Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Humility is a Plain

Given a small amount of continued spam that wandered through some filters I set, I finally implemented a solution to block the spam that took advantage of one of the two interesting irregularities I saw in the spam (taking advantage of the second probably would've been tricky). Turning off the filters, it still has blocked all the commercial posting attempts I have made so far. Details:

  1. All the spam was made with unusually formed HTTP GET/POST requests -- they all had a number of spaces after the content of the request, and look nothing like what a browser would generate. This is the result of some sloppy coding.
  2. The spam was posted from machines that the spammers comprimised, either through spyware or exploiting windows weaknesses. The spam software was presumably using a network stack that could transfer a network session from the machine the software was running on to the infected/hacked machines. It did this on a connection level.

Posting comments to my BLOG are normally done in three parts:

  1. User goes to the reply page, sees the form, types thinggs, and hits post
  2. Web browser sends post data to the server, gets redirect page
  3. Browser then follows the redirect sent to it
The spam network presumably acts like a web proxy, and like with AOL, the front end is multiplexed -- each part comes from a different IP address. It's not hard to modify the process to prevent posts based on that.

If I may be permitted the sentimentality of thinking of the turning of a year marker as being significant, I have some hopes for romance in the new year. Some people prove to be harder to read than I thought, and one of them surprised me, pleasantly. I also have made what I think was my first error of judgement on Wikipedia, something that proved humbling. I reversed what I did and admitted my judgement to be too hasty, and will be more careful in the future to avoid such things. I'm not sure that in the end my judgement won't have proven to be sound, but at least given the information available at the time, it was premature. In further news of humblement, I discovered that a number of flaws in an experiment I've been programming for work (in that always-sucky psychology experiment language, ePrime) are due to my cut/pasting data incorrectly between experiment blocks. Oops.

Martha and Will came and took the cats back today... I'm going to miss them..

I am beginning to suspect that the seventh season of Dr Who (and no other seasons) is composed of very pointed political satire.

Tags: wikipedia

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