Those spammers sure are a tenacious lot.

So the experiment with running both Akismet and Bad Behavior 2 anti-spam systems with ExpressionEngine seems to be working out pretty well. Akismet is even managing to stop around 95% of those useless comment spams that consist of nothing but random characters that serve no purpose at all and on the ones that make it through I just close the comment and then use the Akismet module to mark it as spam and delete it which helps to cut down on how frequently those make it through in the future.

Bad Behavior doesn’t really outwardly show anything when it’s working, but it does keep a table in the database with all the comments/trackbacks that it has rejected. This makes for interesting browsing on occasion because it reveals just how much activity the spammers engage in. Consider these simple facts: The total size of the mySQL database that makes up not only SEB but the other 6 blogs I run for family members and such is around 78.7MB in size. The total current size of the Bad Behavior log table in the database is 13MB. The total size of the table that holds every single one of the 7,700 (counting this one) entries from every single blog is only 14.1MB.

Here’s the kicker: The Bad Behavior 2 system only keeps 7 days worth of activity so that’s 13MBs over 7 days making it the third largest table in the database.

What’s the first? The table that holds the 58,274 (combined) comments. That table is 42.4MBs. Damn, but you people are a chatty bunch.

Anyway I just thought that was somewhat amazing and seeing as it’s almost 3AM and I’m still awake for no good reason I thought I’d take a moment and share it with you.

12 thoughts on “Those spammers sure are a tenacious lot.

  1. 42 megs of plain text – Wow.

    One of those random-text spammers keeps hitting a certain old post of mine.  I keep banning IP addresses, thought about closing comments on that post (it’s not a big-deal post or anything) but maybe they’d spread to other posts.

    But why spam random strings?  Maybe it’s a proof of concept, building up to something.

  2. Damn, but you people are a chatty bunch.

    Stupid Evil Blah.  Blah blah, blog blah.
    Yakkity yak, we talk back!
    wink

    But why spam random strings?  Maybe it’s a proof of concept, building up to something.

    Maybe they’re testing the sysop’s response to it.  Checking to see who lets it slide so they’ll target those sites?

  3. The two theories I come up with on the random strings nonsense are: 1) They’re testing a new automated spam script that can handle captchas or 2) they’re attempting to poison the anti-spam filters by conditioning them to random characters.

  4. The two theories I come up with on the random strings nonsense are: 1) They’re testing a new automated spam script that can handle captchas or 2) they’re attempting to poison the anti-spam filters by conditioning them to random characters.

    Damn those are two good theories!  Probably a mixture of both in reality.

    13mb in 7 days for a SQL file is HUGE!!!  But hey, at least you’re popular!

  5. From a little research…it appears that it is mis-configured spamming software. They are spamming you in a language other than US-English, and the content shows up as gibberish. It’s happening at other sites as well. Although your other theories are also possibilities. Captchas are starting to fail, as newer spamming programs have OCR built into them. The whole arms race thing smile

  6. I have had a bunch of those random-character spams on a single old post for the last 10 days.  Why just that one post?  Then just now that post got hit with a large entry of conventional, link-laden spam.

    Seems unlikely the steady stream of random-character spam, and the conventional spam that just arrived, were unrelated.

  7. I just started forcing everyone to have an account to be able to comment.  It dropped my spam down to essentially nothing.

  8. Yea wordpress allows me to force people to register if they want to comment.  I am not really going to do much with my website at the moment though cause I am planning on moving my hosting from GoDaddy to a home hosting solution. 

    I am hoping to have that done before the end of the summer.  At which time I plan to update the software, get some good mods for spam, and open up comments to unregistered users.

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