Thanks for the info - I'll have to add these IP addresses to my HOSTS file.
Really, don't these jerks have anything better to do with their time?
I have a feeling that many of them literally have nothing better to do because they aren't even human - or any other species of living thing. I think they're some sort of robot. We just got a bunch of posts from spammers, and the usernames all fit a basic pattern (two capital letters followed by a random "surname"), so it looks to me like they were auto-generated by a script. These "users" each posted a long list of links that are supposedly download links to random PDFs. I'm guessing the names of these PDFs were gathered by a Web crawler. I haven't clicked these links, and I don't suggest clicking them yourself, because I'm not sure where they actually go. Although by the time you're reading this, a mod may have deleted all of those spam posts anyway.
This is all guesswork on my part, and if someone knows more about these types of spam programs than I do and would like to weigh in here, feel free to do so. But a quick Google search reveals that there are lots of programs out there, like XRumer, that can automatically register for forums to spam them. See this thread on Stack Exchange: http://webmasters.st...-spambots-work/. Apparently, spambots are often used for black-hat SEO techniques, although I don't know enough about that to say for sure if that's what we're seeing here.
But as for the programmers who spend their time creating these things? There are so many better things they could be using their time and skills for. There are lots of companies that do actual productive work that are looking for people with software skills, and there are also plenty of open-source projects to contribute to.
Edited by Joshua Reynard, 12 September 2016 - 05:35 AM.