33 pages of web forum spam

I still find it mind-boggling how little some websites are doing to fight spam on their sites.

As we discussed in the 2009 Sophos Security Threat Report, and in the video of the Spike website being abused by malicious porno spammers, hackers are abusing web forums, message boards and blogs by posting links to either malware or spam websites.

It’s estimated that about 85 percent of all submitted blog comments are in fact spam, and the best websites use technology (such as CAPTCHA and textual and link analysis) to try and filter out of much of it as possible. Some of these solutions are available for free off the net and can be easily plugged into your site – so why aren’t more websites using them?

This was really brought home to me last night when I visited the support forum of the Viddler video-sharing website. A Canadian pharmacy spammer has blasted their boards. In fact, at the time of writing you have to plough your way through a staggering 33 *pages* full of spam before you get to a legitimate message.

All of these messages have been posted in the last 12 hours or so – presumably by an automated bot.

This must be a real nuisance for Viddler’s users, and may encourage some of them to jump ship to different video-sharing services like Vimeo or Revver. If Viddler had even used a simple technology like a CAPTCHA system then this problem probably wouldn’t have occurred.