.

I don't get people.

mail me

reader comments on this entry:

fri 2005-sep-02 10:38:14 pdt
posted by

Probably a bored and annoying teenager.

fri 2005-sep-02 13:44:07 pdt
posted by leigh

"probably a bored and annoying teenager" who doesn't like the color purple.


sat 2005-sep-10 22:31:55 pdt
posted by Peter

I've implemented my system that I like to call 'the lamest captcha in the world' where along with your name and email and url and message text, you also have to answer a stupid question like 'what is a monkey's favorite food' or something like that. Or hell, just put some text that says "prove you are not a bot and type the word 'human' in this box" and put up the box. It's not like people are targeting you specifically, they are just searching the web for forms that look like comment forms and then autofilling them.

fri 2005-sep-16 05:02:12 pdt
posted by Nadia

I got comment spam with non-registered URLs as well.

I also got comments that I couldn't classify as URL-promoting, but which seemed to have no identifiable purpose.

When I decided that blacklisting was taking too much of my time, I finally installed a capcha, and that has fixed all of my problems. (Though sometimes I see from my logs that it foils real human posters... or maybe they decided not to post that comment anyways. Don't know.)

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