Dennis Yu over at SocialTimes breaks down one of those weird spammy Facebook ads so you don’t have to.
Good question from TechCrunch with an odd context: Dear Facebook, why are Facebook Comments so unremittingly terrible? (The odd context is that TechCrunch uses Facebook for comments.) “Obviously Facebook could clean up comment spam if they really wanted to. (And, in fairness, Facebook Comments have always been terrible.) Maybe they even will, on some executive whim. But, really, who can blame them for not bothering? Facebook has become a business which focuses on things that affect billions of users, and/or bring in billions in revenue. Comments don’t come even close to moving the needle on that scale. But Facebook Comments are an excellent object example of a curious tech paradox: the bigger the business, the less you can rely on its new initiatives.”
Oh boy, I’ve been worried about this: spammers are exploiting .gov domains. “Spam purveyors are taking advantage of so-called ‘open redirects’ on several U.S. state Web sites to hide the true destination to which users will be taken if they click the link. Open redirects are potentially dangerous because they let spammers abuse the reputation of the site hosting the redirect to get users to visit malicious or spammy sites without realizing it.”
Be careful! There’s apparently a lot of ransomware spam going around. “Security firms are warning about a sudden ‘huge’ surge in junk mail messages containing ransomware. The surge is being blamed on the group behind a novel strain of ransomware called Locky. One security firm reported that a version of Locky produced two weeks ago is now the second most prevalent form of ransomware it sees.”
Look out for crap on SourceForge. Though the new owners of the site are making some efforts to clean it up and restore its reputation, I’m finding some shenanigans. A recent Google Alert pointed me toward a digital archive on SourceForge, and though the snippet made it fairly clear it was spam, I clicked on it anyway to see the SF page itself looked like. It kicked me straight to an essay-writing site, and I did not linger. The start of the SourceForge url was “soonpun.sourceforge,” and searching for that in Google found over 33,000 results. So be careful out there!
Jessica Dolcourt at CNET writes about a recent issue she’s been having with what appears to be “mailbot” attacks. “If you’ve ever sent an automated out-of-office message from your account when you went on vacation, you’ve already encountered a mailbot, so you know that these software agents aren’t necessarily nefarious on their own…. But the same kind of automation that’s used for convenience can also orchestrate a scam that cycles through variations of email permutations until it latches onto a valid address. Then, it signs up that address for newsletters and websites, likely as a way of lifting your account credentials to use in further mailbot attacks.”
Yahoo must face a class-action lawsuit over alleged spam text messages. “Yahoo Inc was ordered by a Chicago federal judge on Monday to face a class action lawsuit accusing the Internet company of sending unsolicited text messages to Sprint Corp cellphone users in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. U.S. District Judge Manish Shah said the users could sue as a group over messages sent in March 2013 because their claims had enough in common.”
The FCC has announced (in a DOCX file for some reason, sorry) that it will be releasing phone numbers and telemarketer numbers on a weekly basis. “The Federal Communications Commission announced today the Commission will release robocall and telemarketing consumer complaint data weekly to help developers build and improve ‘do-not-disturb’ technologies that allow consumers to block or filter unwanted calls and texts. The data, including originating phone numbers of telemarketers and automated robocalls, will be released and available on the FCC’s Consumer Help Center’s website.” I look forward to lots of lovely call-blocking solutions being built out of this.