Simon Willison’s Weblog


Bulletin board spam

14th August 2002

My friend Tim recently received a spam from a company called TrafficBBS, who specialise in bulk submissions to 50,000 search engines and 120,000+ BBS (web based bulletin boards). A quick look at their list of targetted forums reveals that they are spidering and spamming a whole bunch of simple web based forum scripts that don’t require user authentication, such as WWWBoard. This is a form of spam I wasn’t aware of until now. It’s scary to think how easily the system could be expanded to automatically register on more advanced widespread forum systems such as vBulletin.

Incidentally, their crawler (or one of them) identifies itself as PHP/4.2.1 and uses the IP address

This is Bulletin board spam by Simon Willison, posted on 14th August 2002.

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