National Spam Elimination Week

OK, maybe it’s only a “National” event in Boulterland, but it’s been a good week for killing spam.

First, I eliminated comment spam on my blog with the world’s simplest Turing test – Jeff Barr’s quick hack to WordPress. Unfortunately it only works for people named “Jeff”. 🙂 I did tweak it a bit to allow lowercase and uppercase ‘jeff’, but it seems to be doing the job quite effectively. I was getting dozens of spam comments per day previously.

Ironic Anecode: I wanted to look up Jeff Barr’s page again to post here, so I typed “wordpress comment spam Jeff” into Firefox and hit Go, which is the same as going to Google and hitting “I’m feeling lucky”. The ironic part is that it took me back to my own blog! Of course, Yahoo’s first result is much closer to what I was looking for.

The second spam elimination tactic was to remove the wildcard for @boulter.com. (Thanks, Dave!) That means that you can no longer send mail to foofyfoofy@boulter.com or anyrandomaddress@boulter.com and expect me to get it. Only a couple dozen addresses that I actually use will go through. Finding all these addresses took a while, because I usually make them up on the fly when I register at a site.

This was necessary because spammers no longer bother to go out on the web and harvest email addresses. Instead, they just take a domain like boulter.com and send mail to random addresses there. I was getting a ton of spam that way and even worse, spammers would forge the sender address as boulter.com, so I’d get all these bounced messages from mail I never sent! That’s all gone now and SpamAssassin takes care of the legitimate addresses.

I get surpringly little email now. I keep checking it expecting for there to be something, but I guess I was mostly getting alerted to new spam arriving. Now what will I do with my time?

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