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Archive of posts filed under the Advertising category.

Spam from Dell via; or Why Opt-Out Is Still Bad.

I just got a spam from, using I’m blocking the scum at And reporting it to Dell just in case it’s not really from them. Someone else got this as well. Searching through my mail logs shows I’m also getting other messages from, regarding CareerTrack. Any time a user has to […]

Sometimes a Comment Is Simply a Comment

Comment spammers are definitely getting trickier, as noticed by Mark Ghosh in his article Comment Spam with more Kung Fu?. I’m starting to notice that the comment spammers are now starting to simply copy and paste an existing comment and submit as their own comment. My guidelines for identifying comment spam that doesn’t get caught […]

This Weekend’s Speme: ADT

We’ve gotten past CNN and MSNBC spam. The newest round of spam theme (speme) is pushing ADT home security systems. According to the From field of the messages, “Certified ADT Dealer” or “Authorized ADT Dealer” is now spamming to sell ADT memberships. All of the messages received at planetmike thus far have had both of […]

Data Mining to Detect Pump-and-Dump Scams

Bruce Schneier talking about Data Mining to Detect Pump-and-Dump Scams.

Akismet 40,000th Spam Comment

On May 1st, I zapped my 30,000th comment spam. Yesterday was the 40,000th. Here’s a chart of the count, recorded daily. And here’s the daily rate, with a peak since May 8th (the end of the last storm) at 160 on June 6th, and a low of one on May 19th.

HELO {bot_hostname}

This morning I received a string of bot spam attempts from some idiot spammer using the following as his HELO command (yes, including the braces): HELO {bot_hostname} Luckily Postfix rejected the conversation immediately. Spam

Be careful if using They do not honor unsubscribe requests from their mailings. I’d suggest using a unique email address so you can disable it after you’ve used their services. I’ve emailed their privacy office asking about this. If a week goes by, I’ll escalate to TRUSTe. I originally signed up with them on […]

Spammers Killed My Catchall Address

It’s amazing what you find when digging through old backups. Another item I found was my ancient collection of mailboxes for my catchall address. In early February 2007 I finally surrendered to the spammers that were hammering my mail server. There was no hint that the spam rate was going to decrease, so the catchall […]

Comment Spam Rate

As I mentioned yesterday when I noticed I passed the 30,000 spam comment threshold, the comment spam rate on the blog has gone through the roof. I dug out some of my old backups of my WordPress database and generated this chart showing how many spam comments I’ve received. This chart is from December 14, […]

Akismet 30,000th Spam Comment

I just deleted my 30,000th comment spam. I have no idea how high the count would have been had I not put into place several techniques that automatically block bad commenters. Those that fall into my traps don’t even get entered into the Akismet system, and so aren’t counted. (Addendum 9:32pm: The count is now […]