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Learning about spammers

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Kilman:
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.

Grate Oracle Lewot:
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.

Kilman:
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.

Teatime:
Wow, a locksmith Hitchhikers fan.  8)

Kilman:
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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