[OSM-dev] Chinese spam diaries, an analysis

Andrew Hain andrewhainosm at hotmail.co.uk
Wed Dec 3 15:46:48 UTC 2014

A spammer is periodically posting messages in Chinese to the User Diaries.
These diaries follow a distinct pattern:

1. Reading machine translations, the messages advertise a variety of
products and services that are against the law. This may be to attract
people who would be reluctant to contact the authorities and admit what they
are looking for.

2. Diaries are posted in batches of considerable size (up to 20+), typically
differing only in having different names of cities and provinces in the
text. This would appear to be targeted at searches through search engines.

3. Diaries rarely contain links (occasional exceptions) so cannot be
targeted at search engine rankings for pages hosted away from OSM.

4. Numbers preceded with the letters QQ appear regularly; these may be
accounts with the Tencent QQ messaging service.

5. The spammer has come back repeatedly creating new accounts so it is
likely that that the operation is successful.

I have not followed any message account, keyword or link in any of the
spams. Among other issues I am wary about possible malware in scam pages.


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