Hidden spam

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Hidden spam

Postby Hagar Delest » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:33 am

A new kind of spam again I think.

Look at the friends of OP on his tagged web page...
Or have I missed something by avoiding social networks???

Refers to viewtopic.php?f=7&t=60515 (link since deleted; floris v).
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Re: Hidden spam

Postby acknak » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:46 pm

Sorry, how is this spam?

Would it be appropriate to simply delete (or disable) the link and leave the post?
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Re: Hidden spam

Postby Hagar Delest » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:17 pm

Have you checked Sterling's [1053] friends? -> http://tagged.com/friends.html?uid=5443165913
I agree that the profile does not seem unusual. But first the question seems rather too basic. Then the friends list. It rang a bell for me.
But we can revert the ban and monitor the reappearance of a live link.
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Re: Hidden spam

Postby RoryOF » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:33 pm

My fewer friends all seem to dress more conservatively!
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Re: Hidden spam

Postby acknak » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:13 pm

Hagar Delest wrote:Have you checked Sterling's [1053] friends? ->...

Hmmm ... o ... k ....

I don't like the idea of trying to analyze what's on some page the user linked to (shoot, I don't even like to visit such pages), but I think I see your point. Good catch.

It seems like a good bet that anyone who makes a first post and adds a link that isn't directly related to the post (a document or screen shot, or something) is spamming.
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Re: Hidden spam

Postby Hagar Delest » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:29 pm

acknak wrote:I don't like the idea of trying to analyze what's on some page the user linked to (shoot, I don't even like to visit such pages)

+1. And I often don't remove commercial links (in profile) when they are about small businesses or at least not definitively commercial oriented.
But this one could be linked to sex trade (including perhaps under-aged girls hidden in the list) so better take no risk at all.
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Re: Hidden spam

Postby floris v » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:53 pm

I thought we'd not accept external links in the signature of a new user, so why accept it in the body text of the message if it isn't related to the topic? But it could be innocent - there must be tonnes of people who collect pin up girls as friends. Delete the link, unban him, explain the situation and keep an eye on him.
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Re: Hidden spam

Postby Hagar Delest » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:09 am

Of course, no external link accepted in the body text of not related to the subject. I've kept it (but disabled) to show the problem.
If you think that it can be a genuine pin-up collector, I let you unban and explain him and split the topic to separate this discussion.
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Re: Hidden spam

Postby floris v » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:19 am

Okay.
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Re: Hidden spam

Postby acknak » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:58 am

Hagar Delest wrote:... If you think that it can be a genuine pin-up collector, ...

It's pure link spam. Let the poster complain/inquire if he wants some other action taken.
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Re: Hidden spam

Postby floris v » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:00 am

This is the text of my PM to him:
floris v wrote:Hi,
Your question about cross referencing contained a link to a social website page with lots of suspicious pictures in the Friends section, so that most of the moderators thought is was a very clever kind of spamming. I'm inclined to think that they're right but wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt.
Please note that we were bombed by spammers some months ago, that's why we have a moderation queue now. To avoid spam we don't accept unrelated external links in the message body or signature, so I deleted it and restored the rest of your post.
If you post such a link again, we will show no mercy, you will be banned permanently then.

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Re: Hidden spam

Postby floris v » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:47 pm

Received no reply.
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Re: Hidden spam

Postby Hagar Delest » Fri May 10, 2013 11:56 am

For the record, he has posted again: Why I can't open a file using Openoffice.org?
I've removed the link (same as before).
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Re: Hidden spam

Postby acknak » Fri May 10, 2013 12:41 pm

Is there such a thing as malware that inserts spam links "on the sly"?
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Re: Hidden spam

Postby keme » Fri May 10, 2013 12:52 pm

acknak wrote:Is there such a thing as malware that inserts spam links "on the sly"?

Yes.

I have seen quite a few computers recently, where the web browser seemed to have an ad plugin (invisible in the plugin list) which mimicked the style of any web page. It placed hovering, transparent frames over the page, with text in the style of the underlying website, and containing spam links. Can't recall what it was called, but I have removed a few instances using either Malwarebytes Anti-malware or Spybot Search&Destroy.

Definitely "on the sly" :(
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Re: Hidden spam

Postby acknak » Fri May 10, 2013 1:50 pm

Yikes! And they want to make html even more powerful/interactive?

I was thinking of something that might insert spam links in the user's posts, making the poster a spammer without necessarily being aware of it.

Such a thing would make quite a mess for us, contaminating legitimate posts with spam links.
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Re: Hidden spam

Postby keme » Sun May 12, 2013 2:25 am

As long as the editor is what it is, tag view, no wysiwyg with hidden properties, I don't see any serious threat in that direction. More likely with rich text editors, I guess.

Also, those browser hijacks I mentioned have only occurred on students' computers. Those are students who seem to do a lot of downloading and don't care much about network security (lots of other crap on their computers, multiple "useful" browser toolbars installed, at least one bittorrent client active, open shares, disabled active AV protection, the works...). I have not identified the source, but I suspect that it is not a threat towards people with even the slightest focus on computer security.
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