Referer Spam

by john on July 16, 2004

Tree in fog

I finally got around to doing something about all the referer spam I’ve been getting the last few months. “Referer spam,” you ask? Right, I don’t show my referer logs publicly but I do use Dean Allen’s Refer 2.1 to keep track of incoming referers but I have it posted to a secure site only I have access to. I find Refer to be a quick way to see what has been bringing traffic to my site. Sure, I could look at my Webalizer statistics but Refer gives it to me in real-time which is very nice.

A lot of people make the pages from Refer and other referer applications publicly accessible and so have become JATFS (Just Another Target For Spammers) and their ilk. They spam the referer logs hoping that some moron will click-through. I’ll admit to have been tricked once by an innocent looking URL that was then redirected to a not so innocent one. Usually it’s pretty obvious what is spam – the URL is obnoxious or obvious and they don’t point to a page just my home page. But some are getting smarter linking to an individual article which can sometimes make the referer look legitimate.

So this really is only my problem since the pages are private yet I’m sick of seeing all the crap in there. This morning I have been getting pounded by referer spammers and I finally decided to do something about it. I’ve patched my refer.php with Eric Goldberg’s BotWhack 1.0 and Andrew Waer’s IPWhack. Eric provides both patches via an updated refer.php available on his site.

It remains to be seen how effective this is for me but if it doesn’t work I’ll have a deeper look to this article. Refer spam may not be as bad as the email spam coming from people doing email marketing, but nonetheless it is still a problem I would like to solve.

What’s the tree to do with refer spam? Nothing, just mucking around with PaintShop Pro 8.0. One foggy morning.

{ 1 comment }

Learning Movable Type July 18, 2004 at 12:09 pm

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Updated July 7, 2004 Spammers have discovered bloggers and sooner or later if you allow comments, trackback pings, or the Movable Type send-entry form on your weblog you will get spammed. Weblog spam appears in many flavors: 1) Basic comment spam. The …

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