I really love SPAM. Spam musubi, spam & eggs, ramen with spam… the list goes on. Sure it’s made from unknown parts of a pig with surely unhealthy amounts of salt and other things but it tastes good. And millions of people throughout the world love Spam. I never got why we call unwanted mail or postings “spam” when it’s such a good thing. Shouldn’t we call it something else like Treet? Really, who eats Treet? And why would you eat a chicken and pork product when you could have 100% pure pork and ham? (Apologies to my kosher friends out there.)
Why am I talking about this? Well, after a couple of months of minor spam comment postings, my little blog fell under attack in the last day with dozens of bogus comments advertising all kinds of gambling services. Most got flagged as needing moderation but a lot still made it through and needed to be manually gotten rid of. If you’ve seen the commenting area of a post, you’ll notice I’ve been using reCAPTCHA to help prevent spamming. Since it’s turned out not to be an end-all solution, I started to look at alternatives.
First step was to straight away ban the most common IP addresses. Current WordPress versions have this as an option. Since the traffic and number of comments is very light, I don’t think there’ll be much collateral damage to legitimate posters. It’s also possible to alter the .htaccess file to totally deny access but that felt to be a bit much since I’m not really under a heavy attack. As a longer term solution I’m looking to see what other options are out there. A couple of notable are Spam Karma 2, Peter’s Custom Anti-Spam Image Plugin and Bad Behavior. Depending on how effective updating to the latest reCAPTCHA and just blocking annoying IP addresses turn out to be, I’ll take a look at these solutions.
Thanks to a posting on Jammed for some of these plugin pointers.