There Is No Cat

A huge orangupoid, which no man can conquer

Monday, June 19, 2006

Taking a dump on the commons

At the moment, my comment spam filters here on There Is No Cat seem to be catching 100% of the attempts. Over the past two days, that's about 230 attempts per day that aren't making it through my system. But the current system is one that requires constant vigilance, and I'm getting tired of it. I'm trying to figure out how this particular spammer's system works; I suspect that maybe it looks for certain parameters in comment fields. So I've replaced the name and id parameters of fields that users can enter to values that are unlikely to be easily associated with a particular type of field; that is to say, the e-mail field is no longer called "email", and so on. If this spammer is parsing my comment field based on common values for the name parameter, it should no longer work, and I can relax for a little while (at least until they catch up).

If you find you have a problem submitting a comment, please contact me with my e-mail form; I've tried to test the system, but I may have broken something.

In the meantime, I'll be exploring ways to improve my e-mail spam filters. My hosting provider contacted me this weekend with the bad news that my brandi.org domain was attacked with so many spams on Saturday that at one point, there were more than 100 copies of procmail running, dragging down the performance for the server not just for me but for the other uses as well. That's not good. I use procmail to do my spam filtering. Unfortunately, I've taken advantage of the fact that pretty much everything other than a few otherwise-defined addresses shows up in my mailbox to give out a different e-mail address to every web site that asks for one; that way, when spam starts showing up in my mailbox, I can see who it's addressed to and, if possible, shut down that address. It's bad enough when an address I left on a blog at some point is discovered, but it's kind of scary to realize that, for example, the address I used for the brokerage that holds one of my 401(k) accounts (and which I have never ever ever posted online anywhere) has been snarfed by spammers too. If I have to shut down everything except the main, defined addresses, this tactic isn't going to work any more.

I have to deal with this sort of thing offline, too. Local teenagers love to use our wooded lot as their personal dumping ground. I regularly have to clean up their messes of beer cans and empty liquor bottles (and boy, do I wish New Jersey had a bottle law so I could at least make some money getting deposits back on these presents). Today I had the lovely gift of God-only-knows-what in a black garbage bag; I didn't look too close, but in the 90 degree heat, the stench was awful as I dragged it from the end of the property to our garbage can.

If it comes down to it, I'll have to bite the bullet and shut down the e-mail addresses and comments here on the blog (and maybe the entire blog altogether). I've already shut down trackbacks a few weeks ago. This is the sort of thing that drove me away from Usenet in the mid-90s, the increasingly aggressive tactics of spammers. I have a pretty low tolerance for this crap. At some point, it's just not worth the effort to stay a step ahead of them.

Tags:

Posted at 12:26 AM

Comments

Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

Oh, that's just depressing.... I hope you don't go away entirely!

Posted by Elaine at 5:34 PM, June 20, 2006 [Link]

So far, the change seems to have worked. And if they find a way around this tactic, I have another one in reserve that shouldn't be too difficult to implement. So no worries for now.

Posted by ralph at 10:06 PM, June 20, 2006 [Link]

The cat gone away entirely, only the cat!

Posted by Mag at 6:20 AM, August 9, 2006 [Link]

Trackbacks

This site is copyright © 2002-2017, Ralph Brandi.

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio


There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


Stylesheets


This site is powered by Missouri. Show me!

Valid XHTML 1.0!

Valid CSS!

XML RSS feed

Read Me via Atom

Me!

Home Page
Resume
Married
Photographs
Flickr Photostream

last.fm

There Is No Cat is a photo Ralph Brandi joint.


Archives

Search



Family Blogs

Geneablogy
Jersey Girl Dance
Awakening
DullBlog
Mime Is Money

Blogs I Read

2020 Hindsight
AccordionGuy
Adactio
Allied
Apartment Therapy
Assorted Nonsense
Backup Brain
Burningbird
Chocolate and Vodka
Creative Tech Writer
Critical Distance
Daily Kos
Dan Misener likes the radio
Daring Fireball
Design Your Life
design*sponge
Doc Searls
Edith Frost
Elegant Hack
Emergency Weblog
Empty Bottle
Five Acres with a View
Flashes of Panic
Future of Radio
Groundhog Day
Hello Mary Lu
iheni
Inessential
Interllectual
Jeffrey Zeldman Presents
Jersey Beat
John Gushue ... Dot Dot Dot
john peel every day
JOHO The Blog
Kathryn Cramer
Kimberly Blessing
La Emisora de la Revolucion
Lacunae
Loobylu
mamamusings
Medley
mr. nice guy
MyDD
Orcinus
oz: the blog of glenda sims
Pinkie Style
Pinkie Style Photos
Pop Culture Junk Mail
Seaweed Chronicles
Shortwave Music
Slipstream
Talking Points Memo
The Unheard Word
Tom Sundstrom - trsc.com
Typographica
Unadorned
Vantan.org
WFMU's Beware of the Blog