Surreal Comment Spamming

I’ve been heavily hit by a spammer for the last few days and I figured I’d share the story…

Despite the fact that the spammer is using the same one line text and always links back to the same website, Akismet is having a hard time picking up this spam and has let 150 or so spam comments through today (out of over 5000 total spam comments attempts from today alone!). Nonetheless, I realized pretty early on that I could create a second line of defense by “moderating” any comments that come through with a specific phrase that is always used in the text.

It’s so bad now that for most of today, every time I hit the “delete spam” button, there is more spam already in queue.

I decided to look up the URL that was being linked to and it turned out to be quite easy to find a email of someone who owned the domain. Despite my better judgment, I decided to email this individual. I politely said that if he was comment spamming my blog, I’d appreciate it if he would stop. His response was terse but hopeful: “I’ve deleted your blog from the base. Sorry.”

That email came through about ten minutes ago (and prompted me to write this post!). Since then, I’ve already received 75 spam comments from his domain.

Part of my frustration is that I recently received another message from my host that I will need to upgrade my account because I’m using too much CPU. I’m convinced that the massive amount of spam (including the stuff that gets stopped by Akismet) is the main reason that I keep having to pay more in bandwidth costs every few months.

Moral: The select group of people who get a kick out of making life miserable for others can make hosting a blog a frustrating experience!

20 thoughts on “Surreal Comment Spamming

  1. Dustin,

    I’ve been there many times. Here is what I have done in the past. I set up a processing rule that catches the spam and forwards it back to an email address that I know they check. Like the address you got a response from. This way the don’t fill up my inbox and it then becomes a pain for the spammer or his customer.

    The extreme step is to block his machine (ip address) from access the site. Im not sure what software you are using or what capabilities you have available.

    Anyway Good Luck

  2. Dustin,

    I think this is probably the same guy I have been fighting with too. I installed Bad Behavior and Spam Karma plugins to shore up Akismet and that seems to have stopped the flow, for now anyway.

  3. Thanks Allen,

    The IP is definitely the first thing I look for, but they use a different IP (and email address) with each spam comment. I’m a little concerned about forwarding all the messages to them since they almost definitely could make my life even much worse! 🙂

  4. I ended up getting banned on my own blog a few weeks ago. The Bad Behavior plugin along with Spam Karma 2 got me.

    About a year ago, I got banned from the server for forgetting my login name on one of my older sites by trying over and over again to figure out the password without any luck. My host eventually had to reset the thing and let me back in.

  5. Amit,

    That’s a great idea…

    I haven’t wanted to go that way since Akismet seems to capture almost all the spam and I assumed that the comment spam bots will still hit the server hard even if their is a captcha… but that might be a bad assumption. I bet there is a way to configure the catcha so that if it is not filled it, it doesn’t even send a request to the server… hmmm…

  6. Dustin:

    That stinks! It’s hard enough running a weblog and writing good content, now you have to shell out more $$ for more BW.

    Dude…if your reading this…come on, the joke’s over. Just let us weenies have fun.

  7. Heard this has been a problem for a bunch of sites lately. Even had it happen to my blog on AR. What a pain. We use Akismet along with 2 spam blacklists and the combination has been so effective we got rid of Captcha. However when I do look at the stuff our filters catch it is mostly trackback spam.

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