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Can the comment blacklist differentiate between dynamic and static IP addresses?

  1. Can the WordPress.com comment blacklist differentiate between dynamic and static IP addresses?

    If so, how?

    If not, then how do we know it's doing what it is supposed to do, block the IP of the user sending the comment.

    According to the Wikipedia article on dynamic addresses, a dynamic IP address can have as many as 16,777,216 variations (2 to the 24th power). Network administrators may divide such a block into smaller subnets, but we're still talking large numbers of variant IP's for each unique address in the network.

    So what does WordPress.com do in the way of identifying whether the IP of a spammer is dynamic or not? It's an important distinction: Dynamic or Static, because

    a. If dynamic IP 2.226.110.155 leaves spam on my site this minute, the user A at that IP can reset the modem or otherwise reset the IP in the next instant. The new IP might be 2.93.157.238, or 2.118.56.194, or millions of other variants in the block.

    b. Also, that IP which sent the offending spam, may now be reassigned to any of millions of other users in a server network, or subnet.

    So how does placing such a dynamic IP address in a WordPress blog "Comment Blacklist" serve any useful purpose? At best it may block the offender only momentarily. But it may soon block another non-offending user for no reason at all other than that user was assigned an IP previously assigned to an spammer.
    Blog url: http://songbook1.wordpress.com/

  2. No, you cannot.

  3. Unless I'm misunderstanding the way dynamic IPs are distributed and repeatedly reassigned to different PCs, blocking one of them appears likely to do more damage than good.

  4. raincoaster,

    You've only answered part of the question. The second part is: If not, how is it useful. Or, more specifically, how can it be expected to do what it claims to do, prevent spam from commenter A. I've explained, above, why it apparently doesn't if the commenter has a dynamic IP, and also why innocent users (those who haven't spammed) will inadvertently be punished by blocking of a dynamic IP address.

  5. Instead of "blocking" an IP address, I meant to say marking it as spam, or "blacklisting" it.

  6. I would like to start a new thread with the question rephrased. Something like,

    "Why does WordPress fail to address the problem of dynamic IPs with respect to the Comment Blacklist?"

    or

    "Isn't it true that the WordPress Comment Blacklist fails to properly deal with dynamic IPs, Doesn't it fail to stop spammers, who merely move on to a new IP address, and inadvertently causing innocent bloggers to be Blacklisted, if only temporarily?

  7. with grammar and punctuation corrected:

    Isn't it true that the WordPress Comment Blacklist fails to properly deal with dynamic IPs? Doesn't it fail to stop spammers, who merely move on to a new IP address, and inadvertently cause innocent bloggers to be Blacklisted, if only temporarily?

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