Support » Plugin: Akismet Anti-Spam » Akismet continuously connects to my site and leads to 100% CPU

  • Resolved deechte


    In the beginning of June I updated my site to WordPress 4.9.6 and Akismet to the release that was available at that moment. Since then, my site was very slow, would even come to a standstill and become unreachable. Out of memory errors etc.

    I waited for a while to see if things would resolve itself, added some memory, tried out some other stuff, took a new update to Akismet 4.0.8. Then recently I discovered that my servers CPU was at 100% all the time. Then I saw that it had about 40 different httpd processes active.

    I then looked in the apache access log, which was huge and contained numerous entries like this one, several of those per second 24/7:
    a.b.c.d – – [05/Jul/2018:15:01:42 +0200] “POST /1.1/verify-key HTTP/1.1” 404 56773 “” “WordPress/4.9.6 | Akismet/4.0.8”
    Where a.b.c.d is my sites IP and efghijklmnop is my correct Akismet key.

    If I understand this correctly, Akismet is sending information to my server several times per second. Simply by closing port 80 for the outside world, my CPU would drop to normal levels ~5-10% immediately. For now, I’ve opened that port up again and disabled the Akismet pluging in WordPress, and my server is fine. CPU is fine and number of httpd processes is low.

    You might think that my site was spammed with huge quantities, but it isn’t. I have not had a single spam comment since I disabled Akismet. Frankly, my site just contains some family pictures and a personal blog of mine that nobody reads, so it isn’t very interesting for spammers. As a side note: the Akismet pluging says that it has prevented over 250.000 spam entries, which I deem highly impossible.

    What’s wrong here? Why is Akismet slowing my site down to a standstill?

    • This topic was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by  deechte.
Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Plugin Author Christopher Finke


    Hi @deechte,

    What it looks like is your own server is trying to contact [key], but is instead being redirected to itself, as if its hosts file says that the IP of [key] is

    What output do you get if, on your server, you run the command traceroute -I [yourkey]

    Hi Christopher,

    Thanks for jumping in!

    traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 60 byte packets
    1 gateway ( 1.085 ms 1.038 ms 1.397 ms
    2 ( 4.109 ms 4.108 ms 4.572 ms
    3 ( 4.561 ms 4.554 ms 4.540 ms
    4 ( 4.530 ms 4.523 ms 4.509 ms
    5 ( 4.933 ms 4.928 ms 4.921 ms
    6 ( 99.295 ms 98.350 ms 98.307 ms
    7 ( 99.487 ms 98.956 ms 98.897 ms
    8 ( 98.863 ms 101.058 ms 101.023 ms
    9 ( 99.696 ms 101.239 ms 101.183 ms
    10 ( 100.644 ms 100.656 ms 100.644 ms
    11 ( 107.840 ms 109.320 ms 109.275 ms
    12 ( 111.147 ms 111.000 ms 110.956 ms
    13 ( 102.663 ms 102.644 ms 102.640 ms
    14 ( 103.466 ms 103.573 ms 103.533 ms
    15 * * *
    16 ( 102.549 ms 102.458 ms 102.420 ms

    Does Akismet’s server redirect my server’s POST back to where it came from when there’s a problem with my subscription perhaps?

    Plugin Author Christopher Finke


    No, there’s no redirection; if there’s a problem with the subscription, it would just return the text “invalid”.

    The traceroute looks normal. Can you run this command and see what response you get?

    curl -d "key=[yourkey]&" -X POST https://[yourkey]

    I’d expect it to respond “valid”. If it responds with “invalid” or anything else, we’ll have something to investigate.

    Hello Christopher,

    I’ve run the command and the respone is “valid”.

    Best regards

    curl -d “key=[yourkey]&” -X POST https://[yourkey]

    Plugin Author Christopher Finke


    @deechte, I just want to confirm that I’m looking into this. I should have something for you to try after the weekend.

    Thank you Christopher, I’m looking forward to it!

    Plugin Author Christopher Finke


    @deechte, can you email me at so I can send you a small plugin for debugging what’s happening when your server makes calls to verify your API key?

    Hi, Cristopher.

    Did you figure out deechte’s problem?
    My website is also leading to 100% ultimately. I contacted my hosting company and they said that Akismet has been running some slow scripts.

    I’m using WordPress 4.9.8 with Flat Theme 1.7.11

    Thanks in advance.

    Plugin Author Christopher Finke


    @batera We found that Jetpack’s Sharing Buttons module was causing lots of requests to be made to the Akismet API; disabling that module fixed (temporarily) the problem for @deechte. (I’m marking this thread as resolved, since the bug has been forwarded on to the Jetpack team.)

    Are you running Jetpack? If so, try that; if not, e-mail me at and we can work through the problem there.

    @cfinke I don’t use Jetpack, but I’m pretty sure that my CPU overload is due to the WordPress theme I’m using. I read some negative reports on the internet about the theme. So, first, I will replace it and test again.

    Thanks for the fast response!

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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