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5 billion page-style spam might be happening again

     
2:41 pm on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I run a smallish forum (pr4) that has fallen prey to spam user registrations lately.

I was busy cleaning out the spam when I noticed that someone else is trying to duplicate what was done. this could become a huge problem for all us white hats, any of you guys seen the same thing?

3:09 pm on June 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I noticed the 5 billion page spam problem resurfacing in the last 24 hours as well.
3:14 pm on June 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I notice that more and more forms on my site, just to contact the owner of the site, are missused with spam messages.

Something like

"Really nice site
list of spam URLs"

6:55 pm on June 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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On your forum, do you have one of those random number validaors in there, which the user must enter the number to submit? Theat might cut down on all the automated submissions.
7:03 pm on June 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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i've been getting the contact us form submissions like that too, just list of URLS. 3-5 a DAY.

i don't have a forum, but i guess the scripts they are running are submitting to any form on the site.

7:06 pm on June 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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jetteroheller: I thought maybe we were the only ones getting "nice site" then URL's in "our contact us by email" form - obviously not.
9:25 pm on June 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If its resurfacing, report it. I did a few weeks ago and the sites were out of googles index. You also might want to report it to msndude if you see it showing in msn's index. Look for him in the msn threads. They will remove it as well.
10:26 pm on June 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Of cours it will happen again.If google has taken 12 months and still not worked out how to stop expired domains gaming them, what makes you think they can stop this in a week.
1:36 am on June 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I see a bunch of these crap domains building thousands and thousands of subs (a lot of them are .info domains).
6:47 am on June 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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On your forum, do you have one of those random number validaors in there, which the user must enter the number to submit? Theat might cut down on all the automated submissions.
Captcha code fixes any indexing form problems or issues with spammers at forms as it requires them validate the number.

I would go that route with most of the live scripts on your site.

7:04 am on June 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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--On your forum, do you have one of those random number validaors in there, which the user must enter the number to submit? Theat might cut down on all the automated submissions.

I am loathe to use those, because it makes it harder for users to use the system.

It is also quite irritating to continually type in these random numbers/text.

I am working on a system of using the referer url and some kind of random number system to get around the problem.

Until that is fixed, I keep logging and deleting the spam url's and creating spam reports for google etc...

9:15 am on June 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I notice that more and more forms on my site, just to contact the owner of the site, are missused with spam messages.
Something like

"Really nice site
list of spam URLs"

I ended up changing my contact page to a php page and then testing for URL's in the comments, if I find one I return the user to the form with a 'html not allowed' message and they have to enter the details again. I also log the IP address of anyone that enters html code on the form.

It's worked so far....

6:41 pm on June 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Just out of interest, has anyone else had this happen:

You set up a message board, and over time lots of people register, but the vast majority never post or even visit despite having gone to the trouble of clicking on the link in their confirmation email.

They don't have any links in their user profiles, and they don't post, so I can't see how it's spam, but if it isn't spam why do they go to all the trouble of registering?

7:14 pm on June 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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They don't have any links in their user profiles, and they don't post, so I can't see how it's spam, but if it isn't spam why do they go to all the trouble of registering?

I think a lot of people join a forum not to post, but to be able to subscribe to threads.
12:11 pm on June 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Good point Marcel, hadn't thought of that. Still, it seems a bit crazy when I have a forum with 1000 confirmed members but only about 50 or so actively participating.
3:53 pm on June 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I run an free group for entrepreneurs and have lots of people register who never participate in any way. It's probably just that they think they might participate, then in fact they don't, and then they forget about it.

On the spammy form filling side, I also am receiving lots more of these. It's really annoying.

4:11 pm on June 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I believe it's a virus. I'm getting MUCH probing drone traffic from all over the world, searching for forums. Seems like the IP's/hostnames are real... virus.
5:34 pm on June 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Not sure what the 5 billion page spam is all about but I lost major listings in google the other day and at the same time find 100s of cloaked pages that seem to be page jacking me?
Example when I search on google as "www.my domain".com there is 100s of subdomains that have my domain and descriptions then these sub domains redirect to other urls. So I'm thinking they are copying my pages then redirecting and wondering if this is why I'm seeing a giant loss in serps?
8:27 pm on June 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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One way to get rid of industrial strength form-spammers is to alter your forms.

These idiots do not 'individualize' their attacks to each site; they have all the details set up for standard form fields, and simply add your URL.

So in the form code, instead of name, put aardvark; instead of email, put sandpaper ... and so on.

This has reduced this boring spam by 95%+ on my sites.

BTW the words are optional ;)

And although the random number thngs are a chore for some forms, for one-off registration, most people find them reassuring rather than annoying. Oh, and always insist on a working email address. That alone stops half of them.

6:57 pm on July 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have also seen thousands of .info-domains with i don't know how many subdomains. I reported them to Google and NOTHING has happened!

They have copied most of my website which is a phpBB-forum and for some keywords they even rank BETTER than I do!

:/

Just ridiculous, I really wonder why Google just don't kick them out!

7:35 pm on July 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This thread seems to be discussing three different topics all mixed in together. Is there a connection between the recent increase in:

1) contact form spam
2) forum spam through bogus user registrations and
3) 1-page subdomain spam in the search results?

I see the first two types, too, but they don't appear related to those .info subdomains that the "5-billion page" spammers use.

9:44 pm on July 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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o just dont ;et bots into my memberslist
.htacces
10:57 pm on July 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This thread seems to be discussing three different topics all mixed in together. Is there a connection between the recent increase in:
1) contact form spam
2) forum spam through bogus user registrations and
3) 1-page subdomain spam in the search results?

The thread seems to focus on 1 & 2 - perhaps the title is misleading?

7:11 am on July 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Esentially In my view all three are linked.

A spammer needs links to his subdomain to make it rank well, so he registers (Using some kind of bot) on many forums all over the world.

Most phpBB forums are set up to show the web address of all registered members on a forum.

In some cases the guy also adds his URL to his signature, and generates one post (Normally completely off topic) and posts a lot of links to inner pages on the subdomain

And then on top of that he might actually steal your content using your RSS feeds, or just by scraping it.

And then do the 5 Million pages thing over and over and over again

7:32 am on July 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm pretty sure those spammers are the cause of my '27th June' drop in serps.
3:32 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I just tried with to search after text fragments from the start site of my main sites.

I found always in the result list a site
which a complete sensless domain name
composed from letters and numbers and info TLD.

It seems I have discovered so a gigantic spam network.

All the sites are linked together

I have now searched for 5 text fragements from 5 of my domains and each time, I filled a spam report about an other member site of this spam network.

All victims and not victims of June 27th.

Try to take a text framgment from Your site, for example a sentence from the description, and search.

Hunt after each sensless domain name with TLD info.

4:34 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Google seems helpless against this monster. Who says size doesn't matter?

I was sitting at #3 for a keyword and I was wondering who displaced me to the #4 spot - sure enough it was ole 5 billion. This is just a great example of how just a little know how can outwit an 8,000 employee company.

4:57 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I checked the registration date of 3 sites from the spam monster.

All registered June 27 2006

All registration info filled with sensless garbage.

5:47 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Do a search on your domain name with the quote mark and half of the list that shows up is an spam .info domain.

Last count is 24 .info domains for my site and still increasing.

6:15 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Do a search on your domain name with the quote mark

Just with 3 of my sites, which lost more than 80% Google traffic on June 27th

site:a.example.com 28 * spam network
site:b.example.com 12 * spam network
site:n.example.com 43 * spam network
site:v.example.com 42 * spam network
site:w.example.com 20 * spam network

in the first 100 search results

Pages with no problems after June 27

site:p.example.com 12 * spam network
site:r.example.com 9 * spam network

[edited by: jetteroheller at 6:44 pm (utc) on July 7, 2006]

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