Josef “Jeff” Sipek

Juniper Networks Spam

For a few months now, I’ve been getting regular mass mailing from the UK branch of Juniper Networks. Up until today, I just ignored them thinking that it must be a phishing attempt. Today, for whatever reason I looked at the headers and they look perfectly fine. It appears to be a genuine mass mailing. The thing that gets to me is that I never subscribed to this mailing. I also never talked to or did business with them. I think it is sad that even rather large and established companies resort to unsolicited mass mailings like this. In my eyes, all this kind of spam accomplishes is to market the company in negative ways. Well, done Juniper, well done.

How do I know that this is spam and I didn’t sign up for it indirectly? It’s very simple…

  1. I know how to spell my name.
  2. It’s been a while since I went to a conference. (A frequent reason to be subscribed to a mailing like this.)
  3. I do not deal with networking or network operations so I have no reason to sign up for anything even remotely related to this.

This leads me to the conclusion that for whatever reason, Juniper decided to get (buy?) an email address list of questionable origin. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Fun fact: I clicked on the “manage subscriptions” link to unsubscribe. The web form doesn’t let me unsubscribe unless I give them more information about me—country and state. No, thanks.

Comment Spam Filtering Experiments

Just a heads up, I’m getting fed up with all the comment spam that ends up on the moderation queue. So, I’m working on some code to reject comment spam before it hits it. As the title for this post implies, these are experiments; I’ll try my best not to reject any valid comments. I appologize if a valid comment does get rejected.

If you end up being a victim of my overzealous filters, please email me:

Comment Spam, Part Deux

This is a continuation of Comment Spam from almost 6 months ago. Recently, I noticed that a lot of the comment spam I get appears to contain MD5 hashes. Here’s an example, with all the spam parts smudged.

MD5 comment spam

I wonder why the spammers decided to include a hash in the comment. It could be an interesting way to eliminate duplication of spam — but I’m not sure that it would help them all that much.

And just if are curious, the IP is in China’s range.

Comment Spam

So, I’ve been getting a lot of comment spam lately — you can’t see it because I moderate it all. It is not a fun activity, so I looked at the available anti-comment spam plugins for wordpress. I have only one thing to say: They all suck. I looked at at least 7 different ones, which were neat in different ways, but they all suck. They force you to modify some “magic” php files. Sure, I understand the code, but the thing I don’t understand is the fact why? I’m no wordpress expert, but I am sure that there is a way to hook into it somewhere. This would easily allow me to upgrade wordpress at will without the fear of having to re-“apply” these hacky “plugins.” Shame. If I didn’t have an aversion to PHP, I might have written one, good one myself. I hope that the plugin authors/the wordpress folks see this, and fix it.


So, today this one very odd looking piece of spam got into my inbox (this is just the begining):

The wounded, the sick animals and birds swam to it. Theres a slide about a quarter of a mile over there to the left, hesaid. They will be ofthe pure blood like yourself, Dwayanu, and you shall find mates among the women. I wondered uneasily whether the Uighurs knew of a shorter road and were outflanking me. I had read terror in the eyes of many of the women. …

Of course there was a lot of attachments which probably had the real spam crap, and this text was used only to get past spam filters. Anyway, I found it rather amusing — I guess long gone are the days when spam had (if you were lucky) a bunch of random words that didn’t even make a coherent sentence. :)

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