We have long had a problem with Spam comments here at Attainable Adventure Cruising but lately the hackers have gone nuts with this stuff. We are currently getting over 1000 spam comments a day. In fact, it’s so bad that the load is crashing our server about once a day and slowing it down the rest of the time.
In the past, most of these Spam comments were caught by our filter system so you, our readers, never saw them. But that very filtering process puts a huge load on the server and, worse still, in recent weeks more Spam comments have been getting through.
We delete them just as fast as we can but we do have to sleep sometimes, and anyway, messing with this stuff is taking a lot of time that we could use for creating content or maybe even going sailing.
First Attempted Solution
We did try requiring a simple arithmetical test before accepting a comment. This has stopped much of the Spam, but unfortunately it actually increased the load on the server, probably because of all the spammers trying to randomly solve the problem.
Over the next couple of weeks, as part of our effort to get this fixed, we are going to run several experiments including:
- Turning off comments completely for 24 hours to verify that it really is Spam that is causing our speed problem.
- Make it so only logged in members of the AAC Book Club can comment.
- Try a security proxy server type firewall.
The last of these is in many ways the most attractive of the potential solutions; however, it does, like all firewalls, carry the risk of false positives that will lock out innocent readers, and worse still paying members, so before we try that, we will set up a special way for you to contact us if you do get locked out.
Please bear with us as we try and solve this Spam problem.
By the way, not only is this Spam a pain for us, if one of you inadvertently clicked on one of these Spam comments and were taken to the linked site, your computer could be infected with malware—this is nasty stuff.
AAC Is Safe
Just to clarify, we pay to have this site scanned every four hours to make sure it’s malware free and safe, but we can’t be sure that every site a comment links to is clean too, and that goes double for Spam.