The perseverance of spammers
Wednesday, 7 December 2005
After changing the URL structure of this website the stream of spam suddenly stopped. Unfortunatly it only lasted for a couple of hours.
In the previous post you can read that I changed the URLs of my weblog. Everything used to be in the
nucleus sub-directory but now everything has been moved to the document root. One of the first things I noticed after making this move, was that the constant stream of comment spam that I receive stopped.
It took only five and a half hours though. The spammers quickly found the new location and by now the stream of spam is up to the same levels as before the move. I am simply amazed how quickly these spammers adapt.
Another example happened just a week and a half ago. Unlike other weblog software, Nucleus only accepts either an URL or an email address for each comment. In other software you can enter both, but with Nucleus you have to choose which one you want. Because other software did allow both, somebody developed a patch that allows Nucleus to do the same. This patch was incorporated into the upcoming Nucleus 3.3, which I installed on this server to test out some of the new anti-spam plugins I’ve been working on. Imagine my surprise when no later than 8 hours after upgrading spammers started to populate both fields.
It also made me wonder. If spammers are this flexible, why don’t they check if their spamming attempts are actually effective. If a weblog is protected by some anti-spam measure, or even
rel="nofollow", why even bother continuing. Rats leave a sinking ship, locusts move on when everything edible is gone. Why won’t spammers?