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Spammers

Alter

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What is with all the spam threads lately? Do these people actually have some success by posting on internet forums indescriminately? Is it really worth the trouble of registering, posting some advertisement and then having it deleted by the moderator?

The whole spam thing baffles me? Do people actually make money this way?
 

v0rtex

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The ads posted here aren't designed to sell products directly. It's all to do with how Google indexes pages.

Google's PageRank algorithm uses incoming links as a measure of importance for a page. So spammers will aim to get their site linked to from as many other places on the Internet as possible. Dumping long lists of keywords linked back to their website on forums, blogs, etc. means that they'll move up the Google index. (The further up the front page of search results for a particular keyword, the more hits - and so sales - the website will get).

The posting is typically done by automated programs which are designed to seek out forums, create accounts, and post messages. The spammer typically just has to enter their message and press a button to set the robot going.

There are moves to combat this by requiring the user to enter a unique code when posting (typically copied from a distorted image that a computer program can't read, but a human brain's sophisticated visual processing system can), but as fast as countermeasures are created then the spammers find a way around them.

Spam is incredibly profitable as the overheads are tiny. The average bulk mail letter sent via the Postal Service may cost a dollar or two, whereas sending out an e-mail costs millionths of a penny.

Spam campaigns can remain financially profitable even if only one in ten million recipients takes up the offer (and screw the other 9.9 million people who get annoyed by the message), so yes, there is unfortunately a strong incentive to spam.
 

dah328

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So what's the countermeasure for the distorted image? I seriously doubt they're using sophisticated image analysis programs to circumvent that safeguard.
 

Arethusa

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They are. The recent deluge is a result of a likewise recent advancement in the ocr they're using.
 

dah328

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Interesting. There must be pretty good money in it, then.
 

ATM

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Originally Posted by dah328
Interesting. There must be pretty good money in it, then.
The top spammers have made millions.
 

Edward Appleby

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Originally Posted by Arethusa
They are. The recent deluge is a result of a likewise recent advancement in the ocr they're using.
Or perhaps they've developed some way to route them all to some poor Eastern European college kid who needs (grass?) money and inputs character key after character key.
 

ATM

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Originally Posted by Edward Appleby
Or perhaps they've developed some way to route them all to some poor Eastern European college kid who needs (grass?) money and inputs character key after character key.
Or redirect the challenges to people looking for free p0rn. Redirect their responses to the forum.
 

Tokyo Slim

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Plus Linux_Pro uses the SF server to surf and download from unscrupulous goat porn sites. Thus the spam.
 

Edward Appleby

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Originally Posted by ATM
Or redirect the challenges to people looking for free p0rn. Redirect their responses to the forum.
If the porn was good enough, I'd do it.
 

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