[wp-hackers] new: WordPress Validator plug-in

Paul Gerecht gerecht at rice.edu
Sat Nov 19 23:13:16 GMT 2005

Dear weblog administrators,


Have you ever wondered why you are being targeted by blog spammers?  Having
worked with Trackback spam before, we have often felt that it was unclear as
to the exact mechanism by which Trackback spammers find their victims.
There has some evidence that some web spiders exist which look for Movable
Type Trackback URLs at conventional locations.  Presumably, there also exist
more sophisticated web spiders that examine webpages for a piece of RDF XML
that identifies the correct Trackback location-here, obfuscating your URL
will not prevent you from receiving a helping of blog spam in such cases.
But how do the spiders target you, their victim weblogs?


This problem has been under investigation by computer scientists at Rice
University.  We have developed a free Trackback plug-in called Trackback
Validator (http://freepastry.rice.edu/~dsandler/trackback/) to provide you
with security against these attackers; this plug-in has been beta tested by
a small set of weblogs-now it is ready for general use.  Beyond the
protection it provides, it will help us study how spammers locate sites like
your own!  


It is likely that these spiders follow links from other weblogs that they
know about to yours.  If so, this would help explain the power-law
distribution in spam:  the more popular your site, the more inbound links
and hence the more visible your site is to attackers.  The data collected on
identified spam postings will help us deduce some patterns in and sources of
weblog spamming plaguing your sites.  Hence, with the use of the Validator
plug-in, not only will you receive great protection from spam, but you will
also help us collect information about spammers targeting your site and help
us improve upcoming versions of our software for you!


Thank you very much and enjoy the world of spam-free blogging!


The developers of Trackback Validator

Brown School of Engineering

Rice University


To download, please visit:  http://freepastry.rice.edu/~dsandler/trackback/

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