Regular Spelling
Thoughts on language and more

It Is Alive!

One of the primary things I have to do as staff of NotebookForums is watch for spam and remove it. When we're doing it right, the normal users will never see it because we Do It Live and get it as it happens. But sometimes some gets through our eyes and has to be caught later.

From the years I've done this, I've seen all sorts of types of spam, from spam bots and otherwise. There are some interesting trends that happen in spam, too. Sometimes, some particular topic can be targeted over and over again. One particular thread thats been around since 2005 has had had 65 spams deleted in it, the earliest from September of 2008. I haven't figured out why yet this particular thread is targeted so often, but it is nonetheless.

The latest of these spam posts is what caught my eye, though, when another staff member caught two accounts on both NotebookForums and the sister site DesktopForums, both registered at the same time and with consecutive account numbers (the member database is shared between the two sites), which both posted spam in threads consisting of the line "This forum is alive? If yes, please remove this topic and my account." A quick Google search shows a bunch of other forums hit by this in the last couple few days, most of them deleted on the actual sites now and the Google cache not updated, but oddly enough all the other times I saw it occur it was starting a new thread with that also the title, instead of posting that in another thread like what happened on NBF/DTF.

The DTF bot also posted a second post, saying it was testing the forum again, and a random sequence of characters. Another Google search for that line as well brought up another batch of results, but like the first one those all started new threads, as opposed to what it did on DTF, posting in another thread. Its kind of an interesting bot, I'm curious as to what it would try to do from there. My guess about it is that its a sort of testing thing, human monitored possibly, gathering information about forums to enter into new fully automatic spam bots later.

Date posted: 25 January, 2010
Tags: internet
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