Like many bloggers, I use Akismet to screen comments for spam. In the past month, I’ve noticed two new kinds of spam that are cleverer than the usual gibberish. Akismet didn’t classify them as spam, but it did at least classify them as questionable.
One new spam type contains extractions from other sites that contain one or more capitalized words from the blog post. I guess the rationale is that capitalized words are likely to be proper nouns. (If they also filter out words beginning a sentence, they’re virtually guaranteed to be proper nouns.)
For example, say a post contains the word, “Django.” The spammer extracts capitalized words from the post, selects “Django”, and does a web search for it. They’ll then extract a couple of sentences containing that word from the search results, and use them as the spam text.
Once upon a time, I registered with Forbes.com. I can’t remember why I did; I might have subscribed to their physical magazine and thought the website would also be useful, or maybe I read an interesting article there and came to the same conclusion.
I also signed up for some of their newsletters.
I got tired of their newsletters some months later, and so I unsubscribed to all of them via my “preferences” page at their site.
They continued to e-mail me their newsletters. Read more…