August 23rd, 2005

Spambots: the next generation

I just spent several minutes of my life that I’ll never get back again cleaning up after the spambots. They come in clusters and apparently are only able to hit the top thread of the day (in a few minutes, therefore, I may have to tidy up this post).

There were six of them this time, arriving in the span of approximately one hour.

Why mention them–other than to vent my spleen? Well, I noticed that they seem to be evolving even as we speak, becoming ever more creative, chatty, and conversational.

I subtitled my previous post on the topic “the invasion of the comments snatchers,” after the movie in which the aliens looked so much like humans that it was difficult for mere humans to tell the difference. At the time I was joking, but now I wonder if this isn’t the way spambots are going–trying to sound so much like a real live human that they will end up fooling us stupid bloggers into thinking that’s what they actually are.

Here, for example, are portions of the text of two of the spambot comments I just deleted. I’m eliminating the links, of course, because I don’t want to do their nefarious work for them. As you will see, they are now making political comments and other observations about the world (it appears, by the way, that even spambots aren’t too keen on CBS):

Black Rock Discovers Blogging
You have to hand it to those little troopers at CBS News. After a year filled with what we’ll delicately call, uh, crap, they’re doing their best to make a precious little bounce back towards respectibility.

Great input, you have a great blog here! I’m definitely going to bookmark you! [Link follows]

This one is less political, but it has a rather pleasant personality, don’t you think?:

10 Years That Changed The World
A decade ago, Netscape went public, blasting the Web into everyday life. Now, Wired talks to the inside players – from Marc Andreessen to Shawn Fanning to Steve Jobs – about 10 years of boom, bust, and sock …

It’s nice to read blogs and learn about other people. I’m just discovering all this – guess I should bookmark your blog, eh? I have a rose gardening site. You wouldn’t guess that by the title, would you? LOL – lots of rose gardening related things. Come and check it out if you get time 🙂

Notice the clever “and learn about other people” [italics mine]. Wants us to think it’s “people.” Well, spambot, you didn’t fool me–yet.

11 Responses to “Spambots: the next generation”

  1. neo-neocon Says:

    Thanks for the info. I had no idea Blogger had such a thing.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    It’d called ‘word verification’ and it’s on blogspot – check out your account for new tools (?)


  3. Anonymous Says:

    There is a way to stop it.

    Some blogger accounts are useing the same code system that Yahoo does to stop bots.

    I’ll see if I can find out more.


  4. Goesh Says:


  5. karrde Says:

    My blogger account has never been hit with comment-spam.

    Maybe I’m just not high-profile.

    Maybe that has something to do with the fact that I disallowed non-blogger-account comments.

    On the one hand, it throttles incoming comments by limiting it to the (supposedly) humans-only club of blogger members. On the other hand, I don’t get any comments from the many-faceted personality known as “anonymous”.

  6. Asher Abrams Says:

    I’ve gotten hit with comment spam at The Iraqi Holocaust but not at my main blog, Dreams Into Lightning. I’ve never had much of a problem with spam on HaloScan, only on Blogger Comments.

  7. MikeE Says:

    I got hit by them as well today, 11 Spam Comments on my blog.

    There is an option however under comments that requires word verification. You should try that and it will fix your problem.

  8. Pancho Says:

    Have you tried researching who these dolts are?

    You can start with a WHOIS search on the linked URL and follow up with spam tools at places like UXN Spam Combat and Sam Spade. These may give you someone to complain to, should you want to spend the time.

  9. Bookworm Says:

    You’re not the only one with this problem. My friends at Brain Droppings just did a post bemoaning the fact that the darn things are plaguing them too.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    You’ll notice the trackback and comment spam goes up in relation to how “controversial” your posts are.

    spam is not just a poor attempt at advertising, it is for the most part, grafitti of the worst kind.

    There is some spam that is gnerated with the idea that it makes their google count go up, but the majority of it is simply a case of sick little minds attempting to make your site ( and thus your voice) unreadable. Its just another attempt to silence you.

    moveable type has a number of tools that make spam administration a breeze. Its one of many reasons I moved to that platform.


  11. Promethea Says:

    I’ve already picked up on the spambot style. They remind me of the various “generators” like the Chompsky generator, the jive generator, etc.

    Sorry I don’t have links right now, but I’m sure you’ve seen one or more of them on the web.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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