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Fighting Spam

September 23rd, 2004

So I’ve been trying a few new spam-fighting wrinkles before taking the plunge and going to MT 3.0. First of all, I started using a .htaccess file in the root directory with instructions to deny access to anyone trying to directly access the “mt-comments.cgi” script. We’ll see if that works.

I tried to include a few strings in the htaccess file with instructions to deny access to anyone with a referral from a domain with certain spam-worthy keywords, but for some reason it shut me out of the site (giving a “500 Internal Server Error”–anyone know why?), so until I get that worked out, it’ll have to wait. Very disappointing, I really wanted that to work. It was supposed to block referral spam; “IP Deny” in my site’s cpanel doesn’t seem to be working at all.

But I’ve also noticed a new wrinkle in referral spam: since August, the referral area on my stats page has been overloaded with referrals from ordinary blogs that appear not to have any links to me. All of these referral links end in “…mt-comments.cgi” or “…archives” after the blog domain. Before August, I used to get links like that (most noticeably from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer blog site), but they never hit me hard–I never got more than six or seven sites with referrals like that in any given month. Then in August, I got 38 with the mt-comments.cgi (92 with the “archives” one), and now, just three weeks into September, 142 with mt-comments.cgi (28 with “archives”).

After a search on Google, I found several other blogs which are experiencing the same thing–but nobody seems to be offering any explanation as to why.

The only thing I can figure is that maybe this is a quirk in a recent release of Movable Type version 3.x. But it doesn’t seem to be typical referral spam–only bloggers’ domains are affected.


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  1. Glyn
    September 24th, 2004 at 11:23 | #1

    I use Eudora with it’s latest addition … a junk-mail filter. It “learns” day by day and soon becomes about 98% effective.

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