I’m surprised it took so long, but trackback spammers seem to have finally figured out that they can sail past the simplest check against trackback spam—does the calling page actually link to the page being trackbacked?–by temporarily adding that link.

Or maybe they have for a while, and they’ve only just started getting past my other layers of defense (namely Bad Behavior and other checks by Spam Karma).


Lately I’ve seen an interesting pattern emerge in the comment spam logs here. Along with the usual collections of links to pills, porn, and watches, there are a bunch of trackback spam attempts using innocuous websites like Google and Yahoo and the phrase “this is very good,” over and over.

Title? “this is very good”
Blog Name? “this is very good”
Author? “this is very good”

The excerpt itself varies a bit, but is usually something like, “this is related article.”

I figure they’re either probes or attempts to poison blacklists.

What’s funny about these is that in the logs, the fields are all run together, so it looks like this:

author: this is very good title: this is very good blog_name: this is very good e-mail: …

The natural inclination is to break the phrases at the punctuation, so it looks like it’s saying, “This is very good title. This is very good blog name. This is related article.”—making it sound like Zathras is behind the keyboard!