Comment Spam Stuff
I thought this might have some interest: http://simon.incutio.com/archive/2003/10/13/linkRedirects
If you (the spammer) can spare the bandwith to create tons of email accounts, set up scripts to check them repeatedly for emails and click on all links … then I have several good ideas:
1) We’ll hunt you down using your ISP information, and a subpoena if necessary.
2) We’ll sign up your email account (after all, we know it’s valid) for some … uhm …. commercial email … bucket-loads of it … if the sheer volume of email doesn’t cause problems on it’s own, maybe paying for the bandwidth of clicking all those links will give you pause.
3) Maybe someone will even send you viruses, after all, we know your email address, and that you automatically process HTML email and click on links, and not everyone is as nice as I am.
4) If you think that’s nasty, wait until the guys over at 2600 hear we have the email accounts of spammers …
Honestly, I think the idea that a spammer would be willing to go to such lengths, and take such risks, just to post in your blog in the hopes of increasing his Google rating before you spot and delete his post … is a bit egotistical … but then, maybe my site’s just not very important.
The spammers now are willing to manually submit comment spam, so why shouldn’t they be willing to write up a small script that creates tons of e-mail-accounts on one of their domains (or on forreign domains as well) if necessary? What should cause them to stop about thinking of the idea that they could throw together some simple code that polls that list of accounts they created before with the script, having a bot getting each url out of the incoming e-mails and feed them into wget? If that is all they have to do to come by these measures, they will do.
But if they can pass these procedures by this easily, why should we bother to bring them on and burden additional steps on regular users? All we will cause with this is that we’ll loose users who write comments on our blogs. And at least I’m not willing to partly destroy my blog this way just in order to get rid of spammers. I think there are better methods to do this, which have less side effects on regular (non-spamming) users.
Do you think they care about the traffic that is generated? They don’t at all. Do you think they care whether their own bot-accounts get spammed by others? They don’t, why should they? It’s just some more URLs their bots have to visit, so what? Viruses? Their bots don’t care at all about viruses, because they won’t execute them.
Just my 0.02$.Anonymous
If we see their comments have nothing to do with the entry on the blog, then they are spam, if it does, we pass the comment through and all continuing comments with that name and email address continue to work. We don’t share the email address on the site so spammers don’t steal it for posting on our blog.
It doesn’t matter what their name or email address is. If the comments don’t have to do with the entry and have references like “come to my site for free viagra with purchase of 3 bottles” then it’s pretty obvious. I don’t even need to see the name or email address. It’s just the computer that needs to see it for authentication purposes. It would be very difficult to write a script that generated a comment that made sense on my blog entry. It would have to be manual. If they come once and then start using their account to advertise, I ban them and maybe their IP if they do it again.
This seems really easy and perhaps a bit of work on the bloggers part, but not on the commenters. Any solution will require some labor by the blogger to maintain. I don’t see any real holes in this. Does anyone else? Is WP going to grab ahold of this?
@flickerfly: Banning IPs only helps for those who use static IPs. Spammers who use static IPs for posting their spam are dumb, and the bad thing is: most spammers are not dumb enough to do this. Bottom line: IP blacklisting will be contraproductive, at least from my point of view. Chances are good that you keep out wanted users instead of spammers.
Ever seen the spam comments here? If you look quickly over them, they seem to fit somehow, not being of the type of “go there and buy my stuff”. Such comments are very generic, and can easily be posted by a script.
You ask for the hole in that idea? Well, apart from the problem “how do we handle trackbacks and pingbacks – the *backers won’t register at my blog and there is no way of authentication in these ‘protocols’ at all” there is the biggest one: it’s a hazzle for users of the blogs (those people who post comments on your posts) – and that’s the worst effect a anti-spam method for blogs can bring along. This way we’ll sooner or later loose what blogging made what it is now: it’s not really open anymore to everyone.
Again, just my 0.02 $ (and I fear I’ll bring up many people against me because I’m arguing this way :))
*backers are the easiest of all to deal with: we just use the moderate once method:
When a (track|ping)back comes in, it gets sent (email?) to me for moderation. I would then add some portion of the URL to my whitelist, and any further *backs from that domain would be let through. (of course, I’d be able to revoke that permission at any time).
This ends up with having a mix of comment moderation and URL filtering – which is what I promote all the time 🙂 Or did I miss something?Anonymous
It sounds like we are agreed then whitelist the URL for blogs to *back. Something like this in wp_config.php:
(maybe we could combine the *back and email lists, but that would be more confusing for the user I think)
Seems like an easy implementation. Just add a little bit of code to disallow display of a comment/*back until approval and then allow automated approval or deletion according to being matched in the above list.
I’d suggest that if it’s in the blacklists that it not even get emailed to the user, but just get logged in a file to check later, just in case a false-positive seems to slip by somehow.
What would be even better would be the ability to send a command to add a commenter to one of the lists through an email kinda like a mailing-list command email, but that might be difficult to manage. Nice feature if it can be done.
> That won’t work because if a comment’s headers indicate it comes
> from the commenter. We’re probably going to go the no-body route.
This can easily be taken care of without removing the body of the notes.
Upon WP installation, ask the admin to pick a special comment-moderation password. Have that word used in a WP header (“X-WP-moderation: Fr,37qp” for example) and then it’s a simple exercise on nearly any e-mail client to whitelist any message with that header.Anonymous
Why don’t you put this mod into the wordpress realease? It’s a necessary feature..
I seriously don’t understand the idea of blacklists. How can they ever hope to work without a high incidence of false positives? And besides, comment spammers arn’t trying to attract blog-readers, they are trying to attract search bots. That’s the idea behind comment redirects with white listing… </shameless-plug> 😉
Actually when I was working on that hack I found WP does have some natural defenses against comment throttling, however anyone who views the source code can see how to get around it.
If you’re interested in stopping comment spam you should check out one of the latest builds of WP. For reasons documented elsewhere, I think centralized blacklists and registration hoops are destined to fail and are at best stopgap solutions.
I was SUPER surprised to learn that there is no option “Only registered users may comment”. There ought to be one, and that would solve most problems.
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