Spam be gone

no spam

This morning I set to the task of de-spamming Author Buzz. There is always a trickle of deeply suspect junk accounts being registered. However, of late, there have been enough spam accounts that the real users have started to notice.

It was time to take action.

No Spam today, thank you

I’m not going to detail exactly what I did. Mostly, because I don’t want to clue the spammers into how to avoid being blocked.

I will say this thought. I was grateful for the large amount of spam with which to train the filters.

Previously, I had tried blocking Chinese IP addresses and other non-English speaking countries that seemed to only hit us with spam. That worked for a little while but then the spammers “changed country”. I’m guessing they use might VPNs or Onion Routing to hide where they are operating from.

That ended up working in my favour as I got a good chunk of sample data with which to remove spam accounts and block future ones.

Short term fix

Fighting spam is a constant arms race. For every way we find to block them, they find new ways not to be blocked.

I have no doubt the spammers will be back some day. I also lack any doubts that we will block and remove them then too.

As long as us site admins stay vigilant all the most innovative spammers will do is make it certain that a whole load of tricks are useless for slower or less inventive spammers. Spammers are inherently lazy. That laziness has, for twenty years, been the way they trip up.

In the end, the spammers always lose due to their own efforts.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

close up photo of plastic bottle
My ongoing war on spam

We’ve been getting a lot of spam lately. This is partly because Google needs to lock down their Gmail service from being used to generate email addresses automatically. It may also be because we are starting to show up in more search results. Whatever the reason, spam is no fun …

shallow focus photo of man holding floor brush ceramic figurine
Should we block Google’s Gmail?

I’m not sure what is going on over at Google HQ but their Gmail services have become a significant enabler of spam. Around three-quarters of the spam I remove from Author Buzz comes with Gmail accounts. It has been quite some time since the last legit signup used a Gmail …

Fighting Spam

Spam – I knew that it would happen sooner or later; I would just have rather spam happened later (or never). There are two significant areas of spam that we have to fight. User Registration Spam (and spam groups) Comment Spam The user registration spam is pretty much just a …

Skip to toolbar