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Comments November 25, 2008

Spammer Evolution

Filed under: Anti-spam, blog — Dave Rathbun @ 2:19 pm CommentsComments (1) 

Today I decided to check in on my “honey pot” board that I have running. I haven’t been there in a week or so but things were still humming along last time I looked. This time when I logged in I got a warning from my pop-up blocker. My initial reaction? I’ve been hacked. :shock:

PM Spammers

It turned out that the real answer was much more benign… it was the notification of new private messages popping up. More…

Comments November 18, 2008

First Spam In … Over a Year

Filed under: Anti-spam, blog — Dave Rathbun @ 11:08 pm CommentsComments (6) 

Today I got my first spam that successfully navigated the Checkbox Challenge. It was caught by Akismet, which shows the power of a layered defense. On phpBB2 boards we have seen an increase in manual spam. Manual spam is really hard to defeat because it’s done by humans. On the other hand, it’s more expensive for the spammers too. I will be watching this closely to see how things trend over the next few months.

Comments August 24, 2008

Um. Oops?

Filed under: blog — Dave Rathbun @ 9:10 am Comments Off 

I had a post scheduled to come out a few days back that was supposed to contain an IRC conversation with DavidMJ, one of the developers for phpBB3. For some reason that post was not the latest revision. I have corrected that now and it contains the full conversation, which is quite enlightening. The full post is out now:

Conversation with DavidMJ on phpBB3 Caching

I apologize for the delay in catching this issue, but I’ve been flat out sick for the past several days.

Comments April 30, 2008

Checkbox Challenge for Comment Forms

Filed under: Anti-spam, blog — Dave Rathbun @ 1:22 pm Comments Off 

I have another site that doesn’t yet have an active phpBB board attached to it, but it does have a blog. So I added my Checkbox Challenge for Blog Comments and all is well. A few weeks ago I started getting all sorts of emails from my comment form, of all places, all plugging various blogspot blogs. $%@# spammers, don’t they realize that the only one that’s going to see the comment form content is me? as in one person?

I have since added my Checkbox Challenge to the contact form, and the spam has been 100% eliminated. I read more about it here as well.

But I don’t get it. Forum posts? public content. Blog comments? also public content. Comment forms? Nobody gets them but me. What a waste of time.

Comments April 4, 2008

If You Don’t Stay Up To Date…

Filed under: blog — Dave Rathbun @ 1:21 am Comments Off 

If you don’t stay up to date, you get hacked. That’s what we say every day at phpbb.com, right?

Tonight I got the pleasure of upgrading every single one of my WordPress installations because one of them got hacked. <sigh> Doesn’t it make you happy that there are people in this world with nothing better to do than mess with something that someone else has created? :mad:

In any case, this blog was not the one that got hacked, and it doesn’t seem to have been impacted in any way despite being the one running the second-oldest version that I have. As of now it’s on the latest and greatest version, and the upgrade seems to have been fairly painless. Other than the fact that it’s 2:30. AM.

Oh, there are a few css glitches that I’ll have to fix. But not until after I sleep.

Comments March 26, 2008

Wordpress Plugin Wanted

Filed under: blog — Dave Rathbun @ 3:46 pm Comments Off 

I have a “recent comments” plug-in installed here. It shows the five most recent comments in the sidebar. What I really want is a page or plugin that will display recent comments in the main body of the page. If anyone has a link (I have looked all over, and found only code for comments in the sidebar) please let me know. Thanks.

Comments March 18, 2008

Checkbox Challenge, One Year Review

Filed under: Anti-spam, blog — Dave Rathbun @ 9:32 am CommentsComments (9) 

It was almost exactly one year ago today that I posted about what has become the final version of the Checkbox Challenge comment blocker for my WordPress blogs. At that time I was logging the comment attempts and the results of the challenge to a text file. Now I log things to a database so I can search them easier. I had thousands of entries in the text file log before I switched, and I did not bother to convert them. (I just checked; the text file was used from January of 2007 to August of 2007 and contains over 22,000 lines of data.)

The database logging process was added on August 1, 2007. So I ran for about seven months without the database log, and now have run for just over six months with the database logging in place. The results are, frankly, both astounding and a bit scary.


Comments October 29, 2007

Trackback Spam

Filed under: blog — Dave Rathbun @ 12:03 pm CommentsComments (4) 

I have documented fairly well the code changes and other methods that were added to this blog to deter and even eliminate comment spam. I also posted a bit ago that I was going to be less active here just because of other demands on my time, at least for a month or so. Imagine my surprise when I logged in to my blog admin panel this morning and there were 125 spam comments caught by Akismet.

And none of them showed up in the comment log that is a part of my custom system. :shock: What was going on? And more importantly, if there was a hole in my code, would it impact the Checkbox Challenge MOD that I am using to deter spam registrations on my phpBB boards?


Comments October 4, 2007

Taking a short break…

Filed under: blog — Dave Rathbun @ 9:28 am Comments Off 

I won’t be blogging as much over the next few weeks. I have a few posts already written and scheduled to come out, but won’t have time to do anything new for a while. Too much work. :shock:

Comments August 24, 2007

How to sell a batch of Pokemon cards for $142.51

Filed under: blog — Dave Rathbun @ 9:39 pm Comments Off 

You may have seen this already as it seems to be making the rounds. But if you haven’t, it’s hysterical. It might fall into the NSFW category only if laughing out loud while reading something off of your monitor will get you into trouble. Just make sure you’re not covering up with an email from your boss while you’re laughing and you will probably be fine.

What is it? It’s a very creative eBay listing from a mother of six. Here’s how it starts:

I’m selling a bunch of Pokemon cards. Why? Because my kids sneaked them into my shopping cart while at the grocery store and I ended up buying them because I didn’t notice they were there until we got home. How could I have possibly not noticed they were in my cart, you ask? Let me explain.

You haven’t lived until you’ve gone grocery shopping with six kids in tow. I would rather swim, covered in bait, through the English Channel, be a contestant on Fear Factor when they’re having pig brains for lunch, or do fourth grade math than to take my six kids to the grocery store.

Read the rest of the listing…

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