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Spam + Blogs = Trouble

Posted on Thursday, 7th of September, 2006 1:38 pm by NightSpirit

I read this wired article a few days ago, but since I've had two spammers seemingly going out of their way to get round my spamfilter today I thought it appropriate to post it.

The article mainly focusses on splogs which are basically sites that appear to be blogs except that they are just full of keyword spam, often found by grabbing excerpts from genuine blogs. Then they use their network of bots to abuse commenting and other features in blog software to link to these sites - all to earn themselves advertising money. Evil or Very Mad

Unfortunatly, spamming remains relatively unpunishable and there are still naive surfers that fall for their tactics. Thus there really is very little insentive for these people to stop abusing technology for their own personal gain at the cost of polluting the internet with their rubbish and defacing sites of others. It is an ongoing battle for us webmasters as even CAPTCHAS (the wobbly text against the background used for validating new accounts or guests posts on this site) are now ineffective against them. Sad

Read the full article @

This news item has been viewed 28342 times and has 5 Comments | Post a comment | Read comments

Comment Posted Sat Sep 09, 2006 1:30 pm by FraZor

I posed this Yesterday:

And this morning I woke up to more SPAM, thus I've started a thread over at B2Evo's Support Forums:

I'm at a loss on what to do. I could start installing all manner of CPATCHAS, extra plugins and tools for preventing and filtering, but that will only add loads of code to my site - slowing it down and making it harder to use for everyone. I've got my thinking cap on, but I dunno...

Comment Posted Sat Sep 09, 2006 6:19 pm by NightSpirit

Sounds like you're getting hit harder on your blog than we are here Sad

Currently, the only protection I have is a custom-hack spam filter that simply scans for words/phrases and adds to a spam-value - anything that exceeds a certain value causes the posting page to return an error.

This is by no means perfect since spammers eventually get round it and also I've had to enable it for registered users too as otherwise spammers just sign up for accounts and get round it that way.

Captchas in their current format are not no longer an obstacle to spammers Sad I'm hoping that ZBN v4 will have protection through obscurity in that this site will be the only one using and so not worth writing a bot to spam to it. However, there must be a better solution that can protect all PHPBB, 22Evo and other sites.

My thinking cap is also fully fastened to my head and working overtime!

Comment Posted Sun Sep 10, 2006 2:12 am by FireCell

There was an article on slashdot a few days back about how captcha's are being manually solved for payment. The comments section has alot of peoples ideas/views on this situation.

Comment Posted Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:30 am by NightSpirit

Quite a few techniques there that might be worth looking into. Although if spammers are paying people to answer captchas then it's going to be tough to make it hard for them but not inconvenience genuine posters Sad

Comment Posted Sun Sep 10, 2006 10:52 am by FraZor

As I said last night, you might be interested in this: