Post-414: Low-Energy spamming

This website was getting lots of spam for a while (which I first mentioned back in spring 2020). It became much less so after some skillful behind-the-scenes changes by my generous host J. W now of “Rockpit, Alaska.” Without which this place looked truly abandoned, the quantity and quality of the spam as tumbleweeds in a digital desert.

Sometimes they still come through in spurts anyway. Often they target one post in particular, seemingly at random, and dump a small mountain on it, with others mostly spared. In the recent few days, I got about sixty comments in a few days over a small and long-forgotten post from 2013, “Ten U.S. Bombers.”

This is one of the ones I’ve gotten today, and I want to point to the poor quality:

Olymp Trade De Confianza
[website omitted]
80.241.217.167

Hi! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Wonderful blog and wonderful design and style

MySpace group? Who is running this spam campaign? You might think it was left over from 15 years ago, but then it also adds he will be “tweeting this.” So what kind of effort was this?

Talk about “not sending their best.” Googling the same introductory phrase (“Hi! Someone in my Myspace group shared…”) appears 162,000 times. Quantity over Quality.

By the the 2010s I started seeing people saying that it was getting harder and harder to distinguish “spam” from real comments/people (scripts running ads or trying to spam links around).

The purpose of spam like this is to get one’s links spread far an wide, to seed the Internet with it, and boost traffic. The company purports to be an online stock trading platform. Assuming someone with the trading company is behind the spam, they must think the link-seeding strategy is worth the risk of looking bad by dumping low-quality spam on people.

And this is so obviously spam it’s like gearing up a Wright Brothers plane in early jet age, or proposing to send a letter by express horseman to hand-deliver in the age of the telegraph, or investing the royal treasury in hiring and outfitting the best new pikemen in the age of the musket.

Even in the 2020s it seems surprisingly easy to tell non-human actors from human actors, at least in this medium.

You’d think they’d have gotten better at it by now. And maybe they have, if by they we mean someone out there somewhere. But those unethical or foolish enough to spam-dump people by the millions are probably not the sharpest people around. It’s the same reason those Nigerian prince emails always end up obvious by some tell or other, sloppy wording, misspellings, something off, even before the part where they say the next step is to wire cash a.s.a.p. …


Comments

  1. Still being hit with major spam, recently dozens to hundreds a day. Strange how they come in waves and usually targeting specific posts and not others.

  2. Spam avalanche that began one or two days ago continues at higher pace than ever.

    I am trying a few techniques to see if I can make sense of what they’re doing and counter them but so far I haven’t come up with anything.

  3. I continue observing the spam-attack to try to learn lessons.

    Some spam from the same IP address will come in Korean and another totally unrelated content in English within a few hours. This is puzzling when thinking of the logistics of who’s doing the spamming, i.e., is one person running both Korean and English spam? My site which has some Korean (hangul 한글) content would be a contender for a Korean spammer, I get it, but how is it both the Korean and non-relate English spam is from the same place (IP address)?

    Are these IP addresses regular people’s machines hijacked with malware and funneled into a kingpin spammer’s network?

    I wondered if banning major offending IP addresses would solve the problem, but it has not, that I can tell, an the same spam (the same keywords, links, type of text) still flows in even after multiple IP addresses are banned.

    Many times the same IP address will dump multiple spam-comments on me within a few hours, but other times a single IP address will leave one and leave. The spammers are good at their game and have had years to figure this out. Their goal is to increase the number of links to their clients.

    Still, mass-spamming without a direct human hand is still usually easily discernible in the early 2020s, at least the large sample I’ve been looking at. None of these people come near the passing the Turing Test for me.

    I had other observations but I’ve forgotten them now. I may have to close all comments on old posts, as my kind and generous blog-host J. W. told me was the best way.

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