Ministry of Propaganda

Ministry of Propaganda - 16/Jan/2005: "Referer Scam?"

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Referer Scam?

Somehow I don't think I'm the only one who is seeing this: Over the last few days I had a lot of referers in my logfiles (just for various domains, not for specific pages) which then lead to a "terminated" (well, that's what the text claims, but somehow I have my doubts) account. The text usually reads something like this but still varies slightly:

This former fiction is permanently under suspension - Due to miss-proper use of the hosting account
or also
This Following file is in investigation - Due to miss-proper use of the hosting account
or this one:
The fabrication is under TOS closing - Due to miss-proper use of the hosting account


Information on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide financial, legal or consumer advice and should not be relied upon in that regard. We will not take responsibility for any error, omission or inaccuracy in advertising material. We specifically prohibits any use of our site for unlawful purposes.
or this one:
Links to other sites are provided as a service. We are not responsible for what appears on these sites Under no circumstance will liability occur in the event of incidental or consequential damages in connection with, or arising out of, the providing of information contained herein. We reserves the right to: change or remove (temporarily or permanently) the Website or any part of it without notice.
or another version:
All documents available from this server may be protected under the U.S. and Foreign Copyright Laws. Permission to reproduce may be required. THE INFORMATION ON THIS WEBSITE IS PROVIDED AS IS WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED. We not give any warranty or other assurance as to the content of the material appearing on the site, its accuracy, completeness, timelessness or fitness for any particular purpose.

There are more versions, but I got bored copying them. They are all roughly the same (apart from the "Account terminated" which is always identical), but still vary slightly. The design is identical though, making me think they are generated from the same source.

So what is this then? Some very quick acting web hosting company terminating spammer accounts very quickly? But why are there all these variations in the text then, shouldn't it just be one standard text? Or will the real content only go live once they've spammed enough referer logs and are they trying to camouflage the sites until then? Is there some kind of scam going on?

I don't display referers anywhere, so I'm not concerned about helping those spammers. I'm just curious what's going on here. And I'm slightly annoyed about all these links which don't get me anywhere when I review my logfiles. I'm not as far as Russell yet though (although I would consider a good kicking).

Funnily enough I just downloaded my e-mail, guess what, there were 17 notifications for entries in the guestbook on one of my other sites. Every single one of them was spam. Should I ever meet any of those guys in a dark alley...

PS: Yes, I know the correct spelling is referrer and not referer. But I used referer for a reason.

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