Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sophos - Stop Spamming Me and End Your SEO Campaign

Spam takes on many different forms. Sure, we're all familiar with the crap that makes it in to our inbox, but what about the other stuff - like the stuff that appears as comments in our blog entries?

Blog comment spam is on the rise, particularly when it's used less as a direct advertising tool and more for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) attacks/manipulation. In most cases I've observed, the SEO-orientated blog spam has been initiated by the bad guys - looking to escalate their infectious drive-by Web sites to the top of search engine results.

Lately though, I've noticed that a well-known security vendor - Sophos - has been employing this tactic. For example, check out the following blog comment submissions (pending moderation):

For the last few weeks there have been similarly themed comment submissions, typically initiated by the same accounts and targeting the same blog entries (based upon keywords).

This tactic is common, and there are a number of tools designed to automated this kind of spam and SEO attack.

What's interesting (and annoying at the same time) is that this repeated spam appears to be initiated by Sophos. As you'll see in the three comments above, the word "malware" is hyperlinked and in all cases points back to

I find this a pretty unsavory tactic, especially if it's initiated by a security company looking to be trusted by its customers.

Sophos - if you're listening - stop your comment spam campaign and end your SEO attacks. It's unprofessional.


  1. Similar comment spam seems to have hit the anti-virus-rants blog. See my short writeup about what I could find (which admittedly isn't much). I'm not entirely sure that the security companies are behind the spam, at least not directly. Maybe some outsourced marketing company in turn outsourced the SEO to an other company which spams... (however I do agree that the security companies should look into the issue and make sure that they are not spamming - even if they are doing it indirectly).

    Best regards.

  2. Sophos sent me an email this morning apologizing. See the blog entry - Comment Spam and SEO Campaign Apology

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