Monday, September 03, 2007

A new scam? (Hi "Emma")

I got a comment to the previous post. Inter alia, it went something like this:

"In this respect there seems a surprising [...web link deletion...] compensation in human life.. That source [further deletion] is the unconscious.. Lampton's poem on the [deletion] subject, with its refrain, Never again, said Colonel George..."

...and so it goes for miles.

What's it all about? It's a little off-topic, to say the least.

I moderate comments, which means I view them before allowing them to be published.

First, I did a google search for some of the text. I found it was in quite a lot of blogs, as well as identifying that some of the phrases were from a Freud text; others were from other public domain works that were available on a few web sites.

I then searched for the web sites in the sporadically appearing links. In Google, I looked at cached versions. They seemed to be nothing but advertising; some at least were Polish in origin. Plenty of people got caught publishing the comments, and I'm sure plenty of people were inveigled into clicking on the links out of curiosity. I did have a look at one site, but my browser warned me to shut the window, as it was an unsafe site. So I did.

I searched for the author of the comment - they have to be registered to Blogspot to leave a non-anonymous comment. That author had two blogs; both entirely consisted of more of the same.

The words appeared in numerous blogs specifically as comments to posts. I gather those sites didn't moderate their comments. On at least one blog, the Google cache had the comment, but it had already been deleted from the live page. Unmoderated.

I still don't know if the linked sites are properly dangerous, or just sucking in web traffic. Either way it's nefarious. Either way, some amoral person is spending time trawling the net for innocuous text to intersperse with links to catch the unsuspecting. Search for yourself if you feel motivated, but it's not my intention to blatantly trap the unwary by publishing the links directly.

It's a bit like those spam emails that start off with screeds of odd text, then suddenly presents an image file advertising pharmaceuticals or pump-and-dump stocks. Somebody has obviously been spending a fair bit of time setting all this up, so they must figure the returns are worth it.

(I'd dearly love to know how spams polluted my personal email address. I thought I was being careful to give it out only to reputable people.)

At least I'm moderating comments.

No comments: