User:Jcps31/Spambot investigation

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I am a private investigator, and was hired to investigate spambots and to find out who was responsible for them. This was done at the request of a client in South-West England. He won't be named here, for privacy reasons, but he asked me to disclose the information publicly. A spambot has been attacking various Wikimedia projects creating them in the form of Talk:PAGENAME/w/index.php - sometimes in Wikipedia/Wikiquote/books/news namespaces as well and related variants including:


My research has discovered who is behind this. Apparently, it seems, members of well-known British girl bands have been creating these pages, from various computers.

From the girl groups:

  1. User talk:Magnus Manske/w/index.php · activity log
  2. Talk:Main Page/index.php · activity log
  3. Talk:Main Page/w/index.php · activity log
  4. Talk:Main Page/w/w/index.php · activity log
  5. Talk:Main Page/wiki/Talk:Main Page/w/index.php · activity log
  6. Talk:Main Page/wiki/Talk:Main Page/w/wiki/Talk:Main Page/wiki/Talk:Main Page/w/index.php · activity log
  7. Talk:Main Page/wiki/Talk:Main Page/w/wiki/Talk:Main Page/wiki/Talk:Main Page/w/wiki/Talk:Main Page/wiki/Talk:Main Page/w/wiki/Talk:Main Page/wiki/Talk:Main Page/w/index.php · activity log
  8. Talk:Main Page/wiki/Template talk:In the news/Archive 15/ · activity log
  9. Talk:Main Page/wiki/Wikipedia:Polling is not a substitute for discussion/ · activity log
  10. Talk:Main Page/wiki/Wikipedia:Polling is not a substitute for discussion/wiki/Talk:Main Page/wiki/Wikipedia:Polling is not a substitute for discussion/ · activity log
  11. Talk:Main Page/wiki/Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines/ · activity log
  12. Talk:Main Page/wiki/Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines/index.php · activity log
  13. Talk:Main Page/wiki/Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines/w/index.php · activity log
  14. Talk:Main Page/wiki/Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines/w/w/index.php · activity log
  15. User talk:Malcolm Farmer/w/index.php · activity log
  16. Talk:Malware/ · activity log
  17. Talk:Max Mayfield/index.php · activity log
  18. Talk:Max Robinson/index.php · activity log
  19. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Help:Starting a new page/w/wiki/Help talk:Starting a new page/w/index.php · activity log
  20. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Newgrounds bbs/w/index.php · activity log
  21. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/W/index.php · activity log
  22. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Phpbb/w/index.php · activity log
  23. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/PhpBB/w/index.php · activity log
  24. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Wikipedysta:Marmez/w/index.php · activity log
  25. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Glavna stranica /w/index.php · activity log
  26. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Pennfolenn/w/index.php · activity log
  27. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Deletion reform/Proposals/w/index.php · activity log
  28. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Featured topic candidates/w/wiki/Wikipedia talk:Featured topic candidates/w/index.php · activity log
  29. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Laurent Banide · activity log
  30. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Georg Michael Telemann · activity log
  31. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/W/index.php · activity log
  32. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Phpbb/w/index.php · activity log
  33. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Pennfolenn/w/index.php · activity log
  34. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Phpbb/w/index.php · activity log
  35. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/W/index.php · activity log
  36. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/W/index.php · activity log
  37. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/W/index.php · activity log
  38. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Magnus von Wedderkop · activity log
  39. Talk:Morality/ · activity log
  40. Talk:Multi-scale approaches/w/index.php · activity log
  41. Wikipedia talk:Multilingual coordination/archives/ · activity log
  42. User talk:Mzajac/w/index.php · activity log
  43. Talk:New York World Journal Tribune/w/index.php · activity log
  44. Talk:North Carolina Progress Board/ · activity log
  45. Talk:North/w/index.php · activity log
  46. Wikipedia talk:Noticeboard for India-related topics/Archive 8/w/index.php · activity log
  47. Wikipedia talk:Notice board for India-related topics/Kerala/w/index.php · activity log
  48. Wikipedia talk:Notice board for India-related topics/w/index.php · activity log
  49. Wikipedia talk:Notice board for India-related topics/w/w/index.php · activity log
  50. Wikipedia talk:Notice board for India-related topics/wiki/Wikipedia talk:Notice board for India-related topics/w/index.php · activity log
  51. Wikipedia talk:Notice board for Pakistan-related topics/ · activity log
  52. Wikipedia talk:Noticeboard for India-related topics/w/index.php · activity log
  53. Talk:Participatory action research/w/index.php · activity log
  54. Wikipedia talk:Peer review/w/index.php · activity log
  55. Talk:Phorum/ · activity log
  56. Talk:Phorum/w/index.php · activity log
  57. Talk:Phorum/wiki/Talk:Phorum/ · activity log
  58. User talk:Pilaf/wiki/User talk:Pilaf/Live Preview/ · activity log
  59. User talk:Pilaf/wiki/User talk:Pilaf/Live Preview/w/index.php · activity log
  60. User talk:Pilaf/wiki/User talk:Pilaf/Live Preview/wiki/User talk:Pilaf/wiki/User talk:Pilaf/Live Preview/ · activity log
  61. Template talk:Politics of Sri Lanka/ · activity log
  62. Portal talk:Portugal/ · activity log
  63. Talk:POST/ · activity log
  64. Talk:Posting system/ · activity log
  65. Talk:Posting system/index.php · activity log
  66. Talk:Preview/ · activity log
  67. Template talk:Project missing articles/ · activity log
  68. User talk:Project2501a/w/index.php · activity log
  69. Category talk:Protected against spambots/w/index.php · activity log
  70. Talk:Q-tips/index.php · activity log
  71. Wikipedia talk:Questions/w/index.php · activity log
  72. Wikipedia talk:Reference desk/wiki/Wikipedia talk:Reference desk/ · activity log
  73. Wikipedia talk:Regional notice boards/index.php · activity log
  74. Template talk:Reproductive physiology/ · activity log
  75. Template talk:Reproductive physiology/w/index.php · activity log
  76. Wikipedia talk:Request for comments/wiki/Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment/Striver/ · activity log
  77. Wikipedia talk:Requests for arbitration/Waldorf education/Review/w/index.php · activity log
  78. Wikipedia talk:Requests for arbitration/Zeq/Workshop/w/index.php · activity log
  79. Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment/w/w/index.php · activity log
  80. Wikipedia talk:Requests for mediation/VBulletin/w/index.php · activity log
  81. Wikipedia talk:Requests for mediation/wiki/Invision Power Board/ · activity log
  82. Wikipedia talk:Requests for mediation/wiki/Invision Power Board/wiki/Wikipedia talk:Requests for mediation/wiki/Invision Power Board/ · activity log
  83. Wikipedia talk:Reward board/ · activity log
  84. Wikipedia talk:Reward board/w/index.php · activity log
  85. User talk:Rfrisbie/Archive/w/index.php · activity log
  86. Talk:Rick Santorum/w/w/index.php · activity log
  87. Talk:RMS Queen Mary/ · activity log
  88. Talk:ROOT/ · activity log
  89. Talk:ROOT/index.php · activity log
  90. Talk:ROOT/wiki/Talk:ROOT/index.php · activity log
  91. Talk:Ros Kelly/ · activity log
  92. Talk:Rugby League Tri-Nations/ · activity log
  93. User talk:Rydel/ · activity log
  94. Talk:Sandbox/ · activity log
  95. Talk:Scientific journal/ · activity log
  96. User talk:Sean/Talk/wiki/User talk:Sean/Talk/w/index.php · activity log
  97. Talk:Send/ · activity log
  98. Talk:Signboard/ · activity log
  99. Talk:Skateboarding trick/ · activity log
  100. Talk:Skateboarding trick/wiki/Talk:Skateboarding trick/ · activity log
  101. Talk:Skateboarding/ · activity log
  102. Talk:Skateboarding/wiki/Talk:Skateboarding/ · activity log
  103. User talk:Skysmith/w/index.php · activity log
  104. Talk:Snowboarding/ · activity log
  105. Talk:Spamdexing/ · activity log
  106. Template talk:Sri Lankan Conflict/ · activity log
  107. Talk:Smashing Orange/w/index.php · activity log
  108. Help talk:Starting a new page/w/index.php · activity log
  109. Help talk:Starting a new page/wiki/Montreal Forum/ · activity log
  110. Help talk:Starting a new page/wiki/National Heritage Board/ · activity log
  111. Help talk:Starting a new page/wiki/Talk:Main Page/ · activity log
  112. Help talk:Starting a new page/wiki/Talk:Main Page/index.php · activity log
  113. Talk:Sudoku/w/index.php · activity log
  114. User talk:SunStar Net/w/index.php · activity log
  115. Talk:Tabula rasa/ · activity log
  116. Wikipedia talk:Talk page guidelines/w/index.php · activity log
  117. Wikipedia talk:Talk page guidelines/wiki/Wikipedia talk:Talk page guidelines/ · activity log
  118. Help talk:Talk page/ · activity log
  119. Wikipedia talk:Talk page/ · activity log
  120. Talk:Talk talk:Grandfather paradox/w/wiki/Talk:Grandfather paradox/w/index.php · activity log
  121. Talk:Talk/w/index.php · activity log
  122. Talk:Tea Board of India/ · activity log
  123. Talk:Template/ · activity log
  124. Wikipedia talk:Templates for deletion/Log/Not deleted/August 2005/w/index.php · activity log
  125. Wikipedia talk:Thailand-related topics notice board/Archive 1/ · activity log
  126. Wikipedia talk:Thailand-related topics notice board/w/index.php · activity log
  127. Wikipedia talk:The Business and Economics Forum/ · activity log
  128. Talk:The Scream/ · activity log — Especially egregrous spambot target, deleted about 10 times
  129. Talk:The Scream/index.php · activity log
  130. Talk:The Scream/w/index.php · activity log
  131. Talk:The Space Merchants/index.php · activity log
  132. Talk:Topic-prominent language/ · activity log
  133. Talk:Total cost of ownership/ · activity log
  134. Template talk:Toyota cars/index.php · activity log
  135. Talk:Trackback/ · activity log
  136. Talk:Trackback/index.php · activity log
  137. Talk:TrackBack/ · activity log
  138. Talk:TrackBack/index.php · activity log
  139. Talk:Trans fat/w/index.php · activity log
  140. Talk:Transsexual/Archive 2/ · activity log
  141. Template talk:Tumors/ · activity log
  142. Talk:Unbibium/ · activity log
  143. Template talk:Urologicals/ · activity log
  144. Talk:User/w/index.php · activity log
  145. Talk:V sign/index.php · activity log


It also appears to have been done by contestants on British reality TV show "The X-Factor", and all the spammers appear to be female.

However, on en.wikipedia, the following spambot pages WERE NOT created by these people:

  1. en:w:Talk:Ford Focus/w/index.php - not by these people
  2. Talk:Obesity/w/Talk:Obesity/w/Talk:Obesity/w/Talk:Obesity/index.php - same source as above one.

The IP warned about this doesn't appear to have done any more pages, so we can assume they've stopped.

and all the Talk:Comparison of Internet forum software/w/index.php and variant pages were created, instead, by a group of students in the United Kingdom.

From the English Wikipedia:

  1. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Pennfolenn/w/index.php · activity log
  2. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Phpbb/w/index.php · activity log
  3. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/W/index.php · activity log
  4. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/W/index.php · activity log
  5. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/W/index.php · activity log
  6. Wikipedia talk:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Magnus von Wedderkop · activity log
  7. Talk:Morality/ · activity log
  8. Talk:Multi-scale approaches/w/index.php · activity log
  9. Wikipedia talk:Multilingual coordination/archives/ · activity log
  10. User talk:Mzajac/w/index.php · activity log
  11. Talk:New York World Journal Tribune/w/index.php · activity log
  12. Talk:North Carolina Progress Board/ · activity log
  13. Talk:North/w/index.php · activity log

These pages were bot-created by another group of people, who appear to be using zombie computers, according to research.