Upgrading the comment spam protection

Now that everything is off the old servers, it seemed a good time to reassess my spam filtering. This blog is run using WordPress and so far it’s been relatively spam-free, but some referrer spam has begun to leak into my logs and a few inappropriate comments and trackbacks have appeared lately. My other blog is one of a number I host using MovableType and they (probably in large part because of their good google rankings) tend to get inundated with comment and trackback spam.

Up until now I had been using MT-Blacklist to filter incoming comments and that has done a great job, stopping over 20,000 comment spams in the past few months. But too many have still been leaking through and now that I’m responsible for my own server configuration my concern to keep load down has increased. So I’ve set up mod_security and used blacklist_to_modsec to convert my blacklist to a general filter list that’s applied server-wide.

Behind that, MT-Blacklist remains in place and will stay there until the next beta of SpamLookup appears. I’ve heard nothing but praise for SpamLookup and was planning to install it last night, but noting that the second beta was withdrawn I thought I might as well wait for the next one. We’ll see how long that takes…

Most of the installation was straightforward. It’s nice to be back to using debian, and the only problem it gave me was due to the fact that I had installed PHP5 from source and therefore didn’t have a ‘.info’ file for it. It didn’t take long to roll one that stopped the errors. I also saw errors when trying to get blacklist up and running on the new machine, in particular:

Storable binary image v2.7 more recent than I am

This thread helped me get a better idea of what was causing the error, but not much of how to solve it. In the end I reinitialized the blacklist, and all was well.

I sincerely doubt that this is the last I’ll see of comment spam, but hopefully there’ll be a lot less from now on, and perhaps there’ll finally be a reduction in the referrer spam that’s been wrecking my logs of late.

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1 comment

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