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The official what's happening about the spammers thread. MNHQ will only post on this one for the time being (sorry, not being hoity; it's just to save time)

(331 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 03-Mar-13 15:11:28


We are currently mopping up after close on 100 (and that's just the last count) spammers posted all over our boards last night and this morning.

Thank you for all your reports. We hope you'll understand that we're not going to reply to them. Please take it as read that we're really grateful.

IMPORTANT: we think we have tabs on pretty much all of the spammers now, so (even if we haven't deleted them all yet) so there is no need to report any more. In fact, any more reports and our system might keel over!

Once we can see the wood for the trees, we'll post again and ask you to report any remaining spam posts we might have missed.

Please bear with us. We are getting there.

Any Qs, do post em here and we'll do our best to answer you.

Pan Sun 03-Mar-13 19:38:05

You mean I've got to stop providing bogus match analysis for each broadcast and discourage MNers from signing up? Damn!

LineRunner Sun 03-Mar-13 19:49:25

Isn't bogus match analysis what Alan Hansen does?

greenhill Sun 03-Mar-13 19:51:35

Thanks linerunner I only reported at 7 this morning, when active conversations were completely cluttered from the overnight spam. I really hope the spambots aren't busy again tonight, as I think it happened on Friday night too.

Pan Sun 03-Mar-13 19:53:41

LR - I've been asking for that comment all day! thank you. ( but for Arsenal today it was 'dreadful defending')

LineRunner Sun 03-Mar-13 19:54:52

Pan, are you actually Alan Hansen?

Pan Sun 03-Mar-13 20:04:10


LineRunner Sun 03-Mar-13 20:08:58

Alan Pan-sen, that's you, that is. grin

AnyFucker Sun 03-Mar-13 20:09:21

If Pan is actually Alan Hansen, can I just say something

*what the fuck were you thinking with that Morrison's advert"

I thank you

amillionyears Sun 03-Mar-13 20:10:30

I dont understand what the point of spambots is either?
And would all 100 originate from the same place,person, or orginisation since they are coordinated?

Pan Sun 03-Mar-13 20:14:47

"You don't win anything with kids" ( at the start of the season 97/98 with Giggs, Beckham, Scholes for Man Utd, who went on the do the Premiership/ FA Cup double that season...) I should have been sacked then. Morrisons? I was young. I needed the money!

Arithmeticulous Sun 03-Mar-13 20:16:23

Any - I think Alan was thinking "kerching" grin

ClayDavis Sun 03-Mar-13 20:16:38

I don't think there is any point, other than causing problems. Either for Tech and HQ who have to try and get rid of them or unsuspecting users who click on the links and then have to clear their PCs of malware etc.

deccacards Sun 03-Mar-13 20:37:29

million There are lots of forums where the moderators aren't on the ball.

If they can get even 10% of their posts up on the internet permanently and people click on them, it can generate revenue for the commissioning website.

Also, Google picks up the links to the spam posts and increases the number of hits on them through searches.

The posts could all be from the same person or a small group. It is quite possible to write software that is "press a button and spam". It's a simple process of keystroke logging, and all the spammer has to do is record the sequence and then replicate it again and again, anywhere and everywhere.

In some cases last night there were 20+ posts from the same username posted in the same minute. They were coming faster than it was humanly possible to post. Meanwhile the spammer was posting on other forums at almost the same time!

One problem for MNHQ is that sometimes these peope have built up a "bank" of usernames weeks before the attacks, and suddenly they unleash them. Doing things like banning new registrations doesn't help in that case - a bit like shutting the door on the Augean stables (great allegory, Greenhill - take a gold star grin) after the horse has bolted.

Likewise there is no point in doing as some MNetters suggested - emailing them back. The email addresses are fake or dead letter boxes.

As Clay says, lots of malware hiding there as well - and other nasty stuff. Never click on a spam link, even out of curiosity.

amillionyears Sun 03-Mar-13 20:45:18

Thanks for writing that.

I didnt really know about much of that, especially the first 2 sentences of the explanation.
I havent clicked on any, so dont understand how they would get any revenue from them?
And didnt understand the Google bit that you wrote about at all.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 03-Mar-13 20:46:03


I managed to source a picture of Olivia earlier today

grin Spookily accurate

Pan Sun 03-Mar-13 20:46:34

Noooo DO click on spam links! For instance, I'm about to get 3/4M$ from a Nigerian Bank, have a Russian Olympic swimmer as a bride, and, just in time, my cock will be 3 inches bigger!! Click away! Ignore these nay-sayers.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 03-Mar-13 20:47:01


Hello HQ. I feel really sorry for you all. May I ask please is there anything in place to stop it happening again overnight? eg adding a captcha to the registration process or all night monitoring?

Yes, of course. There certainly is.

LineRunner Sun 03-Mar-13 20:49:11

When you google something the sites that show up at the top of the lists are the ones you are most likely to go to, and they are the most 'popular' (or most paid for!) sites, and they and the agents that resulted in that happening do well out of that.

LineRunner Sun 03-Mar-13 20:52:23

Alan Pansen, behave.

Pan Sun 03-Mar-13 20:56:34

blush again. Just wanted to share the joy of spam.
<wondering if anyone else actually remembers Spam. 'pose not.>

AnyFucker Sun 03-Mar-13 21:00:17

Kofi Pannan

Alan Pansen

Pan, you have a fetish for impersonating other men, yeah ?

Spam Fritters, Food of The Gods

deccacards Sun 03-Mar-13 21:01:01

Pan grin I am still expecting the $1.6m lottery win I was promised at least 3 years ago. I will complain furiously before long. wink

million The revenue comes two ways. When you click on the link you are drawn into a site where they sell stuff legitimately, legal or illegal, nice or nasty.

Otherwise you get stuff like pop-ups where your PC screen suddenly goes blank and you are told that you have a fatal computer error, and only by clicking on it can you retrieve the situation. It looks legit but within moments you are asked for your credit card details to resolve the problem ... or they retrieve your personal information ... or they hack your passwords ... or they hack your emails. The list is endless.

The internet is a very unsafe place. The best advice is to have strong passwords (Google it for yourself - don't trust a link from me grin) and change them regularly, especially for email accounts. Also, never ever use the same password for internet banking and finances as you do for anything else.

And once again, never click on a link that may not be trustworthy, never open a link sent to you by email unless you trust the sender and it is in character for them - someone you know who is a quiet homebird with a Hotmail account is not going to send links about Viagra!

Delete the post and tell them that their account has been hacked and they need to change the passwrod.

Enough already. Time for gin!

Pan Sun 03-Mar-13 21:03:58

AF, I liked Kofi Pannan - just thought it was too subtle for the riff-raff.

blondieminx Sun 03-Mar-13 21:45:16

[Nebuchadnezzar 15L bottle of gin], [ice], [lemons, limes] [tonic, bitter lemon, elderflower cordial]


^ a small token of appreciation for everyone at MNHQ thanks

Pan Sun 03-Mar-13 21:49:34

I can offer a live streaming of Man Utd V Real Madrid on Tuesday night, to be viewed at Pan Heights, with me and my Coventry City supporter. £50 entrance fee, with one white wine spritizer as a complement. <it's also available on ITV live but we don't like to advertise that fact....Ooops!>

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