Linking ≠ Abuse.

Got this e-mail today.  Addresses redacted, but otherwise verbatim:


Subject: Link removal request
From: Rodger Lodge <entrust_____@gmail.com>
Date: 14-01-27 08:46 AM
To: abuse@my hosting company.com, me, hostmaster@my hosting company.com

Hi,

We have recently received a notification from Google stating that our website has unnatural links pointing towards it. This has really damaged our rankings on Google and as a result, we’re trying to clear things up.
Our website url is www.entrust.net.

We noticed the following links are pointing to our website from your site:
http://scruss.com/blog/2006/12/
http://scruss.com/blog/2006/12/14/when-you-really-havent-chosen-not-to-trust-citrix-mac-os-x-and-entrust-certificates/
http://scruss.com/blog/tag/citrix/

I appreciate this is inconvenient and isn’t a reflection on your website at all, but if you’re able to remove the links, we would really appreciate it and would be very grateful.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Rodger Lodge

Entrust, Inc.


So, one of the prime security companies (I’m strongly resisting the urge to link to them here, but I’m above that) is using gmail to send out official notices? Why not a securely signed e-mail from their .net domain? That might be more legit. Also, sending me a copypasta response lifted  from the “Ultimate Guide to Google Penalty Removal” seems a little … gauche.

If this is for real, then I’m annoyed. I wrote the original article in 2006 in an attempt to help Mac users get work done with a popular remote-access package. I’m not dissing the company in any way: I’m helping people use their products better. Linking is not abuse.

It’s probably just spam, though.

Update: Nope, not spam. Got an apology by e-mail from Nate Plaunt of Online Performance Marketing, saying: “This was an automated email generated by this digital agency and your sites were mistakenly targeted”.  Still no apology for the e-mail to abuse@…, tho’. That’s never an acceptable first communication.

sweet nothings from nobody

The collected wisdom (so far) of 647 238 9575:

  • My love is with you sweet heart have a nice evening I miss you so so so much
  • Good morning my sweet heart have a nice day
  • Ana have a nice evening I miss you so so so much
  • My O my my heart is with you sweet heart have a nice day my love is with you for life xoxoxoxo
  • My sole is with you my heart as well for you for life have a nice day my love is with you for life xoxoxoxo
  • Hi is your day going well my heart is with you
  • My heart is with you sweet heart have a nice day
  • Hi are you having a nice day my sweet heart hope all is well with you
  • Sweet morning to you I hope you are Ok my heart is with you
  • Good sweet morning to you sweet heart hope all is well with you my sole is with you my love my love is with you for life xoxoxoxo
  • Hi did you have a nice day be happy my heart is with you sweet love for you
  • My love is with you sweet heart have a nice lunch
  • All i like is to love you for life xoxoxoxo my heart is with you sweet love for you i love you for life
  • It is hard to see you are so so could i like to give you the world and my love for your life and you wont talk to me
  • My heart is with you my sweet sole of my for you for life have a nice evening I miss you so so so much i made a mestak with you will you fo
  • Ana i wish you get over it and talk to me my heart is with you sweet love for you i love you for life xoxoxoxo my heart is with you as well

I’m pretty sure these are generated by a Markov filter.

the undying love of a spammer

New job, so new phone. Within minutes of turning it on, I get text message spam. I get two every day, at just after 6am and 6pm. They’re all from the one number — 647 238 9575 — and they’re all from someone who (purportedly) loves me very much, and wants me back in their life. Knowing me, it’s understandable, but I know spam scam when I see it.

memo to self

Yes, I really have opted out from the MAKE e-mail list. If I get any more e-mail, O’Reilly — formerly publishers of useful Unix books with animals on them — are just a bunch of filthy spammers.

thanks, spammer. thammer.

A (now deleted) comment:

hello , my name is Richard and I know you get a lot of spammy comments, I can help you with this problem. I know a lot of spammers and I will ask them not to post on your site. It will reduce the volume of spam by 30-50%. In return Id like to ask you to put a link to my site on the index page of your site. The link will be small and your visitors will hardly notice it, its just done for higher rankings in search engines. Contact me icq 454528835 or write me tedirectory@yahoo.com, i will give you my site url and you will give me yours if you are interested. thank you

Gee, thanks, Richard! That would be so helpful of you!

no false positives

There was some low-level kvetching on a WordPress blog that Akismet was marking too many false positive comments as spam. Concerned, I trolled through all 11 pages of spam – and didn’t find one real comment.

that tired, worn-out spam filter feeling?

If your bayesian filter’s no longer doing it for you, zap its database. Sure, you get a couple of days of false positives you have to watch out for, but all those penny-stock scams and “hi, it’s no-one you know” e-mails disappear again. No point in having your filter sticking to the old ways when the spammers and scammers have moved on to new methods.

most. annoying. spamfilter. EVAH!

Remote-MTA: dns; mail.haldimandcounty.on.ca (24.215.7.204)
Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 550 Spam filtering has blocked this message. The recipient will receive a summary of all blocked messages tomorrow morning and will be able to “whitelist” non-spam e-mails. If your message is of an urgent nature and cannot wait till tomorrow, please contact the recipient by phone. Thank you.

45 hours, you’re spammed!

An experiment showing that an e-mail address on a web page picks up spam in less than two days

I placed a new and valid e-mail address on my blog on Friday, July 1st, 02005 at 13:55:59. On Sunday, July 3rd, 02005 at 11:03:43, I received a spam e-mail from MiddleEastTenders@tender234.com, subject Qatar Tenders. That’s a few hours shy of two days, from post to spam.

Those spammers certainly don’t hang around. I wasn’t expecting it to be that quick. Conclusion of this story? Don’t ever let anyone publish your e-mail address on the web, ever.

not bloody likely

So I get my first text message spam today. It’s from NYC_Boutique_Friday3051@fido.ca; so as ye give, shall ye receive in spades, spammers.

This number (416 370 0129) also appears to belong to SJIRadio.com, who bill themselves as “The True Sound of the Sport Compact Community“. This means, I guess, that they have as little in common with me as it’s possible to have.

not *that* Gold Disk, I hope

I see that a company called Gold Disk Canada Inc is being sued again over spamming. I do hope it’s not a remnant of the the old Amiga software company of the same name. The Gold Disk I remember used to write neato DTP and publishing tools in Mississauga

I used to think Mississauga must’ve been quite the place, back when I used to compute away in my suburban Scottish bedroom. I guess Cumbernauld (the Scottish new-town equivalent) might sound exotic to denizens of the Land o’ Hazel.