The Noisy Channel

 

Focused Comment Spamming

November 22nd, 2008 · 4 Comments · General

Normally I take down spam commenters. But a recent comment spammer posting with the name “lively” (claiming the unlilkely email address of lively@gmail.com) struck me as interesting enough to to leave as an example to readers. You can see the comment here.

I searched my logs and found that this spammers discovered my blog through a highly targeted search query:

http://www.google.com/search?q=inurl%3Asearchwiki+leave+a+comment

I don’t know if the spammer manually posted comments to the pages in the results or used a fully automated tool. I also wonder at the spammer’s breadth–I could imagine a fairly simple tool that takes a few parameters (name, email, the targeted search query, and the comment payload) and then crawls and spreads the spam.

This approach is technically trivial and potentially quite devastating–especially if spammers step it up a notch and start varying the comments a bit to avoid detection through duplication. I suppose we’ll see a lot more CAPTCHAs around if this approach catches on.

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 The Great Hatsby and Other IM Bots | The Noisy Channel // Nov 22, 2008 at 11:58 am

    […] RSS   ← Focused Comment Spamming […]

  • 2 Going on Auto-Pilot | The Noisy Channel // Nov 28, 2008 at 11:01 am

    […] I won’t be able to participate in the comment threads, and I can only hope that the evil comment spammers won’t use this opportune moment to attack. Meanwhile, I urge you all to take this opportunity […]

  • 3 Software Agents and Rationality | The Noisy Channel // Nov 30, 2008 at 11:01 am

    […] plays in our interactions, I wonder about the role of software agents on the web. We already see comment spammers and prankster instant messaging bots, as well as more benign […]

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