Blog Comment Spam - A New Low and So Bizarre
I received the following blog comment spam two days ago, for a web design firm:
LevelTen, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a professional web consulting and design company. We specialize in best-in-class website design, Flash multimedia, corporate identity, and print graphics. LevelTen features an integrated team of web consultants, creative designers, writers, programmers and marketing professionals that know how to get online results.Our business-driven approach separates us from typical web design companies. For more than five years, we have built a reputation for creating a positive return on investment for our clients. If you are serious about your web success, we can get you there. Strategic thinking, top designers, personal attention, competitive prices, real world results - discover the LevelTen difference.
Normally, I just add the URLs into the spam blocker, and report them to the larger spam blacklist. But this seemed like a legitimate company, and very odd that they would do this. Usually I just delete the spam comments, but I decided to email the company with this:
Spamming people's blogs is offensive and not the way to generate traffic to your site.
It's rude and shows you have no idea what social media and blogging are about.
Stop this practice now. It's ridiculous. I've banned you from my site and let other bloggers know as well, and put you on the blacklist for blog comments.
Tom at the company responded:
Thank you for your message. We are not posting these spam attacks. Someone is using an automated script to do this and we have already invested many hours trying to stop them.
Have you received a spam posting in the last 24 hours? All blog owners report the attacks coming from IP 188.8.131.52 which is a gateway at ixwebhosting.com, e.g. they can't just shut it down without shutting down hundreds of websites. Do you see a different IP?
Do ban the IP and let all blog owners you know to ban the IP as well.
In the mean time if you have any info that could help us stop this person, please let us know.
You can read more here: http://www.leveltendesign.com/help.php
Lorentz Consulting / LevelTen Design
What possible gain could comment spammers achieve with what Tom characterizes as "cyber terrorism" on his Help site? Is it cyberterrorism? Or do the spammers hope that some legitimate looking comments might allow them to also post other kinds of spam that connects back to their interests in gambling, porn or prescription drugs?
This is bizarre, and a new turn in the comment spam fight. I get around 500-1000 a week, and oddly enough, it is often attached to this post on comment spam.
In any event, if you get the same spam, please email Tom because he is collecting information to go after the spammers. Unfortunately, right now, he appears to be able to do little to stop the practice.
Posted by Mary Hodder at September 8, 2004 08:09 AM
You may want to change the name of mt-comments and mt-tb to avoid automatic comment spam. I learned about this from "Learning Movable Type" and have not received any comment spam on my blog since making the change.
I personally could not get mt-blacklist to work. I believe it's because I run the default Berkeley database.
The case you mention is interesting and sounds like a disgruntled ex-employee is using the attacks to discredit the company. Level10's explanation seems honest and upfront. My guess is they ticked someone off.