Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam

Argh, maybe running a blog is a bad idea. It seems to be the next spam battleground.

First it came in the form of comment spam, usually from random IP addresses that always noted the referer 12.163.72.13. I’m not the only one who had that problem. I created a web server rule to block any system reporting that IP address in their referer. I also started to block the IP addresses that reported that referer.

In the meantime, my blog software has been updated to make automated comment spam difficult, by requiring the entry of graphical numbers that are hard for a computer to decipher, but easy for a human. This is known as a “captcha.” So I haven’t actually gotten any new comment spams, just garbage web traffic from their bots.

I’m glad I blocked the IP addresses too, because now the spammer has taken to changing the referer content (though the IPs remained the same). Now the referer has turned into ridiculously long spammish domain names like:

  • www.ranking-holdem-poker-hands-4u.info
  • www.buying-phentermine-pharmacy-2003.info
  • www.cheap-car-rental-e-site.info
  • www.cash-loan-united-advisor.info

They seem to be randomly generated but usually contain something about poker or phentermine. I’ve tried to access a few of these “sites” and none are valid. So it’s pretty worthless referer spam, but it’s still annoying to see this trash pile up in my logs. I’m thinking about blocking any referer with a .info address, since I’ve never been to a meaningful .info site anyway (those extraneous top-level-domains are so useless!).

The spammers are going to all this effort just to get a few links to their junk sites into blog comments in the hopes that Google will rank those sites higher. I’m sure the people at Google are not stupid and have caught on to this to the point where blog link spamming does no good. Too bad the spammers can’t put their energies toward doing something useful for the web instead.