RogerBW's Blog

Blog Spam 15 February 2015

This blog remains spam-free, mostly because I see all comments before they go up.

About half the spam that comes in is standard link dumps; sometimes for medicines, but mostly for designer-name fashionable sunglasses, sports-branded clothing, and such like, presumably all fake or not as cheap as one would like.

Most of it takes the standard form of links with padding text; most of the text is clearly taken from a news article or comments on other blogs, but sometimes it's more interesting. One recent one amused me:

Hey there owner of blog.firedrake.org. Great site. I think you should be little more strict with the comments.

Since there was no link involved, I assume it was a probe to see whether the content would be posted at all. I wonder whether this post will attract more spam because it includes the key text…

I did run word-frequency analysis on the posts that attracted more spam compared with the others, but there are no keywords that show up noticeably more or less often. Just lucky I guess.


  1. Posted by Chris at 10:57am on 15 February 2015

    All the spam I get at the moment seems to be using the "enclosed find a copy of your invoice" template. I think that I must have got onto a list somewhere under all three of the names I often use, since they seem to come in gangs of three, one to each. I am surprised (and a little impressed) that so far the addresses created just for particular companies, for instance Russell Hobbs, don't seem to be being spammed.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 11:18am on 15 February 2015

    Email spam seems to be an entirely different beast; there's typically less effort to make it look plausible. I've had plenty of one-shot addresses leaked, usually from very big and respectable companies rather than the small ones that have to pay attention to their reputations.

    The invoice things, and indeed any spam with a zip attachment these days, are technically trojans - inside the zip you'll typically find something with a filename ending with .pdf.exe or .doc.exe or some such, which Windows by default will show as a harmless-looking something.pdf.

  3. Posted by John Dallman at 06:51pm on 15 February 2015

    E-mail spam is usually meant to be targeted on the recipient. Comment spam usually has a different objective: trying to get search engines that index the blog to associate keywords with the spammer's website. This is one of the things that go under "search engine optimisation".

    It's possible for there to be legitimate businesses that guide people in making their websites easy to index and to be found by relevant searches, but in practice, everyone who uses that phrase seems to have fallen to the dark side.

  4. Posted by RogerBW at 06:59pm on 15 February 2015

    I know people who have skills in this field, and they're very chary of using that particular term.

  5. Posted by Chris Suslowicz at 01:53pm on 16 February 2015

    Making Light is currently being hit by linkspam where the link is just to google and the post text is just boilerplate. I cannot see what this is meant to achieve.

    The radio group recently got a "collaboration request" from an seo bunch calling themselves "omnibuzzmedia.com" and I was very much tempted to reply along these lines:


    The only good collaborator is a dead collaborator, Quisling got what he deserved, and that goes double for spammers, SEOs and other marketing scum.

    Cordially,

    (bogus name)

    I resisted the temptation, but a web search for them was "enlightening".

    Chris.

  6. Posted by RogerBW at 02:58pm on 16 February 2015

    Might be a test of a spam engine? But one would expect that not to last very long, Still, if it's a distributed system using malware on other people's computers, it might not be all that readily controllable.

    "We have a special package for collaborators. And you even get to keep the bullet!"

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