PDA

View Full Version : Hidden Pictures in a forum thread



Wiking
December 21st, 2011, 06:59 PM
Hi, on another site someone as a game has posted pictures in their thread. However the pictures aren't visible, some users claim to see the uploaded picuters.

The only clue is that the pictures are in the 'Micro-dot', in the '.com' text.

What does this mean? How can I view the pictures?

lisati
December 21st, 2011, 07:05 PM
A similar thing happens here from time to time. Most (all?) of the examples I've noticed are a form of spam, so healthy dose of good sense and discretion is advisable.

Wiking
December 21st, 2011, 07:09 PM
I sort of had my suspicions.

How can I atleast look at the code to see what it is?

micro-dot in .com text, would that be in the page source?

CharlesA
December 21st, 2011, 07:16 PM
If you quote them, you'll see any code that is there. At least in the standard editor (which is the one I'm using).

coffeecat
December 21st, 2011, 08:37 PM
@Wiking, look for off-site links to *.gif, *.jpg or *.php. If a link is there when you view the post in a quote (don't post anything! :)), but you can't see anything in the post, chances are it's a spammy post. It's a form of black-hat search engine optimisation. If you're at all suspicious, click on the http://ubuntuforums.org/images/buttons/report.gif button, send us a report and we'll deal with it.

As far as posting hidden images as a game, I don't know.

Dry Lips
December 22nd, 2011, 01:30 AM
I remember this. I reported such a post on this forum a while ago. It was a link hidden
in an img tag. When I tried out the address, it redirected to a .gif only 1*1px.
(There was no .gif in the original link).

Black hat SEO you say coffecat? How does that work? I mean, how can a link that points
to a small gif do anything to boost search engine optimisation?

coffeecat
December 22nd, 2011, 10:21 AM
Black hat SEO you say coffecat? How does that work? I mean, how can a link that points
to a small gif do anything to boost search engine optimisation?

I found this link that describes how it works for search optimisation. Although it doesn't specifically mention image links in forum posts, the process would still be the same.

http://www.seo-gold.com/blackhat-seo-hidden-links.html

It would seem that the method is ultimately self-defeating because Google penalises sites involved. I was shocked at how respectable some of the sites were that the images redirected to. My guess is that the respectable website owner employs an ethical SEO consultant who sub-contracts to someone else and so on, until the chain ends at some unethical outfit, all unknown to the original website owner.

Dry Lips
December 22nd, 2011, 05:16 PM
I found this link that describes how it works for search optimisation. Although it doesn't specifically mention image links in forum posts, the process would still be the same.

http://www.seo-gold.com/blackhat-seo-hidden-links.html

It would seem that the method is ultimately self-defeating because Google penalises sites involved. I was shocked at how respectable some of the sites were that the images redirected to. My guess is that the respectable website owner employs an ethical SEO consultant who sub-contracts to someone else and so on, until the chain ends at some unethical outfit, all unknown to the original website owner.

Thanks for that link coffeecat! I guess the fact that UF has a reasonably high
pagerank (pr6) makes it attractive to spammers.

ice60
December 22nd, 2011, 05:57 PM
sounds like a webbug -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_bug

you can filter them out with no script, mentioned on this page -
http://noscript.net/features

edit. i read the wiki page and it mentions ghostery http://www.ghostery.com/

it's supposed to be good, i heard about it on security now, i think noscript and ghostery can work together ok

coffeecat
December 22nd, 2011, 06:19 PM
you can filter them out with no script, mentioned on this page -
http://noscript.net/features

This misses a very important point. Filtering out the spam does nothing to control the spammer. Let us be clear - these are spammers misusing the facilities and bandwidth of the forum. Also - they are abusing the goodwill and helpfulness of forum members. Unlike ordinary obvious spam, the posts are often credible - at least on the surface - often because they are copy and paste jobs from other forums. They mislead members who post helpful replies. The spammers are not interested in the replies, only in posting their links.

I spent a couple of hours cleaning up after these spam accounts the other day. Quite a few of these spam posts had detailed responses from members, which had to be jailed along with the spam posts. My time was wasted. The other members' time was wasted.

Please, everyone, if you detect such posts, or suspect them, please do not content yourself with filtering them out. Please report them so that they can be dealt with properly by staff.

ice60
December 22nd, 2011, 06:46 PM
This misses a very important point. Filtering out the spam does nothing to control the spammer. Let us be clear - these are spammers misusing the facilities and bandwidth of the forum. Also - they are abusing the goodwill and helpfulness of forum members. Unlike ordinary obvious spam, the posts are often credible - at least on the surface - often because they are copy and paste jobs from other forums. They mislead members who post helpful replies. The spammers are not interested in the replies, only in posting their links.

I spent a couple of hours cleaning up after these spam accounts the other day. Quite a few of these spam posts had detailed responses from members, which had to be jailed along with the spam posts. My time was wasted. The other members' time was wasted.

Please, everyone, if you detect such posts, or suspect them, please do not content yourself with filtering them out. Please report them so that they can be dealt with properly by staff.
for me i either block them or not, but either way i'm unaware it's happening. i remember an old windows program which can alert you to web bugs, proxomitron, it works under wine.
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r1290731-Proxomitron-1.11-Release

there's ghostery too here's a podcast about it -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPj-OQ8BXN8
or
http://www.grc.com/sn/sn-305.htm

that's the best i can do, sorry :)