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Spam attack: Why isn't Akismet picking up this obvious junk?

  1. I haven't seem much spam on my blog historically, but yesterday and again today I had two massive waves of obvious spam comments that made it onto my blog.

    • Today there were 54 comments. All of them came through instantaneously. My phone had a seizure.
    • Each comment linked to the same website.
    • Each comment had an obviously fake Gmail address, like [email redacted].
    • Most of the usernames were identical, or variations on the same thing. Most were just 'Anonymous'.
    • The comments were all on recent posts, or pages linked to from my primary navigation.
    • The comments were all well formed English, but generic and unrelated to my posts ("Excellent blog post. I definitely love this site. Continue the good work!" kind of thing).

    Yesterday's wave of comments were the same, except they all linked to a different website.

    In other words, pretty obvious spam. Why isn't Akismet picking these up? What can I do?

    The blog I need help with is halfblog.net.

  2. There is no such thing as eliminating all spam but Akismet works very well. For more information please take the time to read "5 things every blogger should know about spam" on this page Akismet: How it works http://akismet.com/how/

    Spam comes in waves. Also if you approved a single spam comment on a post then the spammers will target your post and hammer it over and over again.

    The vast and overwhelming majority of all so-called information on the internet is spam. Over 80% of all so-called comments submitted to .wordpress.com blogs every day are spam.

    The worst of all spam containing malware and viruses is not sent to us. It's removed as it could bring down many blogs if opened.

    On the spam that Akismet catches it takes only seconds to click "empty spam" and you don't even have to click "empty spam" if you don't want to. Akismet will maintain comments it has caught for 15 days from the time they were received, and then it will delete the comment automatically.

    If you get spam that slips by Akismet then mark it as spam (do not delete it) and over time Akismet will learn it's spam.

  3. Each time a new comment, trackback, or pingback is added to your site it's submitted to the Akismet web service which runs hundreds of tests on the comment and returns a thumbs up or thumbs down.

    Hundreds of tests, and the comments that I described above fooled it?

    I understand how spam works, and the importance of marking as spam. Akismet has been very reliable in the past, so I'm not sure why it has been so easily fooled by such blatant spam.

    Hopefully this won't become a regular thing.

  4. If you think your site is somehow unique re: the amount or kind of spam it's receiving then you can contact Akismet Staff directly by using this link http://akismet.com/contact/

  5. Thanks for your help timethief. If the problem persists, I probably will.

  6. You're welcome.

  7. Another 49 comments, just now.

    Looking at my discussion settings, I've decided that checking 'Comment author must have a previously approved comment' makes sense. I don't like to premoderate my comments, but I may not be around to clean up a spam attack like this during the week.

    I still feel like something has broken.

  8. When you get to 5000 per day, let me know and I'll send you a prize.

    Spammers continually change tactics and get new IP addresses and such to use, so all spam filters are always running to catch up with them, and they all do the best they can, and in my opinion, Akismet is one of the best at seeing and pouncing on new tactics and recognizing new trends.

    And the 5000 number I mentioned above? That is a true number for a site I manage that gets about 250 unique, legitimate visitors per day. I have another site I manage which doesn't use WordPress and the record on it is 12,000 in 24 hours, and they get about 1200 legitimate, unique visitors per day.

    It always goes in waves, and sometimes what attracts spammers to your site might be the subject of a post, or the tags and categories. One of the sites I manage writes about all things spiritual, and everything was fine till they did a series of post on nutrition, vitamins, and natural supplements and they went from 10 to 20 spams per day to over 1000 per week, and then up to 1000 per day and it has peaked and settled around 2000 per day. The bulk are caught by Akismet the majority of the time, but you can always tell when the spammers change things up because the number that don't get caught and get in the moderation queue climbs in a huge way, and then the spam filters catch up and all gets better for a while. Rinse and repeat.

    Welcome to the web.

  9. thesacredpath: But you don't have to manually mark 5000 comments per day as spam. (Or do you?)

    I don't care how many spam comments I get if Akismet catches them — it's when such obvious spam goes undetected that it becomes a pain.

  10. foomandoonian, I think you'll find these are handled correctly now.

    The missed spam was limited to a small number of blogs, including yours. One of the reasons we missed it is that this particular spammer avoids hitting WordPress.com blogs. They made a mistake and hit a few. The volume was small (relative to the millions of spams we catch every hour) so it slipped past.

  11. @tellyworth, thanks for the fix and explanation. :)

  12. how to get comments from akismet

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