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Trackback spam hits new high

? How to appeal to non-bloggers? Think virus wikis |


| Will citizen journalists cover City Hall? ?

July 04, 2005

Trackback spam hits new high

Stephen Baker

Fourth of July morning. The sun is shining, birds are singing, and I'm sitting on the couch deleting the 62 trackback spams that have arrived since yesterday. For now, these spams are easy to spot. They're mostly about online poker and miracle drugs, and they make no attempt to look authentic. From our experience with email spammers, you can bet that two things will happen. They'll continue to rachet up the volume, and they'll fine tune their pitches to blend in with authentic trackbacks.

One common come-on today, I notice, is to urge readers to check out "relevant sites." But the acne medication and Texas hold'em they're promoting has nothing to do, say, with Heather's post on the Vespa blog. So here's the question: What happens if and when spammers refine their approach and target relevant (or at least faintly relevant) content? Would that still be spam, or simply behavioral targeted advertising? Either way, it's en route.

Speaking of en route, Josh Hallet points to an explosion of technorati spam linked to the Tour de France.

06:58 AM

spam and other abuses

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The trackback spam problem is leading some blogs to point to weblog search engines like Bloglines, Blogpulse and Technorati for incoming links. However, if blog search tools like Technorati get clogged with spam blogs then it poses problems for blogs t... [Read More]

Tracked on July 5, 2005 05:35 PM

I had a ton of comment and trackback spam come in this weekend as well.

Posted by: Josh Hallett at July 4, 2005 08:51 AM

give "Bad Behavior" a try, i made excellent experiences with it (easy to install, i`m using Wordpress => Plugin). Before i had some 100-200 trackback spam entries in 1 hour and after installing Bad Behavior i'm having simply zero. Just google the link. Err, yes, i am in no way connected to that guy who developed that tool ;-)

Posted by: Robert at July 4, 2005 09:09 AM

I recently had to shut off comments, trackbacks and the works on my blog from spam attacks. Getting 100 trackbacks for poker in 5 minutes was just getting too steep. The mad thing is going to a site and finding they legitimately advertise when someone's willing to take their dirty money regardless.

What will happen when they blend in better? Well it'll either be no comments anywhere or we get the government to hunt the curs down and throw their measly butts in prison. And the companies that pay these guys to spam their wares.

Economically that spamming cost me a decent sum of money in time to deal with. I'm incredulous to the idea that it's not vigorously pursued by the legal system for that reason alone. I don't even think it's illegal... anyway that's my rant lol.

My answer in short is the day they get smarter we're losing something precious and valuable. I see one of the original Internet inventors wants to reinvent the internet from the ground up... this would potentially solve spam, viruses and many other problems from having a 30 year old legacy architecture.... sorry for the long rant.

Posted by: nortypig at July 4, 2005 08:55 PM

Some days I was getting several hundred TB spams. I have been blocking them at a server level by dropping all packets from offending IP addresses and it has been working really well.

On another note, I was wondering about "legitimate comment spam" a while back. I even wrote a program that polls RSS search sites for topics and sends TrackBacks that are related, but commercial in nature. I ran a very small test with it and it didn't seem to piss anyone off.

It is a tough question.

Posted by: Jackson at July 5, 2005 12:12 PM

Relevance to topic thread is just one criteria for legit comments.

Comment Spam = any comment that is irrelevant, vulgar, perfuctory, abusive, stupid, or otherwise unwanted and inappropriate...

...and often is designed to drive traffic to malicious or dubious sites, by providing URLs to these sites.

DO NOT ever visit a comment/trackback/guestbook/etc. spam linked site.

By visiting a site displayed in a spam comment or trackback, you boost search engine and link popularity rankings of the spammer and the spam sites, and ... may visit a site that will attach, unknown to you, a Trojan, spyware, adware, or other malware.

Computers and networks can be severely damaged.

I applaud all bloggers who take the time to clean all spam and abuse comments from their blogs.

I sure don't look forward to publishing my threatened "Shun List of Spam Friendly/User Hostile Blogs".

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Posted by: Lea at March 5, 2006 04:39 AM

Surely there must be an algorythm that could be developed to detect TBS .. and slapped together into a plugin for all major blog systems. It's not rocket science. Or is it?

Posted by: US passports at April 22, 2006 12:09 PM

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