Update: Trackback/Comment Spam

To offer a quick update on the trackback/comment spam attack I reported on yesterday, the attack is continuing in earnest today but things seem to be much more under control now.

reCAPTCHA is still holding the comment spam at bay and I have swapped out Akismet for Defensio in hopes of reducing the number of trackbacks that seep through.

So far that move has been a stellar success, in the first four hours of operation, Defensio has had a perfect accuracy. However, what is stunning is the statistics it has also collected.

Striking Numbers

I installed Defensio on this blog at about 8:30 AM central time this morning. Now, less than four hours later, Defensio has already caught over 200 spam comments.

If this pace is maintained, then that will represent well over 600 spam comments and trackbacks today. Though it is reCAPTCHA, and not Defensio, stopping the comments. what is stunning is the increase in activity this represents.

Typically this site has gotten its fair share of comment spam, but it has usually been well under a hundred per day. By my estimation, with a daily average of about 50 per day before, this represents a 12-fold increase in comment spam, almost overnight.


The defenses are holding now but I will keep a close watch on Defensio to make sure that it doesn’t trap legitimate comments or let any spam slip through. I’ll definitely report back, likely after the holiday, about how it has done.

Hopefully though this 100% accuracy trend will continue.

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