One of the reasons why phpBB is a popular target for spammers is that it’s a popular board. So there’s a decent payback or incentive for spammers to figure out a way to spam the boards, as they know there are a lot of targets out there. To quote a line from one of my favorite movies…
This is what I call a “target rich environment.”
Two points to the first person that can identify the film and the person that delivers the line. No fair googling either…
But this post isn’t really about phpBB, it’s about Wordpress. Wordpress is probably equally as popular as phpBB, in its own arena. I know I use it on a number of different sites. I wish it were easier to integrate the two, but so far the time I’ve spent has been marginally successful. But back to the point.
I’ve installed Akismet, and it has been a real life-saver. I can honestly say that for the past few days I’ve been seeing spam comments hit my blog at rates higher than one per hour! Really, I’m not kidding. I cleared out my spam queue at 3:00 this afternoon, and by the time I got home from work at 6:00 there were four more spams in the queue. My blog is approximately 6 months old, and in that time Akismet has blocked 865 spams.
Now here’s the best part: the blog here at the phpBB Doctor is running the latest version of Wordpress, which is presumably the more attractive target. I have several other blogs, some of which are running older versions, and they’ve not received one comment spam. Not. A. Single. One.
So what’s the key? The key, I think, is that there are millions of Wordpress blogs (just like there are likely millions of phpBB boards) and they’re all the same. So I did something tonight to make my blog different.
If you feel inclined to make a comment, you’ll notice a simple checkbox. If you click the checkbox, your comment gets saved for approval. (It still won’t show up until a blog administrator approves it.) If you don’t click the checkbox, then your comment is tossed, and I log the attempt to a file.
I am expecting… okay, let’s be honest, I am hoping that this will cut down on the number of comments that are left. Now granted Akismet has caught every single one of them, and I’m grateful for that, but as an experiment it could prove to be interesting. It’s not going to do anything about human spammers, but I’m betting that for the most part the blog spammers are still bots.
Stay tuned for details.
Oh, and if you want to make a comment, be sure to click the checkbox.