It could have been ANTcast, but Tim demands top billing…


Tired of this crap…

October 29th, 2010 . by Andy (TANcast's #1 Ear-Rapist)

Somehow spammers have gotten it in to their tiny little heads that they need to try to flood TANcast with spam comments.

I know admins of real sites will scoff, but 6 months ago we were averaging about 20 spam comments per day. In October we averaged 120 per day before I turned reCAPTCHA on. It’s too soon to tell whether that made a difference, but I think we’re at least back to double-digits. Since it is still coming, though, I must conclude that either there is a way to post a comment without solving the CAPTCHAs (a flaw in the site or the plugin) or else these fucktards are actually solving them.

The thing is, Akismet catches pretty much every single piece of spam posted to the site, even without reCAPTCHA tossing up an extra step. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen something slip through. There is simply no reason to spam us. Nobody will ever see their penis-enlargement come-ons except Tim, Noah, and me, and Noah’s penis is plenty big for all 3 of us.

On the flip-side, Akismet does occasionally flag a valid comment, so Tim tries (and, infrequently, I do as well) to scan the pile of spam for any ham that slipped in. That’s annoying when there’s 20 to check a day. It’s more like a job when the spam really starts to flood in.

My solution is 1-fold: From now on, if your IP address has posted multiple spam comments to TANcast, we’ll just block that IP address.


Fuck you, that’s why.

I added the first 2 dozen IPs to our block list this evening, including an entire Class B subnet. An unsurprising number were located in Chinese-owned blocks. It’s probably the same lowlifes that killed my cat.

If I did this correctly, anyone trying to hit the site from any of these addresses should now get absolutely no response from our server. We’ll see if this helps.

If you’re suddenly unable to see the site from your home computer (presumably you’re reading this via RSS or on another machine), some piece of shit spammer fuck has pwned either you or someone on your ISP (and you inherited their IP address). Get your machine checked, then email me your IP when you know it’s not hosting a bot.

My address is easy to guess. Don’t try to spam it; Google has an excellent filter.

16 Responses to “Tired of this crap…”

  1. Andy (TANcast's #1 Ear-Rapist)No Gravatar Says:

    I ran some more detailed analysis of our spam counts this morning.

    There was been a spike in April, May, and June 2009 of 20-30 per day, but from July through the end of the year we were back to less than half that.

    From January through May 2010 we went back up to 20-30 spam comments per day, then started climbing rapidly…

    June: 52 spam/day
    July: 62 spam/day
    August: 87 spam/day
    September: 100 spam/day

    Which brings us to October. So far, Akismet has detected an average of 111 spam comments per day; 97% of the comment traffic for the month. Note that this is even after having reCAPTCHA in place for almost a week.

    Before June 2010, spam comments had never topped 32 per day and had never made up more than 89% of the comments.

    There is one bright spot, though. I saw one new spam comment posted in the 8 hours between the time I wrote this blog and the time I posted this comment. It always comes in bursts, but a week ago I would have expected to see about 40.

  2. Andrew, TANcast's #[square root of -1] Australian fanNo Gravatar Says:

    Well I don’t mind filling in the reCAPTCHA stuff. Especially if I know it’s actually doing some good.

    Fuck you, spammers. Don’t make Andy turn the board members-only!

  3. BryanNo Gravatar Says:

    How would you like to make your Penis bigger? Stop wearing your Crocs and log on to this website…

    Just kidding! glad you have a handle on the problem, and glad I could be an audience to your rant.

  4. Andy (TANcast's #1 Ear-Rapist)No Gravatar Says:

    I posted details on the last TANcast episode’s page, but the short version is that I turned on IP blocks and reCAPTCHA and spam fell sharply. I turned off reCAPTCHA and we got 200 spam comments in one day.

    Short version: reCAPTCHA goes back on, at least until I figure out a way to get WP to use hidden tokens.

  5. DeanNo Gravatar Says:

    Hooray server admin shithammer of vengeance!

  6. Logan (Tancast #1 Zombie Fan)No Gravatar Says:

    Spam Ham Spam Ham Spaming some hammy ham ham.

    Spamcast fail.

    I don’t mind doing the whole captcha thing, at least I can read these ones. Some sights I can’t make out at all.


  7. Andrew, TANcast's #[square root of -1] Australian fanNo Gravatar Says:

    Lol shithammer

  8. Andy (TANcast's #1 Ear-Rapist)No Gravatar Says:

    Readability is why I picked reCAPTHA.

    In the 40 hours since it went back in, we’ve had 40 messages caught as spam, and two of those were from Andrew (our #i Australian fan)! Two days ago we probably would have missed those.

    Of the remaining 38, 33 came from (three guesses what country hosts that IP) and 3 from (Moldova). That’s a tenth of the level we saw the day before I turned it back on, so clearly reCAPTCHA is a win.

  9. Tim Babb (TANcast's #1 Host/Editor Fan)No Gravatar Says:

    Ya know, in fairness…we have made many jokes on the podcast at the expense of Asians in general and China specifically…perhaps this is their, “Fuck me? No…fuck YOU!!!” Touche, China.

  10. Andrew, TANcast's #[square root of -1] Australian fanNo Gravatar Says:

    I am shamed that so many of my messages are canned as spam. =(

  11. Andrew, TANcast's #[square root of -1] Australian fanNo Gravatar Says:

    I feel I must also add that the time spent carefully typing in CAPTCHAs can be easily undone by the iPhone’s helpful autocorrect feature.

  12. Logan (Tancast #1 Zombie Fan)No Gravatar Says:

    Tim, I will translate for any of our Asian friends:

    Tim Babb Says: Ya know, in fairness…we have made many jokes on the podcast at the expense of The Me So Hornies in general and General Tso specifically…perhaps this is their, “Fook me? No…fook YOU!!!” Touche, Home of cheaply made crap AKA IKEA’s bastard cousin.

  13. Tim Babb (TANcast's #1 Host/Editor Fan)No Gravatar Says:

    At some point we have to make sure we don’t cross the line from “ironic racism” to “full blown racism.” #TimLovesAsians #ButNotInTheDirtyWay #HashTagsMakeNoSenseInThisContext

  14. Andy (TANcast's #1 Ear-Rapist)No Gravatar Says:

    I’m ashamed to say it, but Logan made me lol.

    I loled ironically, of course (though those bastard commies did kill my cat!), and I did feel appropriate white-liberal-guilt immediately after.

    @Andrew, it actually may have been the auto-correct that screwed you, not Akismet. I need to review the plugin code and see how it handles close misses.

    BTW, of 148 spam in the queue, 145 are from (“China?” you ask. “China!” I answer.). I just banned the entire “222.91.229” C-block and am considering blocking the “222.91” B-block.

    Edit: Make that 147 from that IP. They snuck 2 more in while I was putting in the ban. That fucker solved 147 reCAPTCHAs in 20 hours for absolutely no benefit to himself. Well, enjoy my “403 Access Denied”, fucker.

  15. Logan (Tancast #1 Zombie Fan)No Gravatar Says:

    I love Asians in the dirty way and I am not ashamed of it.

  16. Bryce Landry (TANcast's #_ Fan)No Gravatar Says:

    Why can’t they just put the cookie down? Now?

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