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New Kind of Spam

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New Kind of Spam

Postby daiv » Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:15 pm

In the "poisonous thread" a user posting "related" content - probably "scraped" from other websites. The post looks legitimate, but is only to get the link included in the user's signature posted in the forum. In this case it was to a used car seller.

Very sneaky.

victor rock wrote:In the context of biology, poisons are substances that can cause disturbances to organisms, usually by chemical reaction or other activity on the molecular scale, when a sufficient quantity is absorbed by an organism. In medicine (particularly veterinary) and in zoology, a poison is often distinguished from a toxin and a venom. Toxins are poisons produced via some biological function in nature, and venoms are usually defined as biological toxins that are injected by a bite or sting to cause their effect, while other poisons are generally defined as substances which are absorbed through epithelial linings such as the skin or gut.


I am pretty sure this is done by actual people (sweat shops/work from home) and not bots.

I've deleted the user and all those posts too.
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Postby Dmyerswny » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:24 am

I noticed that guy in another post. Something seemed off. Very sneaky indeed.
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Postby John C » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:58 am

I saw the post and thought it was a little odd for someone to just post a definition of a word without any commment about the thread. Makes sense now.
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Postby daiv » Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:01 am

Yeah, Hob noticed these about the same time I did. The giveaway is that they have a link to some unrelated site that is selling something. This guy was "used Honda". :roll:
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Postby Rebel Squirrel » Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:23 am

I've seen those pop up elsewhere. I suspect there's a live human (rather than a 'bot) behind them due to usually being at least sort of related to the forum or thread they get posted into.

Either that or the spambots are getting smarter...
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Re: New Kind of Spam

Postby luddhus » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:45 am

daiv wrote:probably "scraped" from other websites.


In this case the "Poison" page on Wikipedia.
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Postby hob » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:12 am

its a real pain as every post in every section has to be looked at for links :?
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Postby lancer99 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:57 pm

It's thanks to crowdsourcing sites that this stuff happens. If someone can pay a fraction of a cent to get a post in a forum, and that post leads to their website, of course they're gonna do it.

What's surprising is that some of the most reputable companies are doing this. I did some work for one, whose name I won't mention (but think tall South American women) and found one of the few contractors who wasn't obviously creating link farms....namely, I was correcting grammar and spelling in DVD reviews. But stopped after I realized that I'd make about $300 a month. However, that's a lot of money in many parts of the world.

So I suspect it's going to get worse before it gets better.... :) :(

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PS There was a post in the "Cactus in Dubai?" thread that had a definition, obviously copied, of what a cactus was...same guy?


Edit: I forgot to mention, and maybe this is common knowledge, but they don't actually expect anyone to click through to their sites from forum posts. But all of the search sites take very highly into account the number of links TO a particular site from other sites when someone does a search. So if I can get a link to my site on 10000 pages (forums, websites), even if no one has ever even clicked through to my site from any of them, that means I'll show up higher in search results than someone with 10 links. That's money in the bank :)
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Postby daiv » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:17 pm

lancer99 wrote:PS There was a post in the "Cactus in Dubai?" thread that had a definition, obviously copied, of what a cactus was...same guy?


Yes there were about 8 posts total.

As for the link ranking on search engines. I agree that is the motive. It really is like an "arms race" between spammers and legit sites. I think because of this, it is time that someone come up with a new search engine that doesn't value "links in", but uses a better (as yet unknown) method for ranking pages. Whoever invents that will be the next big buzz in the "Sci-Tech" section of the news.
:o
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Postby hob » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:31 pm

some of the ones i delete leave up to 6 posts with comments like "nice plant" or "i have one of those"

real sneaky

i agree as long as search engine "crawler bots" look for links people will look for ways to score hits

and we will look at ways to beat them :P
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Postby tumamoc » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:02 pm

hob wrote:some of the ones i delete leave up to 6 posts with comments like "nice plant" or "i have one of those"

That's gotta be tough since a lot of us reply to posts just like that.

Do these spam posts have a link built into the posted message (i.e., do they show up as underlined text)?

By the way, I joined a forum recently and on my very first post the moderator edited it and commented "Moderator cut: no links by new members". I was taken aback at first, but now that I have read this topic, I understand. Kind of harsh, but that might work here.
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Postby CelticRose » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:14 am

I've started seeing these kinds of posts on another forum. Sometimes the links are embedded in the post and sometimes they're in the signature.

One of the forums I post on uses the forum software to block links in new members' posts until they've made 15 posts. Seems to keep the spambots at bay. Another approach is moderated registration.

I'm starting to see red as I'm typing this. The forum I mentioned seeing this type of post on is a disabilities forum. I had always assumed that these were the work of spambots. For real people to be making this type of post on a disabilities forum just sickens me.
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Postby daiv » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:27 pm

I actually had installed a "mod" on the forum that disabled links by new members until 10 posts. I removed that when I added the "humanized" security questions because that blocks bots almost 100%.

I am always reluctant to add any more rules or regulations. The ultimate end of it would be the manual registration process and I am sure we will eventually get backed into that corner, but I'd like to hold out as long as possible.

I know I keep threatening to update the forum version to PHPBB3. I hope this year is the year that gets done.
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Postby cactihunter » Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:46 am

Another one on the 'pictures for the guide' thread :roll:
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Postby Tony » Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:04 pm

cactihunter wrote:Another one on the 'pictures for the guide' thread :roll:


Got it, thanks cactihunter. :)
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