July 1, 2006

Forums warned on new wave of spam

by Brian Turner


Security Watch is advising that a new wave of spam users has been registering at forums over June.

The forum spammers – people who join forums simply to post advertising – have been signing up to forums in large numbers over June with email addresses from @cashette.com.

Once registered, the users come back at a later date to post spam advertising across the forums joined up to.

Security Watch also advises forum administrators to also consider banning @mail.ru and @inbox.ru email addresses as similarly used by forum spammers.

Forums – a key form of online communities – are commonly targeted by spammers due to the large potential that their ads will be seen by multiple users. Also, the links they post may also help increase the rankings of the sites.

While moderated forums mean that such ads may be short-lived, it doesn’t stop companies offering low pay for forum spamming to internet users in developing countries.

The principle of forum spamming is similar to email spamming, in that even if the majority of ads are ineffective, the investment overheads remain low and the potential to capture a small percentage of users remains attractive for the companies involved.

However, the effects of forum spamming when left unchecked can be very damaging to the operation of a forum, and seriously damage any sense of community.

In the meantime, forum administrators should carefully consider their options on how to prevent their forums being misused by spammers.

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Story link: Forums warned on new wave of spam


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