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Kills spam dead

There’s been a good deal of talk around the blogs lately of comment spam: Produced by rat bastard lowest common denominator types, comment spam is thought to be a way to raise the google rank of an offender’s site by creating numerous inbound links spread across the web. Comment spammers seem to seek out and attack Movable Type blogs, in particular, and this afternoon I found them in action in my referer logs, using the following google string:

inurl:”archives” intext:”post a comment” intext:”name:” intext:”email” intext:”address:” intext:”url:” intext:”remember info?”

That search produces an enormous list of static comment pages at various MT blogs, ripe for spamming. If you’ve modified the text of your comments pages from the default, this kind of google-aided identification of sites to spam may be less effective, but it doesn’t necessarily make it harder for the bots to hit you once your site has been identified through another means. Jay Allen’s MT-Blacklist, version 1.5 of which is expected soon, helps to prevent the bots from successfully posting spam comments, by scanning them for URLs that match known spam addresses.

So far, it’s worked very well for me. Not being particularly high profile, I get much more comment spam that I would have expected, and I see MT-Blacklist’s entries in my activity log every couple of days or so. I’ve still been spammed a few times, by bots posting URLs that were not yet in the blacklist; Jay’s suggestion of shared databases of blacklisted URLs is an exciting solution.

Update: MT-Blacklist 1.5 was released this afternoon. Go get it. Installation takes 3 minutes; upgrade takes 1 minute.