the joy of spam!

Hooray! I got my first bit of comment spam on this blog. This means two things:

  1. my blog is being found on search engines.
  2. WordPress is being used by enough people to make blog spamming worthwhile.

Of course, I’m not going to let any through, but it’s a wee piece of serendipity while I’m waiting for the furnace repair person to come.

Seemingly innocuous comment spam

In the last 12 hours or so, I’ve been getting a new kind of comment spam on this blog. The text is fairly harmless: “very interesting article”, or “if you are using Linux or unix you can take a look at”, but the link goes off to one of those pharmacy sites, or to russian car registration people.

Yes, I can run MT-Blacklist manually on them, and they are a bit lower key than the older style ones, but they’re still very annoying.

Is PharmaSpam making you sick?

How about an anti-spam campaign specifically targeting drug sales? I have the perfect name for it: Boast No Pills

Categorised as General Tagged

30 minutes of my life gone

… dealing with Mr Tramadol Hydrochloride Comment Spammer.

If you’re considering spamming this site, why not stop and consider doing something worthwhile?

Comment Spam

I’ve had to close comments because someone comment-spammed the site. Having to deal with this is a bit like dealing with something unpleasant you’ve trodden on in the street.

When Memes Collide: Bayesian Filtering + Srmabled Text = Unstoppable Spam

When scrmabled text, which was briefly popular in September 2003, meets up with Bayesian mail filtering, you get this:

I finlaly was able to lsoe the wieght I have
been sturggling to lose for years!
And I couldn’t bileeve how simple it was!
Amizang pacth makes you shed the ponuds!
It’s Guanarteed to work or your menoy back!

In other words, spam you can understand, but that your spam filter passes straight through.

I always thought it was a bit arrogant to assume that spammers wouldn’t almost immediately catch on to the limitations of Bayesian filtering. I’m guessing that spammers probably don’t like getting spam to their personal accounts as much as the rest of us do, so they’re probably using Bayesian filtering too. That means they too have access to a list of words with a high spam score, so they’ll know what to avoid.

So here’s a plan I call the Elitist Filter: reject a message if it has a certain number of spelling mistakes. While this would have problems if you received multilingual e-mail, it would have the serendipitous strong incentive for people to improve their spelling. And that can only be good.

renewable energy spam!

Browsing through an old mail address’s cluttered inbox, I came across a message touting EnviroMission‘s Solar Tower technology. (Site warning: annoying flash graphics.)

I’ve always been dubious of this idea — basically, build a big transparent canopy somewhere really hot, and exhaust the hot air through turbines at the base of an enormous concrete tower — but to get spam from them is quite the limit.

Stuff like this doesn’t help the renewables industry. We’re building reliable machines that fit into a dependable power infrastructure. Fly-by-night spamming seriously damages the entire industry’s image.