Begun, the Spam War has…

OK, to recap: for the last week or so, I’ve been busy with work and stuff – and in between, I spent many a time deleting comment spam from this blog.

Having noticed an alarming increase in the number of comment spam being attracted to this site, I decided to rethink my present defences.

First thing I did was to reinstall MT 3.14. Now in case you’re wondering why I needed to that, well, read on. The first version of MT that I had installed was 3.11. Then when 3.14 came out (with many bug fixes), I decided to upgrade. Now, to upgrade, you didn’t have to download the full MT installation package. You could just download the upgrade package, and then run an upgrade CGI script which will do all the work for you and keep your present configuration.

Unfortunately, when I ran the upgrade script, it returned some kind of error. Granted, it didn’t seem to cause any obvious problems, but I wanted to make sure everything under the hood was OK before I launched my own personal war against the spammers.

So a full MT install was made. (Ironically, just a day after I reinstalled 3.14, Six Apart came out with 3.15. Fortunately, they’ve also released a plugin for those not wishing to upgrade completely just yet.)

Next step was to install the much-hyped (at least in the blogging world la…) rel=”nofollow” plugin. To know more about this plugin, read this.

Then, of course, I included in my arsenal the “Swiss Army Knife” of spam defences – Jay Allen‘s MT-Blacklist.

Powerful tool, this – as long as you use it correctly.

I next followed a recommendation from Elise’s blog and changed the names of the comment and trackback CGI scripts to something else, just to elude the more stupid spammers out there.

The result, as it stands currently, seems satisfactory. No comment spam has made it’s way past these defences (which is a hugely refreshing change from the nearly-100-per-day spams I’ve been getting over the last 7 days or so).

Of course, I cannot rest on my laurels. One needs to be constantly vigilant against this menace, but as Adam Kalsey states so defiantly of spammers in his Comment Spam Manifesto:

Each time you rise out of the muck we will strike you down and send you back to the hole you crawled out of.

Bring it on.

UPDATE 1: Also tweaked the .htaccess file, added robots.txt, and finally ‘encouraging’ ‘requiring’ (‘forcing’ seems to be too harsh a word) readers/commentors to preview comments before posting. (See method #6 on Elise’s entry).
UPDATE 2: Closed old comments. Works a treat, this. Used Mark Cunningham‘s mt-close2 script. Download it here.

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8 thoughts on “Begun, the Spam War has…”

  1. BW: Hopefully Rafa’s comments about how he wants to build Liverpool around Stevie G will convince the kipper to remain here next season…

  2. the term I’d like to suggest that is more accurate than “encouraging” but not as harsh as “forcing” would be “requiring.” Hee!

  3. Hani: Thank you. Your suggestion has been implemented. 😉

    Buaya: A newbie, eh? Then I suggest WordPress. Fast to install, easy to use. Good luck – if you need any assistance, you can mail me or of course, Mr LcF himself… 😀

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