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Spammers activity and forum profiles


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  • Staff

Hi all,

I have been dealing wirth spammers for a long time on various forums but one thing seems to evade me about why they do certain actions! Lets explain more:

A spammer opens a forum account and creates a profile (using scripts or some spam auto-spam account creator). Often they would just do the basics and then view their profiles for anywhere betwen 5 minutes to a few hours) before logging off. On occasions they will either add to this or return the same day or days later and then update the profiles to include Spam links in their profiles and signatures yet do not do any posts! Often I will also come across many of them uncluding their ICQ address in their contact too!

Now, what I currently suspect to be the case, but I have not been able to get any confirmation or direction on this, is a spammer uses the search engines to scan their profiles thus spreading the links contained within them. As for their ICQ I suspect they hope people will click the address or they use zombies to connect to it using this contact ICQ link. Regardless of why they remain viewing profiles when there is/isn't any linking, leaves me to think that they are using the forum as another IP in their net, where they log in and then move on through it.

I would be curious as to what other people think or any information they have that confirms or explains the above.

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Often times spammers who display this type of behavior are actually sending PM's (personal messages) to other users on the board containing their spammy links, others (bots in particular) I've observed duplicating posts from early in a long thread to make it "blend in" but with a spammy link or two in the signature below each post.

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  • Staff

Thanks for the reply.

I had considered this as they often do that within browser games but on the forum I have not heard of anyone getting any spams from these spam accounts, in their private forum mailbox. Well, no-one has said nor have I had any.

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I know it's happened here in the past, last time I heard about it was over a month ago though. I've seen a lot for pharmaceuticals but I suspect that because the names are obvious such as "FreeViagra" and such that they simply expect interested users to click on the username at the bottom of the board and view the profile (hoping they'll click the spammy ads in the "About Me" section of the profile).

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  • Staff

Yes, we have had that too including others and even had a couple try to link rogue security software too. Naturally I and other mods try to ban these people quickly but we cant be online 24/7 and some do remain on the forum (that slip through the auto spam check) for a few hours.

I have asked Admin on the site to prohibit signature linking but this would also affect other forum users too as some do like their pretty signature tags.

I would be interested to know how this forum combats this issue as I dont see the same thing here.

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I'm not sure what type of automation they have in place for spam blocking, but there's almost always at least one admin on at a time and usually a mod or two as well. There's also a lot of regular users here (such as myself) that will report them when we see them, either in a thread or via PM.

As far as rogues, I do believe that has happened at least once, but it was dealt with quite swiftly (and MBAM already had the rogue installer in its definitions :( ).

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  • Staff

Thanks, so it appears this forum suffers with the same as the one I use too. Only difference is you have more Admins and mods here during the day/night than we do, which take care of things.

Guess, as with many things, it's an uphill, never-ending problem that will require human intervention to keep it in check. I just wish the global authorites would be more pro-active and co-operative in nailing these people once and for all. My view is the laws make it nearly impossible for Anti-spam and security companies to catch and deal with them fully.

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At another forum where spam has been a big problem in the past, we have a few rules that help.

Please ensure posts are meaningful

No crossposting

Members with less than 10 posts cannot post new private messages

I am used to seeing a new member post a score of semi meaningful posts, some may be helpful, after a while they drop a spam sig in.

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  • Staff

yes, I have noticed this on another forum I use too.

I have been monitoring connected users for the last hour or so and picked up a few spammers with spam signature links, that had been missed. I see that although they dont actually post spams, they are using this method to get MSNBot Spider to point to their profiles and spam link, of all accounts that are still acivve on the system that have not had this info removed or been banned.

I know the easy answer would be to just limit people signatures and just about everything else they can do BUT it wouldn't be a forum where people would bother then, would it.

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