05 January 2007

Blog Trapping++

While working on this month's 'Blog Tripping' post for About Chess (URL not yet available), I encountered two blogs that had been hijacked. Both were on the blogspot.com domain and had not been updated for a few months. The first link went to a shopping site. I forget where the second went; it triggered a virus warning which forced me to close the page immediately and run a scan on my disk. I'm not going to repeat the exercise.

I downloaded the page source for both sites (right-click on the link) and saw that the original chess blog pages had been changed substantially. The shopping page had text related to a mortgage company and yielded no obvious clue how it was redirected to another domain. The virus page contained portions of the original chess blog along with an encoded javascript function.

How were these blogs hijacked? A Google search on 'blog hijack' led to a few pages which indicated password theft and pointed to more information on the Google Blogger Forum.


A post titled The chess blogging boom (susanpolgar.blogspot.com) caught my eye because it showed some typical confusion about counts on Google searches. A comment by DG (boylston-chess-club.blogspot.com) corrected the misunderstanding and continued, 'I would estimate that there are about 250-350 active chess blogs (where active = at least one post in the last 30 days).'

This number seemed high to me. I typically count about 75 blogs updated in the previous month plus another 40 active in the past six months. Since DG usually knows what he is talking about, I'll have to compare the BCC blogroll with my database of blogs. I haven't done this since end-May. One difference might be that I track only English language blogs.


The last point today is a follow-up to Software for Chess Blogs. This page...

ChessImager - Add images to your blog the easy way

...describes the parameters to control the appearance of the diagrams.

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