I hate blog spam…

This content is 16 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

As I write this, Akismet is telling me that it has trapped 1988 spam comments in the last 7 days and Bad Behavior has blocked a further 5437 access attempts from known “bad” IP addresses over the same period. That’s pretty alarming – given that this is a pretty small blog run by one bloke in his spare time (albeit one with quite a lot of posts)… thank goodness I have these tools to help me out (I’ve long since given up checking for false positives).

I do moderate comments on the blog and some of the spammers are pretty blatant – stuff with suspect links like the spam e-mails we all get in our Inbox – but, as far as I know, none of those are live on the site. There are others that are more devious and, despite my rules for comments being pretty clear that I don’t welcome blog spam, if their product links are relevant to the discussion, then I’ll generally turn a blind eye (although one guy did repeatedly spam me to promote his product and then had the nerve to e-mail and request a direct link – as you can imagine, my answer was not a positive one).

Then, this afternoon, I noticed a very sly spammer. Some time back, I wrote a post that commented on how, after Nationwide Building Society suffered the theft of a notebook PC with several million customer records, they wrote to my two-year-old son and asked him to show the letter to his parent or guardian! I (somewhat provocatively) titled the post “a lack of business intelligence” and this seems to have grabbed the attention of a blog spammer…

You see, when someone leaves a comment on this blog, WordPress tells me their IP address (as detailed in the privacy policy and data protection notice for this site). I’ve removed the commenter’s personal details but do you notice anything strange about the following comment?

Author : [name removed] (IP: [IP address removed] , inetgw04.unx.sas.com)
E-mail : [e-mail address removed]
Whois : http://ws.arin.net/cgi-bin/whois.pl?queryinput=[IP address removed]
I have just taken a job as a CIO at midsize corporation and have been tasked with implementing BI within the organiztion. This is new territory for me as I was working at a smaller company basically insuring that the essential computing infrasture was in place to insure day to day operations. One book I was going to mention that has been helpful to me is Business Intelligence Books – Successful Business Intelligence: Secrets to Making BI a Killer App [link removed]. I would be intersted to hear what others are reading out there.

It’s the reverse lookup on the IP address that gives it away. So you are a CIO at a midsize corporation are you? Well your e-mail seems to have coming from a pretty large business intelligence company (although it’s not clear what they have to do with the book that is being promoted).

It’s not the first time that a large company has spammed this blog. After I criticised Dell for their customer service (and to be fair they worked hard to rectify the situation – for which I gave them credit at the time), someone called “Anonymous” left a comment which linked to a forum post showing HP in a negative light. I smelt a rat and checked their IP address – sure enough it was registered to Dell Computer Corporation.

I really do hate blog spam…

4 thoughts on “I hate blog spam…

  1. I install SpamKarma for all WordPress Installations rather than Akismet. It seems to be 100% effective and may be worth giving a try as I’m sure you get a phenomenal amount of spam here. Without wanting to sound like an advert, it is a very good piece of kit (and can integrate with Akismet and a host of other plugins for a bonus).

  2. I find Akismet and Bad Behavior together to be 99.9% effective. The trouble is that nothing will trap comment spam like the example here – it just looks very legitimate, until you see where the IP address refers back to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.