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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Google Code Hosting Abused for Spam

Spammers have found a way to try abuse the Google Code Hosting project. Originally, Code Hosting was and is meant as a platform to store and manage your open source projects. Including an issues tracker, a download section, and source access. Plus a descriptive frontpage which allows things like text, links, and pictures. Now look at what one user of the service made with that front page:

A screenshot from (if you want to visit that page, best to not click the links on it) [Update: that page has now been removed by Google.]

Below the headline “Free Gay [and so on] Movie”, an abundance of 509 searcher-luring adult keywords are pasted, with several phrases throughout printed in bold. The “embedded movie” with an animated loading symbol isn’t one at all: it’s a GIF image merely looking like a video. Click it, and you’ll be taken to another site (, which my browser warns me from using due to it being an “attack site” which may “steal private information, use your computer to attack others, or damage your system.”

Whether this Code Hosting approach works for the spammer is hard to tell. The links from the spammy page in question are nofollowed (meaning they don’t pass any Googlejuice), but the page itself is indexed and thus may attract visitors, depending on how well Google ranks it. I stumbled upon one of these pages while looking for how swear words are used in code, but had to include omitted results from inactive projects before these showed up... so it may not add noise to normal Code Hosting searches, at least.

The owner of above spam page, “yhusirecebi5440”, only has one other project (one of similar nature, too). But searching Google Code for just some of the adult keywords used, you’ll stumble on hundreds of similar pages by users like “ysomahymura21635”, “kyboqosyherykim8057”, or “ymaqadoolyjagi”... the latter the creator of the remarkably dubious GNU-licensed project Fnfdkfszxi.Google Code Hosting Abuse ... by Philipp Lenssen | Comments (10)


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