March 21, 2006

Love that email!

Oh, you just gotta love checking the email in the morning:
Note the 101 entries -- exactly 9 are actual emails, the rest are trackback spam from 10pm to 7:30am EST.

I'm not complaining, Pixy, just bitching, you know? I mean, I know it's not your fault (or is it...could Pixy BE the evil spammer? No, even Pixy isn't THAT evil...) I'm just about to give up on trackbacks entirely, except I really like them, dammit.

Posted by Ogre at March 21, 2006 12:52 PM | TrackBack

Is there a solution for this? Other than turning off TB's? What about Haloscan for comment spam? I used that on Blog*Spot and never had spam, TB or Comment.

I too get hammered, not as much as Ogre. Then I delete them...

Any suggestions?


Posted by Sacramento Republicrat at March 21, 2006 07:59 PM

I continued to get hammered most of the morning (EST). This afternoon it's let up a bit, but it's still trickling in. And usually, I LIKE getting hammered...

Posted by Ogre at March 21, 2006 08:35 PM

You're being specifically targeted for something, because I'm down to 1 or 2 trackback spams a month now.

Posted by Ted at March 21, 2006 09:18 PM

That's pretty darn weird. Thanks for that tip, though!

Posted by Ogre at March 21, 2006 09:47 PM

I think Ted's right, because Snark is blocking 99% of incoming trackbacks. Forward some representative ones to me and I'll see if I can make Snark a bit smarter for you.

Posted by Pixy Misa at March 21, 2006 10:14 PM

Thanks, Pixy. I think many got blacklisted now since I spend a good portion of today getting them there.

Posted by Ogre at March 21, 2006 10:20 PM

No worries.

The way Snark works is it performs a statistical analysis of all the trackbacks received by the munu blogs, and anyone who is sending too many trackbacks gets flagged as a spammer. Depending on the volume and the time frame, this means that further pings from them get blocked either temporarily or permanently. It tracks both domain names and the IP addresses of spammers, and it blocks 99% of trackbacks even before they get to the blacklist.

But - it only works when someone is spamming the whole of munu. If they spam just one blog, and it trickles in overnight, Snark never works out that it's spam.

So it's not perfect, but it has blocked two million trackbacks in four months, which is something we can all be thankful for. :)

Posted by Pixy Misa at March 22, 2006 12:23 AM

Ah. You should be getting a lot less spam now.

One of the options in Snark!™ is to block trackbacks to old posts, but the definition of "old" was itself somewhat old. I've updated it now, which should stop about 80% of the spam you're getting. MT Blacklist also helps, of course, but it's good to stop the spam as early as possible.

Posted by Pixy Misa at March 22, 2006 05:16 AM

While I was messing around, I also fixed the problem with 2LDs like and, so it collapses those domains properly and blocks the whole thing, and retroactively collapsed the existing blacklist.

Posted by Pixy Misa at March 22, 2006 05:32 AM

The problem being that it should take out the whole of, but not The rule I applied is if the top level domain is two letters, only block the second level domain if it is more than three letters. So or are safe, but the weasels at and are toast.

Of course, the other filter rules (age, volume, IP address etc) usually zap them anyway, but all those throwaway domains were clogging up the blacklist and slowing things down.

Posted by Pixy Misa at March 22, 2006 05:46 AM

Awesome, thanks for the help!

The two big ones that were hitting me were xxxxx (dot) proboards ### (.com) and Once I figured out the format to blog xxx (dot) proboards### (.com), that picked up a lot of them -- but they were also spaced out a few minutes apart to get past the timing check on the spam blocker, those bastards.

Posted by Ogre at March 22, 2006 12:22 PM
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