Darn Comment Spam

SpamNow that most email clients have reasonable spam filtering capabilities, spammers are targeting comments systems on blogs, guestbooks (I thought those had disappeared, but I saw one yesterday) and other open submission forms that post to the web.

IP banning probably never worked, as spammers have been using open proxys for years. Word blacklists (like ignore comments with “online-casino.com” in them) require regular maintenance and could result in false positives. Now folks are developing Bayesian filters for their comment systems, and spammers — already familiar with such filters — are including passages from books to trick those filters. Last night, MaisonBisson was spammed by somebody who had a convenient file of quotes:

His high pitched voice already stood out above the general murmur of well-behaved junior executives grooming themselves for promotion within the Bell corporation. Then he was suddenly heard to say: “No, I’m not interested in developing a powerful brain. All I’m after is just a mediocre brain, something like the President of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company.”

In all ages of the world, priests have been enemies of liberty.

Philosophers are as jealous as women. Each wants a monopoly of praise.

All is for the best in the best of possible worlds.

The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do.

So far as the mere imparting of information is concerned, no university has had any justification for existence since the popularization of printing in the fifteenth century.

Lycos seems to think the best defense against spam is a good offense. Or, perhaps it’s better described as online corporal punishment. Which gives me an idea….

One thought on “Darn Comment Spam

  1. Can’t Blog or CMS software just add the fun random image of numbers and letters that need to be entered by a real person? The software to do it is simple. The bot software to fake it is tough, I’ve tried. (I do come from the world of sketchy internet marketing software)

    I stopped using WordPress because of comment spam, but as I look about, most people haven’t prevented it. I think bayesian filters which are great for email SPAM are overkill for handling this area.

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