Referrer Spam Tool

By Deane Barker on September 6, 2004

Ever find referrers in your logs that make no sense? Sites that couldn’t possibly have a link to your site?

I found this product online, which is the first tool I’ve found to accomplish referrer spamming. No link or name because I don’t want to promote it.

[This app] is a Windows-based mass referrer spammer, which means that it will make a connection to a buttload of sites of your choosing with any referrer URL and User-Agent that you specify.

This accomplishes several things. Firstly, it generates webmaster traffic from webmasters checking their referral statistics. Secondly, it boosts your link popularity and thereby your Google PR, because a lot of sites have public referral stats with linked entries.

How did I find it? Checking my referrers, of course. They counted on me being narcissistic, and it worked.

At least by calling it a “spammer,” they don’t try to put lipstick on a pig.

Gadgetopia

Comments

  1. Gotta appreciate the chutzpah of somebody who would actually use the word ‘buttload’ when describing their product. Like you said Deane, they really aren’t trying to hide anything.

  2. “You can write your own in a couple hours!”

    Agreed. This is a 20-line Perl script, if that. Just proves how smart they are to build this and charge $75 for it. I bet someone threw it together in VB.Net in about an hour.

  3. I was just inspired by your blog to write a small article on referral spam at http://www.trafficstatistic.com/articles/referrerspamprotection.html . Here at TrafficStatistic we see tries of referral spam increasing a lot recently, though it’s rather easy to protect your site against being fooled by referral misuse.

    More threatening is this: … operates on textfiles with URL-lists, and a textfile of 3047 active blog websites … Who ever is listed in this textfile should prepare already to protect himself from referrer spam. Hopefully the tool is too expensive for anyone buying it, else it could have an effect like a DDOS attack for these sites.

    By the way: I disagree with the previous comments, that writing a referral spam tool is simple, it’s just webmasters making it simple. With a 20 liner perl you won’t reach 60-100 connections per second easily, even DNS lookup will already take longer. To reach such speed, multithreading is needed, probably it uses php curl.

    Hopefully the Windows program is made bad enough not to reach the promised speed.

  4. Interesting product. They say it is written in C++ and is possibly a lot faster than any java app you could make. Who knows though.

  5. I’ve also seen this tool, and it’s webpage. They are using Paypal to accept credit card payment. I suggest that anyone else who’s been hit by this tool, complain to Paypal.

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