Feeds

MySpace users snowed in by new blizzard of spam

Buried brunettes beg for help

Intelligent flash storage arrays

David Taylor, who helps administer the MySpace Group World Artist Network, tells a similar tale. With more than 211,000 members, WAN says it's the largest single MySpace group. But recently, WAN underwent a relentless attack that has brought the group to its knees. As recently as this weekend, members browsing the forum had to wade through 27 pages of blank entries before finding genuine content. Several members including Taylor are unable to post. The miscreants responsible have the ability to ban members and pin and unpin topics, effectively allowing them to wrest control of the group away from its rightful owners.

"They're really malicious," Taylor says.

As a senior information security specialist for the University of Pennsylvania, it's fair to say Taylor has a tad more technical sophistication than the typical MySpace user. But even with his credentials, he has been unable to convince MySpace security people to deploy several measures he says would go a long way to preventing the kinds of attacks his group is being crippled by.

They include anti-flood technology that would require members posting more than a set number of comments in a given period (for instance more than 10 posts by the same user in a few minutes) to complete a captcha dialogue. That would eliminate the use of third-party scripts he suspects the saboteurs are using to spray an unending stream of scat porn and other postings all over his group.

He's also calling for features that would give group admins more control, such as the ability to appoint moderators and the addition of buttons to the main thread page that would allow group leaders to ban and block the trouble makers. (Taylor's entire wish list is posted here.)

A quick search suggests that other MySpace groups, including President Bush is an Asshole, Support Gay Marriages and Daily Bible Verse for MySpace may also be under attack. Taylor reckons most of the steps needed to stop this nonsense would take little time to implement because they involve technologies MySpace already has in place.

In recent months, MySpace has taken steps to reclaim its site from the forces of darkness. In January and March respectively, it sued Scott Richter and Sanford Wallace for allegedly spamming MySpace users. (The site has also added features designed to protect its youngest users from predatory adults, although we're still not convinced the measures are effective.)

But so far, it appears MySpace is more concerned about the smooth operation of the machine that feeds banner ads to it's 177m registered users than it is in ensuring they can surf the site unmolested by trouble makers. As Taylor puts it: "I don't think they understand the impact this causes on the user community. I'm actually not very optimistic. Perhaps this last week may change that." ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.