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Spammers Target Movable Type Comment System

Yesterday, Wired News reported that spammers are now targeting Movable Type-based weblogs by submitting comments containing links that are irrelevant to the original posting. These bogus comments are being inserted in order to fool search engine spiders into thinking that the sites referred to by the embedded links are hot topics in the weblog community.

For example, a spambot may place links to a site where oxycontin is available without prescription on several popular Movable Type-based weblogs simultaneously. If the comments stay on the weblogs and a spider from Google visits the sites, it may increase the PageRank of the site to which the spambot-placed links point.

The fact that Movable Type is the target of spammers indicates how widely this toolset has been deployed. This is what a lot of people who are not programmers would consider a "good problem". But, keeping spam out of Movable Type weblogs where comments are generally permitted is going to be tough until an effective solution can be developed.

Ben Trott, the primary developer of Movable Type, commented on the comment spam problem about two weeks ago. The bottom line is that third party solutions are under development, but it appears that an enhancement of Movable Type that will "prevent" this problem from happening is not likely to be released soon.

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