I'm typically here on a daily basis, so you can pretty much assume I already know about this when it happens. That said, I'm a moderator, not an admin, so all I can do about it is alert the admins. I did so, and asked about the common cause. The response I got was:
Typically it comes from spam users who include pictures in their sig
or their post that redirect to some other host that includes malware
(which is why you see it listed that we never host malware, but link
to it). Often times it's hard to even find because by the time we get
listed, the post is gone after being marked as spam.
It's a cat and mouse game, for sure. :-/
I blow away these kinds of posts all of the time. Safari shows them as broken images. Firefox doesn't show them at all, so you have to pay attention to the contents of the post. There will typically be 4 or 5 image links. If you see these, report the post. And for the love of Zeus don't quote the posts. When I ban spammers, I delete their posts, but that doesn't address any quoted posts, so their spammy links live on and are harder to find.
Characteristics to look for:
- New user, and/or low (<10) post count
- Content will either be a copy-paste of some other post (or part of a post) in the thread, or so generic that it doesn't necessarily apply to that particular thread. "Thanks for posting this", etc.
- Any image link in which the post does not specifically address the image. Like I said, these typically appear as broken in Safari. On Firefox (not sure about Chrome), if you reply to the specific post, you will see the contents and can see the image links. DO NOT POST IT AGAIN. Simply look at the contents.
- Sometimes they make a clean post without images, and then come back and edit the post to include images. So if you are participating in a thread and see one of these borderline posts, keep an eye on it.
Report any questionable posts ASAP.