Death To Spammers


Regular, ahem, readers of this blog will perhaps know about my other site, bimbogami.

It’s a site for those with a passion for puzzles. And, by puzzles, I don’t just mean puzzles, I mean challenging puzzles, I mean HARD puzzles. There’s not many of the 2000 registered players managed to complete either of the main seasons of 40 questions.

For those less obsessive souls than the die-hard puzzlers prepared to stick with it, there are a couple of easier puzzle seasons, based on song lyrics and movie quotes.

I’m pleased to say bimbogami passed a nice milestone recently…

Like all good puzzle sites, bimbogami has a forum. The players make good use of it when they get stuck. It’s powered by the great, freeware phpBB. Unfortunately, as I quickly found out, with a popular phpBB forum comes a shedload of spam.

The spammers registewatchr and then post their little morsel of crud. They manage to get through the captura fairly easily, so I think there’s a distinct possibility it’s real people doing it rather than a spambot.

While some of it is fairly innocuous; links offering ebooks, t-shirts, watches and kid-on degrees, the vast majority of it is not, pushing warez and worse, every form of porn you could imagine, and some you probably couldn’t. Who the hell actually clicks those links?

I had to find and delete each post and user, otherwise they just logged on again and spammed some more.

As bimbogami got busier, so too did the forum and the spam became unmanageable. There were easily 20 registrations a day and some were posting to every topic on the forum. So I wrote a little utility to clean up posts. It did the job but it meant they still got to make the post, and for a while that post would be visible to all my forum users.

Until I worked out a better way.smiley

So back to that milestone. The bimbogami forum just passed the 25,000 would-be spammer mark. It’s just over a year since I put the fix in place, so I’m pretty chuffed with the result, and saved myself a significant amount of work managing it.

Now I only have to… do nothing. They get to register, and waste their time doing so, but not one of them ever manages to get a post on there. Sweet justice. Nice.

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