October 21, 2014

Improved spam blocking solution for our blog

We have had been using Akismet as our primary antispam tool for quite a while.  It works okay, but recently we have started to get the feeling we need a better solution. With Akismet were still burdened with a lot of manual moderation for false negatives and scanning detected spam for false positives (can’t say there was a lot of them but ideally there should be zero).  At the same time we don’t want to bother our visitors with a captcha.

Welcome our new “Antispam Squad”:

  • Defensio (as alternative to Akismet). It seems its algorithm are more adaptive so we expect less false positives.

Next, we installed three plugins that are intended to decrease the amount of spam comments we have to review by preventing even post spam on the early stage:

  • Bad Behavior denies access to the site, based on the request’s HTTP headers and other metadata.
  • SABRE prevents bots from registration.
  • Antispam Bee – simple but effective. It hides comment form from spam bots.

It’s too early to draw conclusions on (it can take several weeks for educate the Defensio spam filter) how effective this upgrade is, but initial indications are good.

We delete spam and obvious SEO attempts, but our intention is never to censor.  If you are discovering your comments are now getting held up in our spam detection, please contact us.

About Evgeniy Stepchenko

Evgeniy is a former Percona employee.
He used to lead Percona's development team and collaborate with the engineering team on building Percona Server and XtraBackup. He lives in Novosibirsk, Russia.

Comments

  1. kas says:

    I found a simple challenge X+X, where X={1..9}, to be sufficient to ellimate all bot spam. Drop me a line I can send u a WP plugin its very simple.

  2. Thank you. We used same approach on our corporate site and it works well. But here we would like to avoid any obstacles for commenting even such simple. If we will find our current solution not effective, we can try simple math questions on post form.

  3. kas says:

    OK, it’ good u know it works :)

    Pure javascript does not work anymore. I have upgraded several of my blogs to this solution, because some of the bots understand javascript and I bet that Antispam Bee will not work – letting through spam.

    I’m using just my simple plugin without anything else, 100% satisfaction for 3 months now! :) Let’s see what those bots do next… Those russian progammers, Evgeniy, always up for a challenge! ;)

  4. > Those russian progammers, Evgeniy, always up for a challenge!

    Yes, we are very clever :)

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