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

ifelse wordswithstyle at gmail.com
Sat Nov 19 23:21:43 GMT 2005

Anyone else feel that this mail feels a bit spammy itself?

Besides, isn't the premise behind this plugin "Trackback URLs that point to
pages that don't link back to your blog are bogus" technically incorrect
even if it is pragmatic in eliminating spam?

On 11/19/05, Paul Gerecht <gerecht at rice.edu> wrote:
>  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/<http://freepastry.rice.edu/%7Edsandler/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!
> 22
> The developers of Trackback Validator
> Brown School of Engineering
> Rice University
>  To download, please visit:
> http://freepastry.rice.edu/~dsandler/trackback/<http://freepastry.rice.edu/%7Edsandler/trackback/>
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