Author Topic: Learning about spammers  (Read 6850 times)

Kilman

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Learning about spammers
« on: August 07, 2009, 04:14:41 PM »
As I periodically clean out spam and spammer accounts from the board (we don't get many since Donna cleaned things up and upgraded the forum software), I have learned certain patterns common to the spammers who do get through the registration process.

It seems that they go around creating accounts at many unrelated forums across the net under the same name over a short period of days.  Then, days or weeks later, they post the spam which is usually about some sort of software or computer related service.  Another, more insidious variation is a double spam account registration.  One account is made a week or two before the other account.  The second account makes the first forum post with a computer related question.  Shortly after that, the first account answers that question with a recommendation for a particular piece of software or computer related service.

So you might see a first message of "Help, my xxx software locks up" and a reply of "Try xxx, I had the same problem and xxx software fixed it right away."  The interesting thing is that account #2 posts a different problem at each forum, such that they describe different software locking up, but these are all posted by the same spammer at about the same time, then all have the same cure according to account #1.  Tricky, and I guess they catch a few flies that way.

Our most recent new member, genroxbro, is very likely a spammer of one of those two flavors.  They created accounts at many forums in the last couple weeks, but I won't delete their account until I am certain they are not just a gregarious sort of person.
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Grate Oracle Lewot

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Re: Learning about spammers
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2009, 11:20:22 PM »
Hmm, that's pretty interesting. I've been a Moderator at a few forums before, and I'm not sure I've ever seen the second, more insidious type. I'll have to keep an eye out.

I suppose there'll never be a 100% effective spam filter, but not too much gets through.
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Kilman

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Re: Learning about spammers
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2011, 01:52:56 AM »
Seems like there were a lot more messages in this thread, but then I guess those posts were all from the time of "The Great Weirdness" and are now stuck in an alternate universe.

Anyway, we have our first new member since the security question was installed.  Unfortunately, my sources tell me albiemorne is spammer.  At minimum his profile wants to advertise locksmiths.  But for the moment, I will spare him the axe since he has posted no actual spam and one has to give him credit for either being a Hitchhikers fan or for figuring out the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything in much less time than it took Deep Thought.
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Teatime

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Re: Learning about spammers
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2011, 03:41:52 AM »
Wow, a locksmith Hitchhikers fan.  8)
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Kilman

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Re: Learning about spammers
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2011, 11:24:28 PM »
Our locksmith friend seems to be getting a little overzealous, creating 2 additional accounts a few days ago.  It looks like his game is simply having accounts with links to various locksmith sites at different cities in the US (although the links could be more insidious that that).  All three accounts appear to originate in India.  Hitchhiker fan or not, I am still going to have to limit him to one account.  The other two have been banned.
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Kilman

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Re: Learning about spammers
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2011, 05:04:40 PM »
Another person was able to make an account.  Though they are also likely a spammer, we will give him/her the benefit of the doubt since he made it through the ultimate question.  Plus, his user name reminds me of an old game I played in the mid 70s called Hunt the Wumpus.  My Dad made a computer in a coffee can (very primitive) and coded in the game.  One of my first computer game experiences.
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Teatime

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Re: Learning about spammers
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2011, 06:07:45 PM »
Computer in a coffee can! That's way cool. All we ever did was put bugs and lizards in coffee cans. Guess your family was high tech.
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Kilman

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Re: Learning about spammers
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2011, 08:19:41 PM »
Bugs and lizards are cool too.  I enjoyed that as well, but yes, we were on the cutting edge to some extent.  I was using the ARPANET (precursor to the internet) in the 70s to play games like Adventure (early Zork).  The ARPANET was not public and it would be 20+ years before most people would experience the internet.  We were also the first family in the neighborhood to have Pong.  Even though it seems like such a primitive game it was oddly something of an event on the block with lots of families (parents included) stopping by to see the new technological wonder in the home.

Now I guess everything is upside down.  New tech devices are so frequent and common place while lizards are the rare item in the neighborhood.
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Teatime

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Re: Learning about spammers
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2011, 10:48:38 PM »
Now I guess everything is upside down.  New tech devices are so frequent and common place while lizards are the rare item in the neighborhood.
Except at my house. For some reason our yard seems to be lizard land. You can't walk out there without several darting by. And we don't have a gaming system. I haven't owned one since I was a kid and we had an ATARI.
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Kilman

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Re: Learning about spammers
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2011, 06:37:43 AM »
Except at my house. For some reason our yard seems to be lizard land. You can't walk out there without several darting by.

Cool!  Do the kids get to bring them in the house?
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Teatime

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Re: Learning about spammers
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2011, 07:56:55 PM »
They can bring them in if they keep them safe. I'd feel badly for any that got loose and had to face our cats. They're indoor cats and one in particular is itching for something to chase. The other would probably let lizards ride on his back.
"And time began seriously to pass."
from D.G.H.D.A.

http://afortnightofmustard.blogspot.com/
http://catholiconceagain.blogspot.com/
Syzygy's just this book, you know?
http://www.facebook.com/Syzygy42