Weirdest comment spammers ever.

So you may have been noticing that what appears to be some fairly innocuous comments from non-SEB regulars being deleted just about every day for the past week or so. On the surface there’s nothing obviously spammish about these comments, but I’ve been deleting and blacklisting the user names as rapidly as they’ve shown up. At first I wasn’t sure it was comment spam because the comments all appeared to be related to the topic of the thread in question, but I still had a feeling something was amiss as the comments were showing up on some of the older threads we have around here—that also tend to have some of the highest Google page ranks coincidentally—and the comments were all written in such a way that they were on topic, but said absolutely nothing of consequence. Two examples of this were posted last night while I slept from a visitor named “Ermar” one of which was on the thread about Romney dropping out that read as follows:

Whoever win the race I’ll support him. Its people’s choice and we have to respect it.

Seems on topic, but it seems like a stupid thing to say as though the person wasn’t really thinking about what they were typing and was just saying something that seemed related to the topic of the thread. This one was just enough to get DOF to respond to it, but usually the comments from these people pass without anyone really noticing and I think that’s by design.

Every one of these comments has left a link to a blog and when I check the link it always points back to a blog that appears legit at first glance, but again there’s something not quite right. For starters most of the entries on the site are composed of one or two sentences on the main page that links to a full entry that consists of one or two paragraphs of the same sort that comprise the comments being left. In short, not really saying anything of consequence. “Emar’s” blog is named “boringatbreakfas” (no, I won’t link to it as that’s probably what they’re hoping for) and is full of inane entries like this one:

Weather is a funny thing

Weather is a funny thing. We use a ton of terms to describe it. It can be perfect, it can be fine, it can be awful, and it can even be downright weird. It seems that Mother Nature is a fickle minded woman. But whatever the weather may be, it is all part of the natural cycle of things. Weather in Africa differs from that in London. Manila weather too, is something all its own. Just as casinos have their own thing going for them and rodeos offer some things different than those that can be found in USA Manila weather too is starkly different than the rest of the world.

That’s it. That’s the entire entry. Here’s another example:

In life, the basic..

In life, the basic necessities for living are food, shelter and clothing. These still apply today theoretically, but try applying it and I doubt if you would survive a year with just those three basics. In this day and age, food, shelter and clothing just don’t cut it anymore. With the advent of technology, our lives cannot depend solely on the three basics anymore.

And as life gets more complicated with each passing day, a growing concern that arises with this complexity of surviving is security. Security comes in many forms. You may seek security in a friend; you may look for it for personal safety, you may seek security against cyber fiends, or you may look for it to protect your belongings, heck, you can do a “Linus” and look for security in a blanket even. No one really knows what evil lurks this world.

It doesn’t really say anything and the posts are clustered in a handful of days in a handful of months spread out over the past year for a grand total of 14 entries. Another thing that’ll strike you as odd if you visit the page is that not one entry has a single comment left on it. Either “Emar” is the world’s most boring blogger or there’s something amiss.

Now if it had just been “Emar” showing up and leaving inane comments I might be willing to buy into the idea that he/she/it is the world’s most boring blogger and not have bothered to touch their comments, but he/she/it is not alone. We’ve been receiving similar comments from a half dozen people for the past week and every single one of those people has a blog that has similarly inane entries with absolutely no comments on any of them and all of these people seem to hail from around the same part of the world. All of that could just be coincidental, perhaps SEB is suddenly attractive to the world’s most boring bloggers, but here is the clincher: Every single boring blogger just happens to link to all the other boring bloggers who just happened to start leaving boring comments at SEB at the same point in time.

In addition to “Emar” we’ve been visited by “Carlo” (bloggography), “Estela” (addictedtocodein), “Natashiya” (agenthotty), “Viktor” (cleancorpse), “JJ” (modernpunches), and “Eliana” (ashestoashes). Blog names are in parentheses. Here’s the other thing that’s interesting: If you compare the dates on which entries are left on each of the blogs in question they all start at around the same point in time last year (February 2007), they all have between 12 and 14 entries, and the entries are all posted within one or two days of the other blogs and all the entries save for one or two are the same boring one or two paragraph dissertations about nothing in particular. To top it all off each blog has exactly one category defined and the category is the same name as the blog itself. So, for example, all the entries on “ashestoashes” are posted in the category of “ashestoashes.” Lastly not a single one of these people has sent me an email to complain or ask what the hell is going on after I blacklisted their blogs and deleted their comments.

So it seems clear to me these comments are clearly spam of some sort, but the thing I can’t figure out is what they’re trying to accomplish. I can’t find any links on any of the blogs in question to any websites that would benefit from all this spamming. The nearest I can figure is that they’re trying to raise their Google page rank in hopes of selling the domains to someone else later, but that’s just a guess on my part.

Have any of you other bloggers been visited by these people? Am I the only one paranoid enough to notice these weirdos?

19 thoughts on “Weirdest comment spammers ever.

  1. I’m not enough of a geek to understand how all the phishing/virus/email-bad-guy stuff works.  I just get real paranoid about anything I get unrequested originating in some east european, african and south american countries.  And one of my email addresses seems to be a spam target of someone who goes thru AOL in the UK.  Could your strange visitors be part of some sort of scam thing?  As I said, I know next to nothing about how it all works, but more than my mother (who calls me up to tell me how the internet is a “terrible thing”, its so dangerous, don’t let her grandchild on it, and then asks me to go online to sign her up for contests and get her a “spin ID” for Wheel of Fortune).

  2. I’ve got to say, the types of parasitism that are evolving in cyberspace are fascinating.  As Swift said:

    “So nat’ralists observe, a flea
    Hath smaller fleas that on him prey,
    And these have smaller fleas that bite ‘em,
    And so proceed ad infinitum.”

    But what these SEB fleas are feasting on beats me.

  3. Yeah Les-I’ve been getting some strange ones too. I had one guy that left a comment and it too seemed on topic (don’t remember what it said though), and the guy’s home page appeared to be a legit blog with regular posts. Within a couple of hours, there were 50 more from the same guy with the exact message.

    Some are using poor English but, I can’t go by that alone. A lot of my regulars do that. I’ve been tracing down each home page and if I feel weird about it in any way, I get rid of it.

  4. I think it’s a Google spamming method, Les. Google will increase the pagerank of sites that have the most backlinks – and I can see buying and selling backlinks from each of those blogs to increase pagerank for someone else. It’s the new kind of internet virus, playing on real people rather than software alone.

  5. I’ve read about this “scam” before. It is designed to raise search engine ranking. You create a circle of websites all linking to each other – search engines pick up on this and increase your rank. You can buy databases of “articles” and automatically post to your blogs. You also hope people will click on your ads and collect revenue that way. I’m pretty sure Google is on to this crap and it doesn’t really work that well anymore. Scammerz!

  6. I’ve had that happening on my blog too.  I just mark the comments as spam.

    I also haven’t figured out exactly what they are doing, or why they are doing it.  But, it’s just plain creepy for some reason.  You’re right, you can tell there’s something not right about the whole situation.

    I have also had a problem with people who make comments on my blog for no discernible reason.  They have legit blogs, though, so I suspect they’re doing it just to increase their ranking since they always leave their url.  I mark them as spam also.

  7. I’ve seen a couple weird comments.  Looks like the remote site is using some sort of aggregator, and then putting a one-link comment in the occasional post to keep under the Askimet radar.  On the linked page, the “blog post” if you will, looks like it’s script generated.

  8. Yes, those wacky bloggers are sure at it again! They sure don’t know when to quit!

    BTW, You should check out my site too, I have stuff on it just like you! V14GRA! P3N1$ ROBOT!…ohh sorry, couldn’t help myself there.

  9. You’re not the only one. I just blocked 5 of these ‘blogs’ a few minutes ago. Just for S’s & G’s, I backtracked a couple- the damn things read like an LOLCATS post. Are there really enough stupid people in this world to make penis pill scams profitable? Oh.. wait.. never mind.

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