February 20, 2006

Trackback Spam Attack

Hatched by Dafydd

We've started getting disgusting trackback spam, so we've introduced a monitoring system: trackbacks will still be accepted, but Big Lizards will have to approve them before they're published.

Shouldn't affect anyone here... the trackback will still show up, just a few hours later.

Sorry for the inconvenience; but for some unfathomable reason, some deranged individuals seem to believe that people who read political blogs automatically pore through the trackback listings (of ancient posts), desperately hoping to find a link to a particular kind of website... that kind being (one presumes) so difficult to find otherwise.

-- the Mgt.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 20, 2006, at the time of 6:43 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/506


The following hissed in response by: Joshua Macy

I don't think the trackback spammer's motives are so mysterious; they're just hoping to inflate the Google rank of the page. It's not your readership they want, it's your connectivity.

The above hissed in response by: Joshua Macy [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 20, 2006 7:16 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Joshua Macy:

This is why sites like Power Line don't accept trackbacks (John told me): they had a trackback spam attack that was so thick, it was almost like a DDOS.

So far, there were just three, and I killed them within a few minutes of them being posted. With the moderation for trackbacks, no more will get through to be published.

But I have a feeling it's all just a bunch of spambots, which means they may not care whether they get published or not: once they find a site that accepts any trackbacks, they may just flood it.

I hope it doesn't work that way. I'll investigate the MT-Blacklist plugin and see if there is anything I can do to block them... but they invent new originating URLs with every spam, so I'm not sure what a blacklist plugin can do about it.

If it gets really bad, I will reluctantly have to turn off trackbacks until I can talk to Six Apart and find out what I can do. I don't want to wake up tomorrow and find 100 ersatz "trackbacks" awaiting approval!


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 20, 2006 7:23 AM

The following hissed in response by: Kathy K

100 - only 100?

There are plugins for 'closing' old trackbacks. They let you set trackbacks older than x days to 'off'. Helps a lot. I get very little trackback spam since I starting closing the old ones (I use wordpress, but the concept still applies).

The above hissed in response by: Kathy K [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 20, 2006 6:12 PM

The following hissed in response by: David

Here's a resource page for dealing with comment/trackback spam in the Movable Type environment:


I looked for something similar to Spam Karma 2 (a Wordpress plugin that's eliminated nearly all spam from my blog), and there are several possible candidates. And SpamLookup "has been integrated into MT 3.2" although I have no idea how it may be configured--MT docs deal with that? DisguiseTrackbackURL looks like an interesting approach, similar to disguising email addresses to thwart email harvesters.

The above hissed in response by: David [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 20, 2006 11:46 PM

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