Blog Comment Spam Increasing

Monday, April 2nd, 2007

I’ve seen a dramatic increase in blog comment spam in the last few months. Though I don’t have exact numbers, I’d guess I’ve received as much in the last two months as I did in the previous ten. The disturbing part, though, is that they’re finally starting to get past the Akismet spam filter!

It appears to be primarily one adult website using a slew of URLs and IP addresses (a botnet of hijacked machines judging by their wide range). Fortunately, there’s still a distinct pattern in their otherwise random URLs that can be blocked with WordPress’s basic comment black list. Hopefully that will be enough to keep me from having to moderate all comments.

Targeted Blog Spam

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

I got a surprisingly targeted piece of blog spam via email today. The subject read “Matthew, for your blog - Netflix CEO on XXXX List”, and it was some magazine pimping their annual list of people to watch and urging me to link to it. They won’t get a link, but I will give them some credit for being clever enough to crawl my blog and pick up both my name and mentions of a company and person on their list. Reed Hastings has only appeared here once; Netflix a few more times. I also wonder if ZoomInfo will now consider him part of my network

Blog Spam

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

It seems today that any open channel of communication quickly becomes a channel for spam, including blogs. Technorati recently claimed that 70% of blog pings are actually spam, and I suspect an equally high percentage of blog comments are as well, judging from what I see on my blog.

WordPress provides a moderation queue and flagging of link-intensive comments to help manage spam. But the best tool is the Akismet plugin, which automatically flags spam according to a large, user-trained database. It’s caught all the spam comments recieved since installed, and conveniently deletes them after 15 days.

April Spam Brings…

Monday, May 1st, 2006

My spam actually seems to be dying down this year, and Thunderbird is being reasonably effective in catching it:

Year-Month Total Spam Effectiveness
2006-01 417 0.91
2006-02 283 0.83
2006-03 182 0.82
2006-04 152 0.85

Thunderbird is actually the second step in my spam solution; SpamAssasin runs at a relaxed level on the server first. There are a small number of false positives, but not enough that I track them.

This analysis is another fine work of Perl that parses the dates of spam messages caught in Thunderbird’s Junk folder and those I manually move to the Missed Junk folder.

Gone Phishing

Monday, April 24th, 2006

Phishing schemes have been using replicas of eBay and PayPal emails, complete with the real links and images, for a while. I got one from Korea today with two interesting features:

  1. It actually said to click the link or type in the address manually, trying to dupe the victim into thinking the link must be legitimate.
  2. The email template they stole included a real link to eBay’s spoof detection page.

As usual, I turned on all the headers and forwarded it to spoof at ebay dot com. If Meg paid a bounty on these, I’d be a rich man!