Thursday, November 30, 2006

Today's Spammer Oddity 

Here's another odd thing about spam. In recent weeks Locus has gotten a trickle of comment spam -- submissions via comment forms on the website, submissions that are full of generic comments ("Great site!") and reams of URLs. Typically these come in pairs, one via the comment form on the Locus Online 'contact' page, and the other via the comment form on the Cory Doctorow essay from Locus Magazine's September issue.

The odd thing is, these spam are still attacking the *September* Cory essay page, but not the more recent November Cory essay page.

It's as if the spammers aren't each trolling the website (or by extension, all websites) for easily accessible email addresses and comments forms. It's as if some intermediate does such a troll periodically, and passes on the available contact links to a bunch of other spam providers. The interval the former updates means the latter are still using a September comments form and not a November one.

Isn't that interesting?
The "intermediate" of which you speak is not human, it's "bot" software that scours the web looking for properly named fields and "mailto" tags. All the spammer does is click "go" and attach their ad links or, worse, trojan horses that scour your personal computer for private/financial information.
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Mark R. Kelly

The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Mark R. Kelly, and do not reflect the editorial position of Locus Magazine.
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