February 14, 2005

Spam Assault.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:42 pm

Over the weekend, I found myself on the wrong end of a merciless comment and trackback spam attack. While dealing with these vermin is never fun and is always time consuming, MT Blacklist makes the process tolerable. With a couple clicks, MT Blacklist deletes the spam, rebuilds the entries, and imports the offending URL into the Blacklist, thereby assuring that future spam containing the offending URL will be blocked before I ever see it.

However, when MT Blacklist is not working properly, as was the case this weekend, an attack that would normally just be a routine royal pain in the ass becomes downright maddening. This weekend, for techno-reasons beyond my ken, MT Blacklist would delete the spam and rebuild the entries, but it would not permit the importing of the URLs contained in the spam. As such, there was nothing blocking the ensuing onslaught. Trying to delete the crap faster than it came in was like trying to kill a zillion ants by stepping on them. It made reading or writing impossible.

I finally gave up, hoping that by today whatever was wrong with MT Blacklist would somehow “fix itself.” When it didn’t, I did what I have done in the past in such circumstances. “Craig!!!!!!!

I wrote to Craig, raving like a nutbar explaining my problem. Craig provides the home for this blog and has always been willing to help, even if it means interrupting his life (as was the case last Easter), or dealing with my problems when he is sick (as was the case today).

He looked into the problem and learned that the best fix would be a download and installation of the latest versions of Movable Type and MT Blacklist. In a few minutes, he had me up and running and re-armed to deal with the scum of the earth doing their damnedest to foul this site.

I have often said that Craig is the nicest guy in the Blogosphere, and he proved it once again today. I owe him big time.


  1. Ditto re: Craig.

    And re: MT — maybe it’s time to consider WP…? 🙂

    Comment by david — February 15, 2005 @ 7:29 am

  2. I had the same problem and have decided to just throw out everything and close both comments and pings. I am glad to see you still have commments open but I just don’t have the time to deal with this nonsense anymore.

    Comment by Starhawk — February 15, 2005 @ 8:22 am

  3. You would be entirely correct in Craig’s abilities and without such I suspect we would be still getting much of the same crap. Keep up the good work and steady forward 🙂

    Comment by Michael Erickson — February 15, 2005 @ 9:33 am

  4. jim…here’s a simple fix…get an “mt-close” program and close your older comments. this completely eliminates the need for any kind of banning or blacklist program. you can configure the program to close comments at any point. i leave comments open on posts 7 days and less…the rest get closed. Frankly, what I’ve noticed is very few of my posts older than 7 days get comments anyways…if someone’s gonna comment, they’re gonna do it soon after my post goes up.

    Honest to God, this worked perfectly for me. I was getting 300-400 spams a DAY and now I get none.

    The best thing is that the program I use isnt a plugin and doesnt require complicated coding…it just gets ftp’d to your cgi-bin, you run it and dats it.

    Let me know if you want to use it and I’ll get you set up…

    Comment by mr. helpful — February 15, 2005 @ 11:57 am

  5. It was the universe out to get us this weekend, I swear. Gigglechick had similar problems, and my PC was brought to its knees by something that got through my McAfee anti-virus program. Said PC is now in the shop getting unpolluted.

    Comment by Shamrock — February 15, 2005 @ 3:27 pm

  6. It’s all naked self-interest. If PRS went off the air, I don’t know what I’d read!

    Comment by Craig — February 15, 2005 @ 8:05 pm

  7. There’s some code that some lovely bastard put out for WP, and it’s decent. I don’t have any experience with MT so comparin’ the two for me would be like pissin’ up a rope, which I ain’t gonna do. I will say this though, those bastards were makin’ my miserable blog life hell for a while. Now, WP Balcklist get’s most of ’em, and when I get one it don’t know about, I can add it. And I do. I had a measley 50 emails from those “f***tards” this mornin’. WP Blacklist wacked ’em all.

    Here’s to hopin’ you avoid the spammers in the future, and be sure to send Chris some good liquor for, well, just for the hell of it.

    Comment by RedNeck — February 15, 2005 @ 8:10 pm

  8. Is there anyway to get mt-close to close trackback pings as well as comments?

    Comment by Jack Bog — February 16, 2005 @ 12:47 am

  9. Paul saved me. Check with him at Light and Dark if the problems persist.

    Comment by Acidman — February 16, 2005 @ 1:53 am

  10. Craig is one of the nicest guys around, absolutely.

    I’ve starting using a little script that closes both comments AND trackbacks. It’s really easy to use, you can pick how many days back you want it to start. (It defaults to 5.) Craig could probably install it for you in a few minutes.

    It’s definitely stopped my spamming problem. And I don’t have to mess with the MT-blacklist.

    Comment by Rita — February 16, 2005 @ 7:37 am

  11. Is there a link for that script?

    That is basically what I have been doing by hand for the last week and I regret having posted as much as I did on some days.

    Comment by Starhawk — February 20, 2005 @ 11:45 am

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