Investigation in a big spammer.

A few days ago I started receiving spam in my spam queue, not out of the ordinary as every now and then there is a spammer who gets through my plugin and Akismet will dump it in the spam queue. But this time it was different, yes Akismet still dumped the comments in my spam queue, but it was the amount of comments I received. It easily reached 800 comments a day and besides the IP address and email address used, they were all the same. It seems some spam group found themselves a nice big botnet to play with. But wait, why didn’t my plugin AVH First Defense Against Spam stop them from showing up in my spam queue. Time to do some investigating.
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Update WordPress plugin: AVH First Defense Against Spam v2.3.2

In order to address the problem my plugin caused at Stop Forum Spam I have changed the plugin and released the new version yesterday.

To avoid problem with Stop Forum Spam their site is checked when a comment is posted. If a spammer is detected it will be blocked and the ip will be cached.
The following checks:

  • Honey Pot Project
  • Whitelist
  • Blacklist
  • IP cache

are still done before content is served. This means that should a spammer be found and blocked with the Stop Forum Spam check and you use the IP cache, the next time the spammer comes to your site no content will be served.

Currently I am working together with Stop Forum Spam on a solution to update the IP cache of the plugin with spammer information. This would be a preventive measure, blocking spammers before they ever visited your site.

You can find the plugin on the AVH First Defense Against Spam page

First Defense Against Spam: Victim of it’s own success

My WordPress plugin AVH First Defense Against Spam is a victim of it’s own success. Currently the owner of Stop Forum Spam has been banning WordPress users because of the amount of traffic certain blogs running my plugin has been creating.
I have had a quick chat with the owner of Stop Forum Spam and I’ll make some changes to the plugin which will hopefully relief their server been pounded by certain websites.
Until then I have to ask people to stop using Stop Forum Spam for checking.

I do apologize to Stop Forum Spam for this problem and am currently working on the situation.