Spammers Paradise

I’ve noticed an increase in a couple of types of blog spam while I’ve been away.  I’m not sure whether this is because the spammers are targeting likely periods when people won’t be watching or if it’s just more annoying to me to have to despam things remotely (usually over dialup or when I’m pressed for time).

The first one is the old-fashioned link-filled comment.  Because of the way EE works it’s hard for spammers to completely automate the process.  What I saw appeared to be manually generated and used URL-shortening services to get around keyword bans.  In one instance they hit a particular post 47 times, with a frequency of about one per hour before I added their URL-shortening URLs to the blacklist.

The other type, which usually happens during the wee hours of the morning, is of the account-creation variety.  Some dingleberry will create an account with a name like “prom dresses” or “bathroom vanities” and then put a link in the profile to a spam link farm with the advertised goods.  These are almost invariably created with invalid email addresses, so I can spot them in the morning just by the presence of the combination of a new member notification and a bounced email in my Inbox.  Occasionally the spammer will pick a valid address so I don’t get a bounce, so I’ve taken to reviewing all new member accounts and deleting any that have spam links (and what constitutes a spam link is entirely at my discretion).  I also added some verbiage to the member agreement to explain this.

As I wrote the above a new idea occurred to me regarding the timing.  When I’m away I’m usually not checking the referrer spam report and regularly updating my .htaccess and blacklist blocks, so maybe what I’m seeing with the comment spam is just the result of deferred maintenance.

Regardless, spammers suck.

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