Slamming the door on spammers
Sunday August 20th 2006, 8:46 pm

in a galaxy near you

If a businessman came by my house and reckoned he could spray paint his logo on my garage doors- for free- he’d likely not get away without picking rock salt out of his bum. Same goes for hairballs who comment and trackback spam mgk.

If garage door advertisers had free rein, I probably couldn’t afford to build a fence high enough to keep them out. mgk is quite another story.

Shields up, Mr Sulu!

You’ll never see a single word of spam on mgk or Suki Has An Opinion, thanks to a combination of Akismet, Bad Behavior and a very aggressive and painstakingly assembled IP banlist, built over the last 10 days. Want a copy to plug into your own .htaccess file? Just ask.

Many spammers deliberately misconfigure their spamservers, leaving out the PTR record. Without a PTR, you can’t ban a machine by its domain name i.e. ‘spammer.co.kr’ because the box doesn’t know ‘who’ it is- it only knows its ‘street address.’ My banlist does include some domain names, which do keep out the less determined sods, but if the spammer has misconfigured their servers, these won’t work. There’s several IP ranges included which shut off a number of ISPs who run misconfigured servers.

BAM! seeya

I started getting serious about blocking spammers by IP address around the 9th of August, 2006. You can see on the graph that spammers were eating up about 60-70% of the traffic to machinegunkeyboard.com. In July 2006, spammers very nearly pushed the data traffic to the point where I would have had to pay for a higher throughput hosting account. Umm, no fucking thank you.

What I don’t get is why anyone would pay a spammer to advertise their product. I’d sooner chew a wad of aluminium foil than buy a product sold by spamvertising. The spammers are ripping off the people paying to advertise and they’re ripping off website admins like me.

If you’re running a business and want to advertise, make sure you aren’t paying a spammer- it’s a sure way to business failure.

-weez

UPDATE: See Spamhuntress for great tips & tricks on how to stonewall the huns at the gate.


6 Comments so far
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A big, fat, spam-reduced thank you website admin Weez!

Comment by suki 08.21.06 @ 11:29 pm

Yeah, it’s pretty good right now, innit? We are down to 1-2 spams per day, where at one time Akismet was trapping 300 per day.

Funnily enough, despite spams never appearing on mgk or SHAO, the spammers are hitting us even harder, but to no avail. If they want to waste their time, fine- but that’s all they are accomplishing by trying to spam machinegunkeyboard.com.

Comment by weez 08.22.06 @ 9:13 am

Well done :)

Comment by Supamum 08.23.06 @ 1:19 pm

[...] I’ve taken Weez’s advice and installed Bad Behavior, which should hopefully eliminate the presence of spammers on KieranBennett.com. In the past I was moderating comments individually, hence the time it was taking for comments to appear on the blog, if the combination of Bad Behavior and Askimet proves effective, I’ll remove the moderation. [...]

Pingback by KieranBennett.com » Blog Archive » New Spam Blocker installed 08.31.06 @ 6:13 pm

It looks like you use WordPress. I actually use Spam Karma to filter for my blog. It works wonders, just check the bottom of my website to see a count of spams eaten. Pretty cool… anyway, I think you can visit http://www.unknowngenius.com to download and install it for free.

Comment by Jonathan Hernandez 09.08.06 @ 12:30 pm

Hi Jonathan, yep, it’s WordPress 2.04 at the moment.

Haven’t used SpamKarma just yet. The spam assault has reduced dramatically since the spammers have found out that they can’t actually post any messages here. They still get 2-3 per day through to the moderation queue, but those are easy enough to delete.

The ‘Worst Offenders’ modification of Akismet allows you to ban the originating IP, but I usually go one step further and search up the IP range. If it’s some podunk ISP, I’ll ban the whole range. If it’s a compromised machine on a cable acct in the USA or Australia, I’ll ban that individual IP as cable acct IPs can’t be easily changed.

Working so far!

Kieran, how are you going over there since installing BB?

Comment by weez 09.09.06 @ 7:52 am



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