....LMB: "Spammy Virus Thing?"....

September 05, 2004

I have a recent weirdness relating to the site that I thought I'd mention, in case anyone knows what's going on.

I am obsessed with my site's referral log. This is a page that the website owner can view that lists where people are coming from when they reach your site. More specifically, the referral log lists the URL of the page that someone clicked on to get sent to a page on your own site. It's not infallible, but it does give me an potential insight into who my readership is.

I checked the log yesterday, and found over 100 new websites linking to pages on this site this month. I was pleased, but puzzled. That was a hell of a lot of new links, and we were only a few days into the month. But when I tried to track those links back, I couldn't find the links on those pages. A little more analysis showed that nearly all of the new links were from blogs using Moveable Type, and that nearly every link allegedly came from a url like www.jimmysblog.com/mt-comments.cgi or www.jimmysblog.com/archives

Due to the flood of referrals from such pages, the only reasonable explanation would be some kind of software flaw, security flaw, or virus. Has anyone had any similar experiences? Anyone know what's going on?


I'll try to clarify. It is my guess that there is some kind of virus or bot exploiting a newly discovered security flaw in MT. It somehow can access most of the .cgi functions of MT, and then either by goal or accident, results in other MT blogs getting new referral hits. Has anyone else with an MT blog seen a surge in their referrals from URLs like the sample ones I mention above? If so, do you have any idea why?


And slightly on-topic, has anyone upgraded their blog to MT 3.1? Is it worth the effort?

Posted by Jake at 01:35 PM | TrackBack (0)

well, i link to here. so i'm probably part of the problem, per say.
but i figure maybe i can help.
the same sort of thing is used on my blog, with referrals and such, and i get the same thing.
i haven't understood until you wrote about this, and i figure maybe the /archives and such are parts of the links in the Moveable Type or other cgi.
i also want you to know i don't know what the hell i'm talking about here, so if it doesn't make sense it's not you.
other than that, great site and keep it up.

Posted by: andrew at September 5, 2004 03:34 PM

My webby is just getting started and it uses MT, although I am not sure which version. I know one change from earlier versions of MT was the inclusion of TrueType(?) as a function.

BTW, I like the look of your site.

Posted by: stumpy at September 7, 2004 04:06 AM


I am running MT3.0D still as I have seen some horror stories upgrading to 3.1

There are a number of idiots out there that think by pumping referal logs full of their links it will bring them more traffic. Some people put the last X number of referals on their front page and this is what the spammers are trying to use to raise their google rankings... pathetic :(

If you want more info, you have my email


Posted by: John Hoke at September 7, 2004 06:10 AM

v3.11 trashed my templates and categories... so I'd hold off for the inevitable v3.12...

Posted by: Mark McLaughlin at September 9, 2004 02:15 PM
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Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

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Media News

December 01, 2004

Media Mambo

The Great Indecency Hoax- last week, we wrote about how the "massive outcry" to the FCC about a racy Fox TV segment amounted to letters from 20 people. This week, we look at the newest media scandal, the infamous "naked back" commercial. On Monday Night Football, last week, ABC aired an ad for it's popular "Desperate Housewives" TV show, in which one of the actresses from the show attempted to seduce a football player by removing the towel she was wearing to bare her body to him. All the audience saw, however, was her back. No tits, no ass, no crotch, just her back.

No one complained.

The next Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh told his shocked viewers how the woman had appeard in the commercial "buck naked".

Then, the FCC received 50,000 complaints. How many of them actually saw this commercial is anyone's guess.

The article also shows the amazing statistics that although the Right is pretending that the "22% of Americans voted based on 'moral values'" statistic shows the return of the Moral Majority, this is actually a huge drop from the 35% who said that in the 2000 election or the 40% who said that in 1996 (when alleged pervert Bill Clinton was re-elected). This fact is so important I'm going to mention it over in the main news section too.

Brian Williams may surprise America- Tom Brokaw's replacement anchor, Brian Williams, dismissed the impact of blogs by saying that bloggers are "on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem." Which is really funny, coming out of the mouth of a dude who's idea of journalism is to read words out loud off a teleprompter. Seriously, if parrots were literate, Brian Williams would be reporting live from the line outside the soup kitchen.

In related news, Tom Brokaw has quit NBC Nightly News, and it appears that unlike his predecessor, the new guy can speak without slurring words like a drunk.

PR Meets Psy-Ops in War on Terror- in February of 2002, Donald Rumsfeld announced the creation of the Office of Strategic Influence, a new department that would fight the war on terror through misinformation, especially by lying to journalists. Journalists were so up in arms about this that the Pentagon agreed to scrap the program.

Don't you think that an agency designed to lie to the public might lie about being shut down, too?

This article gives some examples about the US military lying to the press for propaganda and disinformation purposes.

Tavis Smiley leaving NPR in December- African-American talk show host Tavis Smiley is opting to not renew his daily talk show on National Public Radio. He criticized his former employers for failing to: "meaningfully reach out to a broad spectrum of Americans who would benefit from public radio but simply donít know it exists or what it offers ... In the most multicultural, multi-ethnic and multiracial America ever, I believe that NPR can and must do better in the future." He's 100% correct. NPR is white. Polar bear eating a marshmallow at the mayonaise factory white. And the reason it's so white is that it is trying to maintain an affluent listener base (premoniantly older white folks) who will donate money to their stations. This is a great paradox of American public broadcasting, that they have a mandate to express neglected viewpoints and serve marginalized communities, but those folks can't donate money in the amounts that the stations would like to see.

U.S. Muslim Cable TV Channel Aims to Build Bridges- it sounds more positive than it is "Bridges TV" seems to simultaneously be a cable channel pursuing an affluent American Muslim demographic, and a way of building understanding and tolerance among American non-Muslims who might happen to watch the channel's programming. I was hoping it would be aimed more at Muslim's worldwide, but it ain't. Still, I'd be interested in seeing how their news programs cover the issues.

Every Damned Weblog Post Ever- it's funny cuz it's true.

Wikipedia Creators Move Into News- Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, created collectively by thousands of contributors. It's one of those non-profit, decentralized, collective, public projects that show how good the internet can be. Now, the Wikipedia founders are working on a similar project to create a collaborative news portal, with original content. Honestly, it's quite similar to IndyMedia sites (which reminds me, happy 5th birthday, IndyMedia!). I'll admit, I'm a bit skeptical about the Wikinews project, though. IndyMedia sites work because they're local, focused on certain lefty issues, and they're run by activists invested in their beliefs. I'm not sure what would drive Wikinews or how it would hang together.

CBS, NBC ban church ad inviting gays- the United Church of Christ created a TV ad which touts the church's inclusion, even implying that they accept homosexuals into their congregation. Both CBS and NBC are refusing to air the ad. This is not too surprising, as many Americans are uncomfortable about homosexuality, and because TV networks are utter cowards. But CBS' explanation for the ban was odd:

"Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples...and the fact that the executive branch has recently proposed a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast."

Whoa, what? First of all, the ad does not mention marriage at all. Second, since when do positions opposite of the Executive Branch constitute "unacceptable"? This doesn't sound like "we're not airing this because it's controversial", this sounds like "we're afraid of what the President might say."

Posted by Jake at 10:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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