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Attack of the Splogs

Spam watchers have seen a huge spike over the past couple of weeks in the number of new "splogs," or fake blogs created by junk e-mail artists for the sole purpose of increasing the search engine rankings of the Web sites used to sell their wares.

According to this interesting post by Dave Sifry over at Technorati, in the past two weeks there were 805,000 new weblogs created, out of which Technorati tracked 39,000 new fake and/or spam weblogs.

Just in the past few days, Technorati began tracking an explosion in splogs that were seeded with popular search terms -- including notable names in the blogosphere. Sifry surmises that's because spammers know bloggers frequently conduct vanity searches on their own names to find out what other blogs are saying about them.

Web site monitoring firm Netcraft says the splogs were created with automated tools in Google's Blogspot hosting service. Spammers can use the tools to create self-publishing blogs that populate automatically with keyword-optimized posts and Google AdSense advertisements, all of which make a site more visible to people searching the Web with Google.

With the broad deployment of e-mail spam filtering products, little wonder that spammers are increasingly turning to splogs to hawk their junk products. I've not encountered many of these spam blogs in my daily searches, though I'll admit I do Google my name and my blog's name roughly once a week to see what's what.

Still, I am constantly deleting advertisements that spammers leave in Security Fix's comments and trackback sections. Usually the spam links appear on the weekends and advertise generic pharmaceuticals or porn sites.

 

By Brian Krebs  |  October 18, 2005; 10:11 AM ET
Categories:  Fraud  
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Next: Microsoft's Auto-Update Too Slow?

Comments

I know this is one of the more popular pieces of blogging software, but doesn't it have a word verification feature to eliminate automated comments? My new blog started attracting such until I turned that feature on; now none.

Posted by: Wintermute | October 18, 2005 7:50 PM | Report abuse

I have switched off my auto-update because when I run my Lavasoft anti-tracking software, I have notice the Microsoft attaches a lot of bugs to my computer.

Posted by: Paul Region | October 18, 2005 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Yup, I run Blogware on my blog (http://xavier.ashe.com) and was recently hit with hundreds of spam comments in the span of a few minutes. The attackers focused on Blogware blogs, hitting hundreds of blogs at once. Blogware responded by deleting the offending comments within hours and implemented a new word verification feature with 24 hours. I was quite impressed. I have not had any problems with comments since then, but I do get the occasional trackback spam.

Posted by: Xavier Ashe | October 19, 2005 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Splog Reporter (http://www.splogreporter.com) was created to address the splog problem in the blogosphere. Check it out and take an active role in cleaning up the blogosphere of splog.

Posted by: Frank Gruber | October 20, 2005 6:51 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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