November 22nd, 2013

Tall ships (porthole)

(no subject)

So, today's surprise is that the daily traffic for The Music Jungle (which I help run - I'm the behind-the-scenes techie) has jumped from about 20MB per day last month to 30MB this month, to over 150MB as of Wednesday. And yesterday, fully half the traffic by bandwidth was for a single page. Needless to say that would have blown through the bandwidth allocation rather quickly, so thanks to pleaseremove for quickly upping it.

Unfortunately it's not a sudden spike in popularity but an onslaught of very persistent spambots. For some bizarre reason, spambots really want to comment on just one page of the site. They want to post a comment so much that yesterday they tried over a thousand times, with only a smattering of attempts to other pages.

And the best bit? All comments are moderated, so even when the spambots get the captcha right, the comments never appear! All they're doing is using up my bandwidth. And theirs, but they never seem to care about that.

For some even more bizarre reason, one of the subcategories has also become rather popular with almost exactly the same number of hits on the actual page and the RSS feed. In fact, looking at the logs it appears several spam attempts are going:
  • Load category page

  • Load category page's RSS feed

  • Load first post in RSS feed

  • Try to comment on post

  • Load error page
There's a whole collection of different browser user-agents in there as well which is rather sneaky. And unfortunately hard to deal with without inconveniencing genuine users.

Sigh... can we please just fire all spambots into the sun?