Spam Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
Microsoft Research Strider Team
Created on August 5, 2006; Last Updated: August 5, 2006
The fish website http://topfishcam.com (22.214.171.124) looks very similar to http://www.trophyfishcam.com (see Figure 1); the brain injury page http://www.plomoinfo.com (126.96.36.199) looks very similar to http://tbilaw.com (see Figure 2); the records website http://newearthrec.com/ (188.8.131.52) looks very similar to http://www.newearthrecords.com/about.asp (see Figure 3); the ISDN website http://www.canisdn.net (184.108.40.206) looks very similar to http://www.isdntechnologies.ca (see Figure 4); which one of these two is NASA's official page for their Regional Technology Transfer Centers: http://usrttc.org (220.127.116.11) or http://www.ctc.org/NewFiles/RTTCs.html (see Figure 5)?
So it looks like somebody is building a copy-and-paste web farm in the IP range of 80.77.85.nnn ~ 80.77.92.nnn. These websites are quite diverse except that they all have one thing in common: if you do a View Source and scroll to the bottom, you will see that they all have a “display:none” section containing the URLs of search-engine optimization targets. For example, in early July, this section contained a bunch of freett.com URLs (see Figure 6) and many of them were successfully optimized to appear as top search results (see Figure 7 for an example); in late July, a bunch of high-fashion.be URLs were added (see Figure 8) and again many of them appeared among top search results (see Figure 9 for an example).
Now let’s all monitor these websites every day and see what URLs will be added and whether they can do it again.
Figure 1: Screenshots of http://topfishcam.com and http://www.trophyfishcam.com. (Notice that, on the first screenshot, it still says “about the trophyfishcam”; everything else has been changed from trophyfishcam to topfishcam.)
Figure 6: Screenshot of http://usrttc.org View Source on July 2, 2006 (ignore the highlighted “fendi” URL and pay attention to the “coach” URL)
Figure 7: freett.com link appeared as top Google search result for “Coach handbag” on July 3, 2006.
Figure 9: high-fashion.be link appeared as #3 Google search result for “Coach handbag” on July 22, 2006.