Bot Attack At PP Blog

The PP Blog is experiencing a spambot attack that almost exclusively is trained at a single story and Comments thread from February 2010, more than six years ago. Since early Tuesday, the onslaught has included about a spam per minute.

The attack, a sort of miniDDoS involving scores and scores of IPs and email addresses likely stolen from across the web, is consuming bandwidth and creating maintenance chores. As of 5 p.m. ET today, it had filled a full 159 pages with spam, consisting of 20 spams per page. The word waste alone likely totals in the hundreds of thousands.

A content scraper appears to be involved and, of course, nothing is sacred. One of the spams scraped the obituary of a person unknown to the PP Blog and sought to republish it here. In the instance of the obituary, the name of the deceased individual was used in a bid to redirect traffic to a website that had nothing to do with the individual. A typical spam includes one or more links to a host of websites and sales schemes.

We have a couple of theories:

  • Someone not keen on our reporting is trying to blast it off the web, as was the case with the DDoS attacks here in the fall of 2010 and the traffic floods that occurred in 2011.
  • A purported SEO expert or specialist in removing “negative” information is using a bot to relentlessly target the story and accompanying Comments thread in a bid to force us to remove the information. The hope is that the drip-a-minute approach will wear us down and cause us to remove the story/thread.

Ain’t gonna happen.

About the Author

Leave a Reply