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Re: tlug: TLUG Linux Links page

tlug note from "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
>>>>> "Jim" == Jim Schweizer <> writes:

    Jim> Somebody out there has apparently invented a new form of spam
    Jim> - adding links to an 'add your own links page'.

No, they just caught up with us.  It's been around for about three
years to my knowledge (I had a local class bboard URL leak out to Alta

    Jim> The TLUG Linux links page has been under assault for the lsat
    Jim> few days. Last night there were about 200 links added, mostly
    Jim> for 'sexy Latin babes' and that kind of thing.

I just filtered out anything that didn't return "EUC", "SJIS", or
"JIS" to `jconv -c' :-)

    Jim> I've temporarily disabled the perl script running the links
    Jim> page, but I'd like to keep it available if I can. I was
    Jim> thinking about a second perl script that confirms an entry
    Jim> before the link is added. Something like, "Please check the
    Jim> link title and URL to make sure they are accurate."

    Jim> Will this be enough to stop the spammers?

Not a chance.  This isn't a standard protocol, like NNTP or SMTP; this
is a site-by-site thing.  So it's being done by hand by hungry college
students, most likely, not by script.  (Not to say that you couldn't
write a script to add a few hundred links, but I think it would be
hard to write a program to analyze an HTML page, figure out that it
permits adding links, and then write a script to generate an HTTP post
that adds those URLs....  The search is surely done by hand, and
probably the analysis too.)

I don't see any way to stop this that won't prevent "legitimate"
non-TLUG'ers from posting.  OTOH, this isn't the message board, right?
What you could do is post a password to TLUG, so that only TLUGers can 
add links.  Add a line "if you're not a TLUGer, use the (moderated)
mail gateway ...", assuming we've got a volunteer moderator....

The other thing you might want to do is check the log entries and
write to the "abuse" address for the providers.  That generally stops
the college students dead in their tracks; they don't get enough money
for this to support five or six simultaneous ISPs with fake identities
and credit cards for each, like the professional email spammers do.
Some of them are dumb enough to do it from school.  I got one guy
kicked out (not my intent; but his university had a "three strikes"
rule---he was definitely getting paid, so no tears wasted).  "Make my


                            Stephen J. Turnbull
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences                    Yaseppochi-Gumi
University of Tsukuba            
Tel: +81 (298) 53-5091;  Fax: 55-3849    
Next TLUG meeting is Saturday October 11, 1997
a word from the sponsor will appear below
TWICS - Japan's First Public-Access Internet System.  Tel:03-3351-5977  Fax:03-3353-6096

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