When we write about spams and spammers, it’s usually as part of a security warning.
But from time to time, we write about them simply because they’ve made us laugh.
They might have been hapless, bizarre or even insulting.
We once had an email offering us a liver, or part of one, in case we needed a transplant:
And we had a comment spammer who seemed to think that insulting us would be a good way to persuade us to approve his comment:
The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this 1. I mean, I know it was my option to read, but I really thought youd have some thing intriguing to say. All I hear is often a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you happen to werent too busy looking for attention.
Today, it was haplessness, when a comment spammer’s automation tools went wrong and posted more – much more – than was intended.
Artisan versus industrial
As you can imagine, we get a lot of SPEWS (Spam though Electronic Web Submission) on Naked Security.
That’s where spammers and scammers fill in our comment forms in the hope that both our spam filters and our moderators will fail to notice that thay’re spammers and scammers.
The spammers don’t hand-craft every message, because they simply don’t have time.
An artisan approach would almost certainly increase their success rate, at least on moderated sites, because they could tune the message to the article and thus sound more believable.
But artisan spamming doesn’t deliver volume, so the submitters of SPEWS rely on an industrial approach, just as with email.
There’s a database of generic comments, and a tool that picks one and uses it in a comment, often with a touch of cheerily believable happiness, something like this:
Some ask for advice:
Others go right over the top:
There’s the occasional irony, which is always good for a chuckle:
One or two of them are presumably meant to offer praise, but come out as insults, like this one:
And a few of them strain impressively at the bounds of comprehensibility, if not actually bursting free from them entirely:
Sadly, you can see for yourself how far and wide these SPEWS get by using your favourite search engine to look for some of the more unusual text strings, such as “really really fastidious” and “far added agreeable.”
Over time, you (or, at least your comment spam filter) will build up an extensive collection of these curious comments, which you’ll find mirrored widely on the web.
Or you might get lucky, like we did, and get 61 comments from the spammer’s database all jammed together into one huge submission, for added amusement:
There’s a lot of “fastidious” in there.
They keep using that word; I do not think it means what they think it means.