Spam attacks

Unfortunately, effective immediately, I’ve had to increase the level of comment moderation due to a spam attack that’s been underway nearly 24 hours. First-time commenters now must have their comments approved before they’ll appear on this site; anyone who’s previously posted will be able to comment as normal.

Previously, I’ve had periodic spam attacks—in which spammers place “comments” intended to drive traffic to their own site(s). Those earlier attacks always tripped the spam filters on my site, but the latest attacks got around the filters. I got sick of marking them as spam and deleting them, generally at least once an hour.

So, thanks to spammers, I’ve been forced to make commenting a little more difficult. I really am sorry for the inconvenience, but I had no choice.

Update 25/10/08: I received a lot of suggestions (thanks everyone!), but unfortunately, I couldn’t make any of them work. Then Mark from Slap Upside The Head left a comment and made a suggestion I couldn’t follow up on at the the time (and my reply details that, along with my general frustration). I’m pleased to report that with Akismet running, I haven’t had to manually delete a single spam comment—it’s caught them all (12 since I installed it late last night). That’s out of a total of 93 spam comments, most of which either I or the low-level filter had already caught.

But I’m wondering: Is WordPress uniquely vulnerable for some reason, or does Blogger just take care of this behind the scenes? In any event, so far the tighter security is working, so I can get back to things that are far more interesting—like trying to figure out how to pronounce “Akismet”.


3 thoughts on “Spam attacks

  1. I assume you’re already using Akismet to filter spam as well? Since enabling my guestbook (the only page that allows comments on my site), I get hundreds of spam messages a day! Akismet catches nearly all of them! I might get a spam leak through once every couple of weeks.

    I also recall using a plugin on an earlier blog of mine that enabled comment moderation on posts only if they were past a certain age. Spam comments tend to appear on older posts, so this allowed people to comment without moderation on new posts, and ones that were a few weeks older would get moderated. Sadly, I don’t remember the name of the plugin, but even if I did it was on such an old version of WordPress that it likely has changed since then.

  2. I supposedly have Akismet available, but I need a WordPress API, and the computer gods won’t let me have a WordPress ID (so far), so no Akismet.

    I’ve tried about a half dozen plug-ins, and none of them work. Some probably would if I knew how to tweak PHP and other geeky stuff like that. I’m just a user, not a programmer, and most plug-ins demand an intimate knowledge of coding and all sorts of bizarre acronyms I don’t understand. I speak English, more or less, and if it can’t be explained to me in my native language, it’s beyond me.

    Okay, so I know that programmers look down their noses at people like me, but I never pretended to be more than a user of technology. I say, “Don’t make me fix it, just make it work in the first place!”

    So, for the time being, I have to manually mark spam messages as such because I don’t understand what to do and won’t pay some geek to sort it out for me. I’m planning on buying “WordPress for Dummies”, since that’s what I apparently am, though I doubt I’ll be any better off when I have it.

    And, of course, I’m quite happy to leave my personal blog at Blogspot. It may be limited, but at least I don’t have to study Computer Science to use it!

  3. While I was typing my previous comment, WordPress responded to my error report, and after submitting a second error report I finally got the API I needed so Akismet is now running. Step one is done.

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