Checking to see whether I had any comments to check the other day I found I had over 200 comments awaiting my approval.
“My God.. who have I offended now”, I wondered.
As it turned out, a new Moveable Type Spammer had found my site. Most often Comment and Trackback SPAM is caught by a number of rules that I have in place.
I use a MT Plugin called SpamLookup and it works very well. None of the above comments made it on my blog as it automatically Moderated all of them.
SpamLookup has a number of methods by which is blocks SPAM. You can have it automatically delete the comment or moderate it. I prefer to moderate in case some coments get deleted that are valid. I could set it to auto delete seeing as to get labeled as comment/trackback SPAM you have to enter some very SPAM like comments, but I have never trusted automatic rules 100%.
Another method I use is to have a look at my server logs to determine who is viewing what and where from.
You’d never believe me if I said the bulk of comment/trackback SPAM comes from China (get away!!!), Mexico, Thailand, Korea and the odd batch from the USA.
You can tell the USA ones are the occaisional amature who thinks they are about to make a quick buck, because they are not too clever about hiding who they are.
Every now and then, I pull out those who have attempted to SPAM my blog from the server logs and I add them to my .htaccess file.
Even though the spammers are blocked from posting SPAM to my blog, they are still calling the scripts that post comments, which in turn calls the plugin that verifies the comment, which in turn calls an external site (in some cases) to verify the source of the SPAM.
All of this activity uses up bandwidth but more importantly it uses up processing time on my webserver. This has the effect of slowing down the whole system.
In the case of this blog and this webserver, it is a share server. This means that I am not the only person who has an account on that specific computer hosting the webserver. Most often, around 20 accounts probably exist on a share server.
So by placing them in to my .htaccess file I am preventing them from even reaching my MT Scripts and thus reducing the load on my server.
Here are the contents of my .htaccess file:
deny from 126.96.36.199
deny from 188.8.131.52
deny from 184.108.40.206
deny from 220.127.116.11
deny from 18.104.22.168
deny from 22.214.171.124
deny from 126.96.36.199
deny from 188.8.131.52
deny from 184.108.40.206
deny from 220.127.116.11
deny from 18.104.22.168
deny from 22.214.171.124
deny from 126.96.36.199
deny from 188.8.131.52
deny from 184.108.40.206
deny from 220.127.116.11
deny from 18.104.22.168
deny from 22.214.171.124
deny from 126.96.36.199
deny from 188.8.131.52
deny from 184.108.40.206
deny from 220.127.116.11
allow from all
All of the above addresses are either known Comment/Trackback spammers, or ones that I have picked up from my server logs.