Spam and Vandals, part 2

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A few weeks ago I compared spammers to graffitti artists. I was talking to John from Inluminent about comment spam. Most of his spam seemed to be hand-entered and all came on older entries.

Looking over one of the entries that recently was spammed, I noticed that in addition to the recent spam, it had a spam comment from one of the Zip Code sites. Searching Google for links to that same zip code site turns up a whole lot of blogs that have been spammed. Most of the entries that have been spammed were first hit by the Zip code spammer, which was probably an automated spam bot. Then they have several, sometimes even dozens of comments with spam links to other sites.

So it appears that I’m right. Spammers are searching for sites with links to other spammers and then leaving comments themselves.

My suggestion is to monitor your comments and delete spam comments immediately. This will help keep spammers away from your site. And if you have entries that are attracting lots of comment spam, disable comments for those entries. I closed comments for the entry here that’s been attracting the most spam, SimpleComments. I figure at this point if anyone has anything to say, they can contact me directly.

Michael Bazeley
October 7, 2003 10:49 PM

Jay Allen has cobbled together a very spiffy Movable Type "solution" to the comment-spam problem. It uses a blacklist not of IP addresses, but of the links that the spammers are pimping. It's not perfect, but I'll be damned if it hasn't worked.

October 8, 2003 6:55 AM

Thanks for the link, M.B. I'll have to give that a try. I too am getting more and more comment spam as links to my site start to spread around the blogosphere. Some innovative solutions to this problem have been found in the e-mail arena, and I can't help but wonder if some of the same methods could be built into tools such as Movable Type and P-Machine. For example, I've used SpamNet and SAProxy for e-mail spam and found them both to be 90-95% effective. I suppose time will tell on this issue. Until the blogware providers start building anti-spam tools into their packages, it's up to the community to deal with the problem the best it can. Has anyone developing MT or P-Machine plugins tried combining the IP/URL banning together with the rules-based filtering of SpamAssassin or Bayesian solutions like Mozilla Mail?

October 10, 2003 11:23 PM

I found a captcha solution to the bot-spam that you may be interested in.

Trackback from Reflective Reality
October 10, 2003 11:26 PM

Automated Comment SPAM Solution

Excerpt: I now have a working captcha thanks to James Seng. I really don't care how much of a pain it is on the accessibility front, the spammers have driven me to finding a working solution. The don't allow comments from google searches hack also makes first t...

Brian Roche
October 29, 2003 10:41 AM

I just got pegged with a couple of Comment Spams yesterday. It's a little disturbing that enough of it is flurried through email, now they're posting in blogs, forums and the like. For now it's minimal, but I'd hate to see it get worse.

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