A New Kind of WordPress Spam

SpitalfieldsApart from bills the only thing that comes through my post box are flyers for local pizza companies and private hire taxi firms. I wish I could get Akismet for my post box (or maybe this already exists – a big dog).

Anyway, a while back I found an unusual hand-printed business card had been slipped in alongside the junk. I almost threw it away before noticing that it contained the URL for a WordPress.com blog. On closer inspection it turned out to be an advert for a blog about the area in which I am living, and which must have been hand delivered by the author – an unusual way to promote a blog. I can’t imagine that a similar online method of promotion would have made it past spam filters.

The card reads:

Over the coming days, weeks, months and years I am going to write and tell you about my life here in Spitalfields at the heart of London. How can I ever describe the exuberant richness and multiplicity of culture in this place to you? This is both my task and my delight.

The blog itself is an interesting read and I’ve already learned about several places of interest in my local area, as well as reading about some of the more colourful local characters. It seems that sometimes hand delivered spam is ok.

Anti-spam and HeadSpace 2 plugins

There’s a revamp of an old plugin over at HeadSpace 2, and a new (not foolproof) Anti-Email Spam plugin.

HeadSpace 2 cleans up my oldest plugin, and gives it a nice administrative interface along with several nice new features. The Anti-Email spam plugin was some code that I developed for client that I thought might make a handy plugin for some people. It replaces any email addresses in a post with an encoded version that should fool spam harvesting software.

Possible MSN scam

I’ve noticed a couple of the contacts on my MSN list have started displaying ‘http://msncheck.41m.com – free way to check who blocked and deleted you on msn‘. Naturally I went to this website to investigate and found that it promised the ability to check if anyone has blocked or deleted me, provided I gave my msn username and password.

Now there is no way I’m giving my username or password to anyone, let alone an unknown website. However, I was curious as to what would happen if I did. I tried the website with false information:

Note the ‘your login info will be stored on our server for future use*’. This is the closest to any sort of privacy statement and/or website intent.

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