Blog spam through social engineering - Approve comments conservatively.

September 20, 2010

This blog is maintained in Wordpress. It offers some protection against spam, for instance by requiring me to authorise every comment on a posting. By default, Wordpress assumes that if you approve a post from a person once, you want all comments from that post approved automatically. This saves me from having to approve each and every comment. However, I almost fell for a clever social engineering attack that tries to abuse this very feauture...

In fact I received the following comment the other day.

This is a very thought provoking post. I am glad to see this topic being covered. I like reading these types of articles they help to keep me in the loop.

Very flattering, and I almost approved it. But then it dawned on me that the comment was very generic: it could apply to any blog posting. So I suspect it was actually sent by a spam bot trying to gain access to the comments section of my blog (and many other blogs through the same kind of message). So, if you see a comment like this, do not approve it, no matter how ncie or flattering it is.

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De ongelijke strijd tegen phishing. « Jaap-Henk Hoepman – on security, privacy and…
, 2012-06-28 16:02:45

[…] Ik kan me echter erg goed voorstellen dat nietsvermoedende klanten van ABN AMRO hier intrappen. Helemaal omdat in het verleden een bepaalde bank (hallo ING) haar klanten wel via een authentieke email probeerde te bereiken. Vergelijkbare slim opgestelde spam berichten ben ik ook al als comment op mijn blog tegengekomen. […]