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Spam and Abuse

One of the day-to-day tasks of running this site involves monitoring for spam. Usually it's no problem: I just delete the junk posts, comments, and disable the accounts. I've made some tools to make this pretty easy. The problem is that the spammers and malcontents seem to have ratcheted up their spamming and it's getting to be too much work. I've made a drastic change requiring people to send me an email asking to register their account.

There is a general pattern to the spam. All of the accounts are new and created within 1-10 hours of the spam. They all tend to have Gmail accounts. Others such as Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. have really dropped off. It would be nice if Google could do something to prevent people from taking advantage of their server. If I just banned any accounts from Gmail I could probably get rid of about 90% of the spam. That would affect other people using Gmail legitimately though, so I didn't want to take that step.

I realize there are people out there doing legitimate work [1] that can't answer the questions truthfully. That's ok, just make something up. I will accept "I work for the Post Office" as an answer [2], or pretty much anything else. So far it seems to be working too, there haven't been nearly as many spam messages as before.

There also have been some efforts to download our entire collection of malware. While I can understand why someone would want to do this, it does end up using a lot of our resources, bandwidth being one of them. As always I'm happy to work with people but please contact me about it. I'm happy to make trades with people for new samples I can add. If you have nothing to trade drop me a note and we can work something out.

[1] For some definition of legitimate. :)
[2] Stolen without shame from Halvar's class


Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for this site and the work (that many would consider boring) you put into it.