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Thread: A lot of spam masquerading as real posts lately

  1. #1
    Corran's Avatar
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    A lot of spam masquerading as real posts lately

    We seem to be getting a ton of spam posts lately from new users that seem on topic, but have a hidden link on the bottom of the post pointing to some strange webpage. Most commonly I have seen rockbullet (.tk) and a png file which doesn't show up, but I've also seen several other webpages.

    I obfuscated the link above because I don't know what it is, so don't go there.

    Here's an example - this person has been posting these type of posts for a few weeks now.

    Notice their posts seem very topical and may even sound legitimate, but some aren't. Probably a fairly advanced bot using terms found on this forum or the thread to sound authentic.

    Has this been noticed by anyone else? I reported one of them and it was swiftly deleted but I seem to see at least 4-5 posts from these accounts every couple of days.

    Can the forum software delete a post and ban a user automatically if they post a certain string, such as these web addresses?
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
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  2. #2

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    Re: A lot of spam masquerading as real posts lately

    Yes, and I report them as fast as I can. The hidden links and small (or invisible) image files are "web bugs" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_bug) which someone is using to track every person who reads or replies to the post. Not a good thing.

  3. #3
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: A lot of spam masquerading as real posts lately

    Quote Originally Posted by djdister View Post
    web bugs
    Ah, I see. A friend of mine is a big marketing guy and uses those in his emails. I hadn't thought of that being what they were here. Good catch!
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  4. #4
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: A lot of spam masquerading as real posts lately

    I don't think my mail web tracker works here, but it does show when people read my gmails, which is very handy and freaks them out when you respond saying you saw that they read it.

    I am using a demo version of Hub Spot, that's a hot link to their site.

    This is why the very cautious don't open anything.

    Now nobody will open my links...and I definitely mean no harm!

    A web of worms.

  5. #5
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
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    Re: A lot of spam masquerading as real posts lately

    When such posts are reported, we can use the forum's "Spam-o-matic" feature that deletes all the offending user's posts, bans them, and reports them to the Stop-Forum-Spam database. I don't believe the forum software includes a feature to do this automatically when such a post is made.

  6. #6

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    Re: A lot of spam masquerading as real posts lately

    I recently reported a couple of posts that appeared a bit "off". One I commented was SPAM but then I wasn't sure so the other I asked if it was SPAM. The bottom line is the PHISHers are getting to darned good.

  7. #7
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
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    Re: A lot of spam masquerading as real posts lately

    Quote Originally Posted by Old-N-Feeble View Post
    I recently reported a couple of posts that appeared a bit "off". One I commented was SPAM but then I wasn't sure so the other I asked if it was SPAM. The bottom line is the PHISHers are getting to darned good.
    Yes, sadly, it's a never-ending battle.

  8. #8

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    Re: A lot of spam masquerading as real posts lately

    3 or 4 weeks ago I received an email saying I had a PM here.
    When I went to read it, it was gone.
    So I imagine it was from a spammer, and the mods have the ability to delete from our PM boxes.

  9. #9
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    Re: A lot of spam masquerading as real posts lately

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquid Artist View Post
    3 or 4 weeks ago I received an email saying I had a PM here.
    When I went to read it, it was gone.
    So I imagine it was from a spammer, and the mods have the ability to delete from our PM boxes.
    You are probably correct, but, just for general information, we can't delete specific emails from specific PM boxes. When we remove spammers, we remove them utterly (see Ralph's prior post), including all their PMs, using an automated process. We can't see what PM's have been sent by users, and we can't read PMs. So, the email you received was not spam, but the PM to which it referred might indeed have been.

    Rick "SPAM in the can" Denney

  10. #10
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Re: A lot of spam masquerading as real posts lately

    We've been seeing a fair amount of this on APUG for the past several months. One common ploy is to cut and paste a passage from somewhere else in a long thread, so it is even topical, but then someone realizes that it's been ported from their own post or one they've read, and they get reported, so that we can ban the poster and delete all their posts at the same time. Another tactic is to post something so vague and generic that they hope no one will notice.

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