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- A friendly neighborhood scavenger -

Yeah, the spambots and meat-spammers seem to come in waves. There are usually 2-3 accounts created, and 2-10 posts each wave. They're smart enough to pass the registration steps, so I think some are either human, or specifically tailored to this site.

The registration filtering helps quite a bit, but some of these guys are still getting through. We'll have to see what we can do about that.

Fortunately, players have been doing a good job of flagging them, and it makes it easier for me to obliterate the accounts each time. Thanks guys!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

But i always wounder why?? why choose a small indie game website (in less this game got real big) i mean do they think we are easy targets heck no we are the hardest targets around we don't fall for dem scams bad move on there part to pick a website with a smart and nice community and an owner that cares about his players and deletes spam? bad move on there part for sure.
It would make more sense to go to a more crowded site where the owners/mods are busy with a bunch of stuff.

bunch o' fools if ya ask me.

- A friendly neighborhood scavenger -

Also, most of the time those spam-posts are complete gibberish... It's not like: "You talk about meat cleavers guys, so here's a link you might want to check out...". Oh no, instead they put some random words about random stuff that doesn't make any sense at all.

<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

"hey there buy these boots they are good for wet water so buy them *LINK LINK LINK* they are very amazing in cold weather *LINK LINK LINK* hey buy these boots they are good in cloudy weather *LINK LINK LINK* get 10% off on boots that are good for wet weather and muddy dirt they are boots good for cloudy weather cloudy weather *LINK LINK LINK*."

They also spam links to there scam websites everywhere after every single thing they say *LINKLINKLINK* if we did not click it the first time we won't click it the 10th time. i think they are gibberish because they don't expect a person to read the entire post they expect the person to go "UMG BOOTS I MUST CLICK THE FIRST LINK BEFORE READING ANY OF THIS *CLICK*!!" (that never happens by the way) ehh spammers i could live without 'em the entire internet could live without 'em.

- A friendly neighborhood scavenger -

Well, as they say: if it didn't work sometimes, people wouldn't do it.

This infographic explains it better than I could. Look at the top right corner.

In 1 month in 2008, just one botnet (called "Storm") sent out 35 million emails. 8.2 million of those emails got through. 10,500 recipients clicked on links in those emails. 28 people bought products.

The clincher is that this only represents data from 1.5% of an operating spam botnet. New Scientist estimates that based on this thin slice, the "Storm" botnet generated $3.5 million in pharmaceutical sales in 2008. All by itself.

Also, it's incorrect to assume that spammers target sites like this. They don't have the time to even think about each site they post on. They just have computer algorithms that search the net for posts that include "boots," "clothing," "lockpicks," and "pills." Then, those algorithms feed the URLs into applications that create user accounts and post messages that were probably designed by other algorithms to bypass spam filters.

Basically, it's a sophisticated, automatic system, and it makes more money than it costs to operate.

PS: I guess you can tell I'm sort of an anti-spam fanatic :) But hey, "know thine enemy," right?

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

That is something - 27 spam topics at one time. This guys are getting bolder.

<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

Actually, it looks like there might have been a bug in the anti-spam code. I fixed it this morning, so let's see if the frequency of spam goes down.

It's a never-ending battle!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

In the last days, I found more new spam posts than new real posts. So this is a pitty.
Maybe you could experiment with using a random collection of different registration obstacles.
I guess, it makes a real difference, if the randomly chosen word to be entered has also to be modified randomly to be entered from left to right (normal), reversed, or every second letter capitalized, and so on. Because of that, the registration process is different every time and a private anti-spam-solution only used here, hence difficult for the spam bots.

Player was gored and eaten by a sabretooth tiger.
Survival Time: 48 days, 16.51 hours.

I actually tried changing the registration riddle for a few days last month (I don't use the image CAPTCHA anymore), to see what effects it had. I used a riddle which required the person identify the words in the banner image, as well as some logical questions and other challenges. But a few spammers were still getting through.

However, the riddles didn't seem to stop the spam. More interestingly, it didn't even delay the spam, which is what I'd expect if they were spambots that had to be recalibrated to the new riddles. I suspect that the spammers we're still seeing now are actual humans.

There has been a decline in spam since the new Mollom utility went in, but you're right that we still see a few per day. I'll have to research some new techniques, I guess!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games