The Changing Face Of Spam
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Aug 18, 2009
You know, I don’t understand spam at all, especially when it’s aimed at blogs. Well, I do, but I’ll get back to it.
Those of us with WordPress blogs, by this time, should all know about Akismet, which learns the patterns of spam and moves it into a spam filter. We can then take the time to look at it to see if there’s something good in there that we want to keep, or delete it, or allow Akismet to delete it as a later time.
These days, I’ve noticed that some spam has gotten smarter, and some has gotten longer. Back in March I wrote about spam getting sneakier, and that hasn’t changed at all. But it keeps getting smarter.
These days, I’m noticing three types of spam coming in. The easiest to spot are the one line items that have a link embedded in them. Sometimes the sentence makes absolutely no sense at all; those folks aren’t even trying.
The second thing I’m noticing is the very long spam messages. These are the types that also show up in email images, where there’s all this text that just makes no sense. But they also include lots of links, which Akismet easily picks up and sends to the spam filter. The problem with the long messages is if you’re going through the spam filter to see if there’s a legit message in there, which I do.
The third, though, is the good stuff. These are the messages that look so real that, I’ve noticed, most people totally miss it. They might notice it if they comment on a lot of blogs, and every once in awhile look at the comments on other blogs, but if they don’t, then they don’t have a chance. Earlier this evening I went ahead and approved a comment that almost looked like spam, only it used my name. Now, if someone has come up with something that actually reads names and puts out a lot of this spam, well, I just got had myself. But it won’t continue, because if one person does it and gets away with it, others will try, and then it’ll be easy to pick all of those out.
I know we all hate spam; how are you dealing with it these days?