Messages from Spammers Pt. 2

By Shamus
on Feb 5, 2017
Filed under:
Random

The vast majority of spam on this site vanishes into a black hole. The plugin Akismet works with other blogs to identify common offenders and weed them out. Of those that survive, many are caught by the Bad Behavior plugin, which looks for bot-only shenanigans like visitors leaving comments to pages they’ve never loaded. Of the few that survive, some are weeded out by various heuristics like an overabundance of spammy keywords and links. And of course a few IP ranges are blocked for regions where spam traffic was overwhelming.

But sometimes spam makes it through all of these layers and winds up on the site. That’s what we’re looking at today. The ones that made it through. The best of the best. The smartest of the cockroaches. The luckiest of the houseflies.

Let’s see what they have to say…

cortapelos barato:
After exploring a handful of the articles on your site, I really like your way of blogging.
I book-marked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be
checking back soon. Please check out my web site as well and let me know your opinion.

My opinion: You should really stop spamming my site.

shopping blog:
After going over a handful of the blog articles on your site,
I seriously like your way of writing a blog. I saved
as a favorite it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back
soon. Please check out my web site as well and let me know how you feel.

I feel like you should stop copying from the other spam bots. Also you should stop spamming me.

web design and development:
In a few instances, the person could require results rapidly.
People that need help along means can find several different resources
on the net. As soon as divorce can be a sure thing,
notify creditors.

Wait, why is your name selling web design, your (redacted by me) URL selling Rotoscoping and Stereo Conversion services in India (yes really) and your text is stuff about divorce and creditors?

This is like a guy luring you into an alley saying, “Psst. Hey buddy. Wanna buy a watch?” So you go in the alley and he’s playing three card monte. Once he’s done shuffling the cards he looks up at you, “So you gonna buy this weed or not?”

hd online vn
Greate pieces. Keep posting such kind of info on your
page. Im really impressed by your site.
Hi there, You’ve performed an excellent job. I will definitely digg it
and individually recommend to my friends. I am confident they’ll be benefited from this site.

You’re offering ONE upvote on a social media site that stopped being relevant a decade ago? That’s very kind, but I think I’ll delete you anyway. Also your misspelling of “great” is so infuriating that I want to hunt you down Liam Neeson style.

VIP Porn Star Escort
He smiled even less wwhen I tried to make a joke to slip by him and
hee tossed me aside like I was nothing. I aam Rashi Kher,
a Mumbai model and best Models based in Mumbai and also accessible
for National travel. If yyou have at least 40
points in Medicine, then you can heal him.

I like the plot twist at the end of this one. It starts off talking about prostitutes, but at the end you realize this spambot is actually trying to play Fallout: New Vegas.

Also, your name is ambiguous. Are you offering a Porn Star Escort to a VIP, or a regular Escort to a VIP Porn Star? This is information your nonexistent customers are going to need!

Dragon city guide
I’m very pleased to find this great site. I want to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!!
I definitely enjoyed every part of it and i also have you saved to fav to look at new stuff on your
web site.

For a moment I thought how cool it would be if you could get a travel guide for a place called Dragon City. Then I realized “Dragon city” is probably some horrible pay-to-win mobile garbage and this site is probably offering a “guide” for it. And I’m also willing to bet the pro strategy they’re offering is “Buy in-game currency from us!”

I’m just guessing, though. If Dragon City turns out to be a real place then someone please tell me so I can buy a guide from someone who is not this spammer.

perfecttreatmentguide
Appreciation to my father who told me on the
topic of this weblog, this webpage is actually awesome.

If you want to show appreciation to your father, you should stop being such a disappointment to him. Give up spamming and switch to something less shameful, like prostitution or telemarketing.

Free Piano
Japan for Free

Holy shit, I can have Japan AND a piano?

I’d love to know the return on investment for spamming people with advertising for things you’re trying to give away.

internet marketing
I am actually grateful to the owner of this site who has shared this enormous paragraph at here.

This spammer accuses me of having an “enormous paragraph”. Fair enough. That pretty much describes the site. But this unlucky bastard managed to post this to an entry with almost no text whatsoever.

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is a programmer, an author, and nearly a composer. He works on this site full time. If you’d like to support him, you can do so via Patreon or PayPal.

202020161 comments? This post wasn't even all that interesting.

From the Archives:

  1. Draklaw says:

    The Dragon city may be Ljubljana ?

  2. Mousazz says:

    I love how the sspammer grammar is is ALmost just also good enough to pass by a real human being.

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Of the few that survive, some are weeded out by various heuristics like an overabundance of spammy keywords and links.

    I dont know if its because these dont show in the rss,but it seems that humans get into trouble for numerous linkage more often than bots.From the comments that show in the rss but not here,bots seem to have only the link in their name,or once during the message,while its humans who can go link heavy when they want to cite a bunch of references.

  4. thatSeniorGuy says:

    Hi Shamus, I’ve noticed your website has been behaving weirdly lately. Every once in a while, when I open a page (from my RSS reader) my browser will load a blank page (refreshing gives me page without issue). Has this been happening to anyone else? I haven’t noticed any pattern to it.

    • Dragmire says:

      I remember having that issue a while ago. I think it either required a browser update or a rollback because an update broke something.

      Sorry, I can’t remember which one.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Holy shit, I can have Japan

    Its pretty easy to conquer if you know how.No,thats not a link to Josh playing shogun.Its a link to someone who actually finished what they started.

    • This comment was golden. Still waiting for a Shogun Total War Let’s Play to be finished. The comic here can keep me satisfied for a while (less than a minute a day), though I’ll eventually want to read something long form.

  6. Ninety-Three says:

    I googled the phrase “If you have at least 40 points in medicine, then you can heal him” because it seemed weird for a spambot to generate that on its own. It appears to have been taken from a Fallout 3 walkthrough, but for some reason, the bot added a typo in “yyou”.

    I’m very confused about what’s going on here. My best guess is that this is some surprisingly advanced bot behaviour where it discerned that your site was about Fallout, so it found a random piece of text about Fallout to make its post appear more relevant. But that seems shockingly advanced for such a low-value bot, and how in the hell did it add a typo to the text it was quoting? Shamus, was it at least commenting on a Fallout article?

    • DivFord says:

      There were typos all through that particular comment. I wonder if it adds them on purpose to appear more human? I mean, on most other sites, correct spelling would be a sure sign that the poster is a bot.

    • Thomas says:

      If you look, the bot is using the phrase on other sites.

      Start out by talking to Ralph at Ralpha & Mick’s to get
      a lead on the location of a suitable robot. And the Bond Street escorts aare only too happy to give itt all to you.
      If youu have at least 40 points in Medicine, then you can heal him.

      That’s a French music website from what I can work out, I saw a picture of Iron Man, so it’s possible it has a sci-fi theme, but otherwise I think it must be a coincidence that it landed somewhere where Fallout is relevant.

      If you look at the other comments on that page (which seems to be a harbour for spambots), the ‘yyou’ typo is repeated in other comments not talking about Fallout. Also in the one I’ve quoted above they have a “uu” typo, a “tt” typo and an “aa” typo. So there’s definitely some moderately sophisticated text generation thing going on.

      My guess is spam defence systems check for readability and also create blacklists of text used by known spammers. To counter that, the spammers are programming their bots to grab random bits of text from the internet and garbling them together to create unique sentences which are ‘readable’ enough to get past the filters.

      Then they randomly duplicate (and otherwise mutate?) the spelling so it takes longer for spam defences to add them to the blacklist.

      Also, search rankings are partially based off how many websites link to a particular page, so the spambots aim might not be to get people to clink the links, but to get enough links on different pages that the target page rises up the search rankings.

      • methermeneus says:

        I think it’s a French amateur music sharing website, actually. It’s hard to tell. I clicked on “Qui sommes-nous?” (“Who are we?”), and the only thing there was a video player with a video that won’t load. The homepage has the subtitle “partagez des maintenant,” which means, “share now,” and two buttons: “browse projects” and “create a project.” Combine that with the music and music video categories, and… well, who the hell would make a site like that on WordPress? No wonder the comments are literally nothing but spam.

        The best part, though, is that it’s English spam about how awesomely-written the post is, when the post is nothing but an album cover and social media links concerning an EDM album on a French website.

      • Miguk says:

        (which seems to be a harbour for spambots)

        Don’t we all deserve a harbor, even if we are nothing more than spambots? Please show a little more empathy.

      • Sunshine says:

        The first sentence is New Vegas-related too. I wonder if it’s sampling text from the Nukapedia wiki.

    • Xeorm says:

      Seems straightforward. You have lots of spam, so you can afford to be wrong many times. If 100 attempts fail but one makes it through the filters, you’ve done pretty good. So you want an algorithm that’s cheap and can work, and not worry too much about it always working.

      So what do you do? Grab random bits from sites across the web. Pay attention to any words in titles of the place you’re spamming, they’re good targets. Copy and paste some bits from them to your message. Maybe you’ll get lucky and it’ll look relevant enough to catch a notice.

      Filters work a lot with text recognition, so you want to change your message in a way so that it’s readable to people, but will still pass. Changing the order of phrases is a good method, because people are good at reordering words, but computers aren’t. Then add small typos, doubling the letter at the beginning or end of a word makes it harder on the filter, but is trivial for a human to see through. Cheap too.

      End result: a message that has a small chance of getting through, that links websites for the unwary to click on and that I imagine will help your site as far as search chances go. (Links to a website were, if they still aren’t, considered a good reason for being higher on google’s list) Add in a few words to make people think of your product, and you’re set. I can’t imagine you’ll get many hits on some of the advertising, but I’m sure at least a few people see “VIP porn actresses” or similar and think of how bored they are right then.

  7. Bubble181 says:

    I know of several Dragon Cities. It’s a somewhat-popular name for Chinese restaurants in this area.
    If you ever manage to cross the Atlantic, end up in Brussels, and don’t instantly die from the pollution, I’ll gladly take you on a tour to go see a couple of them :-)

  8. Abnaxis says:

    Actually, that last one seems eerily ironically appropriate for the DMotR it was attached to…

    Although the DM went into long winded exposition so often in the comic the bot probably had at least even odds on attaching to a “long winded narrative goes unappreciated by players” gag.

  9. Warclam says:

    What, “digg” isn’t a typo? *search search* Huh, OK.

  10. FelBlood says:

    I actually have a Heroic tier and a suite of Legendaries in Dragon City.

    My wife plays, so I kind-of have to check in occasionally.

    “Dragon City Guide” is probably a top Google search string. Imagine Free to Play Pokemon came out om facebook in 2012, but the elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors was total nonsense, which makes it hard to remember. People constantly have to pull up the guide mid-battle to remember if Metal is weak to Dark or Fire.

  11. Dragmire says:

    I suppose spam really stands out when referring to content but not specifically talking about a particular part of it.

    Also, is a “bookmark webpage/website” an actual thing?

  12. AAAAAAHH! Skynet’s playing Fallout! We’re doomed!

    No, wait, we can use this. Find Skynet’s Steam Account, fill it with all the RPGs, introduce it to Gog.com, fill that account with all the RPGs, then introduce it to playing RPGs with humans via sites like roll20, oh, and throw some MMOs at it too. Hopefully, by the time it finishes all that, we’ll have found all its’ code and can destroy it.

    But if we fail, I’m telling Friend Computer it was all your idea. :)

  13. The Seed Bismuth says:

    These spam articles are Greate. :-P

  14. Hal says:

    Back in the day, if I needed NPC names for my D&D games, I’d go through my spam folder and see who the senders were.

    Cortapelos Barato seems to be keeping with a fine tradition.

    • anaphysik says:

      Heh, I keep a list just like that! It’s currently at about 900+ names. Gotten a lot of use out of them as both PC and NPC names.
      My favorite one that I haven’t gotten to use yet is “Nleff’’ub” (with *two* apostrophe marks, one right after the other), which I think would make a great Old One / demon name.

  15. PAK says:

    Off-topic, and perhaps old news to you by this point in the day, but Shamus did you see you made the RPS Sunday Papers?

    https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2017/02/05/the-sunday-papers-438/#more-427305

  16. NotSteve says:

    Sure, you can have Japan for free, but I doubt you’ve got room in your apartment for it.

  17. Nick Powell says:

    You can actually use a medicine check on an escort in New Vegas but clearly that bot is a dirty casual because you need 50 medicine, not 40.

    • Sunshine says:

      Another comment up the page says the is also telling other sites “Start out by talking to Ralph at Ralpha & Mick’s to get’a lead on the location of a suitable robot,” so I wonder if it’s pulling text from the Nukapedia wiki.

  18. Agammamon says:

    “This is like a guy luring you into an alley saying, “Psst. Hey buddy. Wanna buy a watch?” So you go in the alley and he’s playing three card monte. Once he’s done shuffling the cards he looks up at you, “So you gonna buy this weed or not?””

    Hey man, I followed you into the alley to commit a crime – one’s as good as another.

  19. Dreadjaws says:

    Fun fact: “cortapelos barato” is spanish for “cheap haircutter”. The fact that the spam doesn’t even try to sell you some hair grooming instrument is a complete failure on even the most basic of spam’s pointless goals.

    But then again, it’s still not as bad as the other one.

    Anyway, love your site, [BLOGGER], so I bookmarked it on my bookmark page. I feel the need to clarify that, lest you think I bookmarked it on the Extensions instead.

    • That’s how I spam people. I pick a name completely unrelated to the topic at hand and just start wailing away, going “I love your site very much, good person! I bookmarked it on my bookmark page for good measure, and nowhere else. My bookmark page, that’s where I put it. Bookmark…”

  20. methermeneus says:

    You know, I never really got the hang of digg. I mainly remember it as that sharing thing that didn’t actually share anything because I couldn’t follow a digg back to the source page.

    On the other hand, when I google Dragon City, the top ad result is for a mobile game, so there’s that. Kinda disappointing; I was hoping there really would be a city. Other high results include dragoncityguide.(yeah, not actually linking that) and dragoncity.wikia.(not that either, even though I know you can complete this one in your sleep), one of which I wouldn’t be surprised to find the spammer linking. Or, more likely, dragoncitygems.(okay, this one is almost certainly spam), which advertises hacking for limitless gems and food. Hey, that game sounds semi-realistic, if you have to feed your dragons. More realistic than Clash of Clans, anyway.

    The best part of any of these, however, is the fact that the first two made it through your spam filter even though they were obviously made by the same spam generator. That made me laugh almost as much as the fact that you could get a free piano with your Japan.

  21. Caleb says:

    On the plus side, that guy who referred to it as a “weblog” made me realize “blog” had an etymology and hadn’t just appeared fully formed from the mouth of Al Gore.

  22. Miguk says:

    > He smiled even less wwhen I tried to make a joke to slip by him and
    hee tossed me aside like I was nothing. I aam Rashi Kher,
    a Mumbai model and best Models based in Mumbai and also accessible
    for National travel. If yyou have at least 40
    points in Medicine, then you can heal him.

    I will definitely take her up on this opportunity the next time I am:

    * A john.
    * Don’t like women making jokes.
    * Living in India.
    * Like Fallout: New Vegas.
    * Not creeped out at all by what is apparently a promise to give me an STD…

    • Sunshine says:

      I thought that anecdote wasn’t exactly selling me on Rashi Kher’s escort skills.

      • Matt Downie says:

        But it follows the formula for beginning a good story. First, we establish audience sympathy for the protagonist – he tossed her aside like she was nothing! Then we establish detail; name, occupation, location, the desire to travel. Then we introduce the inciting incident: in this case someone needing medical help. I, for one, am intrigued.

    • Geebs says:

      I think “accessible for National travel” probably means that Rashi is old enough to qualify for free public transport.

  23. Jokerman says:

    This is the exact story of me being here though…

    “After exploring a handful of the articles on your site, I really like your way of blogging.
    I book-marked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be
    checking back soon”

  24. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Hah!That new spam on marlow briggs episode 3 was pure gem.

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