Spammers and bloggers

A black and white photo of a winter photographer and tripod standing before Kennicott Glacier, Donoho Peak, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

I know a number of the people who visit here have blogs of their own, and most, from what I have seen, also use wordpress as their blogging software. Lately, it seems, some automated spam program has been spamming wordpress blogs with comments that appear like this:

y10vh9u023ozdiy0

or similar. The spam blocker, Akismet, for WordPress doesn’t seem to be too good at picking them up. So what to do?

Here’s a post on the wordpress forums about the issue. I went to this page, and followed the advice Jill gives there, to block the IP addresses listed. Rather than give you the steps to do so here, you’ll get a more complete look at the situation by visiting those 2 pages I linked above.

On a related note, I recently had my site hacked and spammed by some iniquitous villains. The way the spam manifest itself was a bunch of links to all kinds of pharmaceutical drugs and drug companies, insurance companies, and whatnot. The links didn’t show up on the webpages, but would only be noticed if you view the page source/hmtl code for the page. It would always show up at the bottom of the code. I say ‘always’ of course, because it happened more than once. I checked around the web a little more recently, and found a bunch of sites that had been similarly infected. WordPress forums helped out a bit, and I was able to, so far, remove the links and code, and (I THINK) block them from injecting their nastiness onto my epic website any further. Here is the post I made on the forums that helped me out. If you have any similar issues, the info there should help remove the bad code. The main thing, I think, is to upgrade to the newest version of WordPress as soon as possible. It appears, to me, that a problem lies in the code of earlier versions of wordpress, and that allows hackers to get in to your site, inject their code and there’s not much you can do to stop it. I upgraded to the newest version of WordPress and haven’t had another problem so far – knock on wood. I highly recommend if you aren’t up to date that you run over and get your site updated.

One of the problems I ran into with this spam/hacking business (the links on my source code, not the comments I mention at the start of this blog) is that google dropped my blog from their engine. Bad, bad, bad – I went to this page and requested my site be picked up by the Googles again. Fortunately, Matt Cutts loves me, and my site wasn’t banished too long. Some of the pages are still being picked up, but it’s much better now. As long as I don’t get these darn hackers jumping in and messing things up again, all should be OK.

If you haven’t got your wordpress blog up to date, update right away.

Cheers

Carl

PS – yep, that’s me in the pic. Cool, eh?

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11 thoughts on “Spammers and bloggers

  1. Mark

    Scum of the earth they are – what’s been bugging me lately are the sneaky devils that try to leave some sort of comment that looks legit, but really it is solely for just adding some commercial link back to their site. hate that. Glad to hear the update went ok.

    Re; the pic – what the heck, were you on a hike with a bunch of giants? 🙂
    Cool though!

  2. Carl D Post author

    Hey Mark,

    Yeah, I’ve had those spammers too .. pesky rascals.

    Mark and Beth – Re., the pic .. just some trees I walked by.

    Thanks.

    Cheers

    Car

  3. Ron Niebrugge

    Dang, I thought those comments said “nice photo” in some kind of secret code!

    I quickly marked them as spam thinking it was spiders trolling for spam suckers, and that they would follow up with the actual spam once they found their targets. I will have to check out your links to get the actual story – thanks for sharing!

    Ron

  4. Carl D Post author

    Hey Ron,

    No, the ones that say ‘nice photo’ are the coded spammers. Delete them on your site ASAP. 🙂 🙂

    I marked them as spam, but they still seemed to come on through. Seems like it’s under control now though I’m getting a TON of hits about the Iditarod winner for this last year. I mean, likeYOUR volume of traffic. How crazy is that?

    Cheers

    Carl

  5. Labrys

    I got one of those spams…in comments, a single one. But all of my comments go thru moderation, so I spammed it and have not seen another.

    I actually am sick of the bother and think when I update my blog, I will eliminate comments altogether. After all, I have a message forum attached, so if they want to REALLY discuss something, they can go to the boards with it. And there, all spammers can be publicly pilloried and have verbal garbage flung at them!

  6. BG mail

    Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this info. Today bloggers publish just about gossips and internet and this is actually irritating. A good website with exciting content, this is what I need. Thanks for keeping this site, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Cant find it.

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