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Web Dev + WordPress + Security
Tag: spam
49 posts

First 30 Days without Bad Behavior

Approximately 30 days ago, I completely uninstalled the Bad Behavior plugin from Perishable Press. As you may recall, many Bad Behavior users were unexpectedly locked out of their own sites and forced to either uninstall or upgrade in order to fix the problem. Of course, in my perpetual battle to optimize and streamline everything, I decided to drop Bad Behavior from the otherwise obligatory WordPress anti-spam trinity. 30 days later.. I am happy to report that Perishable Press has not […] Continue reading »

Blacklist Candidate Number 2008-01-02

Welcome to the Perishable Press “Blacklist Candidate” series! In this first post, we begin a new tradition of exposing, humiliating and banishing spammers, crackers and other worthless scumbags.. Every Wednesday, I take a little time to investigate my 404 error logs. In addition to spam, crack attacks, and other deliberate mischief, the 404 logs for Perishable Press contain errors due to missing resources, mistyped URLs, and the occasional bizarre or even suspicious behavior of the search-engine robots. Whenever possible, I […] Continue reading »

News Phlash for Phishers: Grammar are Critical if You Want to Stealing from People

“Oh no, not again!” It looks like another one of my non-existent bank accounts has been blocked at Bank of America. But that’s cool, because I like, totally graduated from third grade. Knowing best for all grammar and words in email. Let’s examine yet another idiotic phishing attempt, shall we? First, let’s have a look at the full-meal deal (sans bank logos, links, and other forged minutia): Continue reading »

Ultimate .htaccess Blacklist 2: Compressed Version

In our original htaccess blacklist article, we provide an extensive list of bad user agents. This so-called “Ultimate htaccess Blacklist” works great at blocking many different online villains: spammers, scammers, scrapers, scrappers, rippers, leechers — you name it. Yet, despite its usefulness, there is always room for improvement. Continue reading »

WordPress Spam Battle: 3 Seconds that will Save You Hours of Time

In the hellish battle against spam, many WordPress users have adopted a highly effective trinity of anti-spam plugins: Akismet Bad Behavior Spam Karma This effective triage of free WordPress plugins has served many a WP-blogger well, eliminating virtually 99% of all automated comment-related spam. When spam first became a problem for me, I installed this triple-threat arsenal of anti-spam plugins and immediately enjoyed the results. Although Spam Karma seemed a little invasive and resource-intensive, too much protection seemed far better […] Continue reading »

Black Market Diaper Spam

Insanity reigns in the blogosphere! Check out this sweet little spam comment that found its way to my moderation queue.. Cloth Hello to all, its my new pages about cloth cloth diaper You can buy here 24\7. Yes indeed, “Cloth diaper”!! Come on now, is the competition really that fierce in the cloth diaper industry that companies must turn to the slimy spam cartel for scummy comment links? “its my new pages about cloth” — WTF?!!! Dude! I can’t wait […] Continue reading »

How to Block IP Addresses with PHP

Figuratively speaking, hunting down and killing spammers, scrapers, and other online scum remains one of our favorite pursuits. Once we have determined that a particular IP address is worthy of banishment, we generally invoke the magical powers of htaccess to lock the gates. When htaccess is not available, we may summon the versatile functionality of PHP to get the job done. This method is straightforward. Simply edit, copy and paste the following code example into the top of any PHP […] Continue reading »

Ultimate htaccess Blacklist

For those of us running Apache, htaccess rewrite rules provide an excellent way to block spammers, scrapers, and other scumbags easily and effectively. While there are many htaccess tricks involving blocking domains, preventing access, and redirecting traffic, Apache’s mod_rewrite module enables us to target bad agents by testing the user-agent string against a predefined blacklist of unwanted visitors. Any matches are immediately and quietly denied access. Continue reading »

Take Good Care of the Puppy

Of all the bizarre, nonsensical, and pointless spam we have received so far this year, this one takes the cake. It was delivered to our designated spam account earlier this month as a plain-text email, which opens with an explanation. Apparently, “Bob Diamond” is “an Hiring Manager” looking to advertise a couple of important items. The first ad seems remotely realistic, but the second ad.. it’s like, “teddy bear features” out of nowhere — you can’t be serious. Continue reading »

Invite Only: Traffic Control via Whitelist

Web developers trying to control comment-spam, bandwidth-theft, and content-scraping must choose between two fundamentally different approaches: selectively deny target offenders (the “blacklist” method) or selectively allow desirable agents (the “opt-in”, or “whitelist” method). Currently popular according to various online forums and discussion boards is the blacklist method. The blacklist method requires the webmaster to create and maintain a working list of undesirable agents, usually blocking their access via htaccess or php. The downside of blacklisting is that it requires considerable […] Continue reading »

Industrial-Strength Spamless Email Links

In our previous article on creating spamless email links via JavaScript, the presented method, although relatively simple to implement, is not the most effective solution available. Spambots, email harvesters, and other online scumbags relentlessly advance their scanning technology, perpetually rendering obsolete yesterday’s methods. Continue reading »

Disobedient Robots and Company

In our never-ending battle against spammers, leeches, scrapers, and other online undesirables, we have implemented several powerful security measures to improve the operational integrity of our perpetual virtual existence. Here is a rundown of the new behind-the-scenes security features of Perishable Press. Continue reading »

Block Spam by Denying Access to No-Referrer Requests

What we have here is an excellent method for preventing a great deal of blog spam. With a few strategic lines placed in your .htaccess file, you can prevent spambots from dropping spam bombs by denying access to all requests that do not originate from your domain. Continue reading »

Spamless Email Address via JavaScript

Let’s face it, spam sucks. Give spammers the figurative finger by using this nifty bit of JavaScript to hide your email address from the harvesters. Here is an easy copy-&-paste snippet for including a spam-proof email address in your web pages. Although there are a million ways of doing this, I am posting this for the record (and because I just can’t stand deleting usable code). This technique uses JavaScript, and therefore is not 100% ideal for all users. My […] Continue reading »

Phish Phight

I love reading these things.. Your online credit card account has high-risk activity status. We are contacting you to remind you that on March. 13, 2006 our Account Review Team identified some unusual activity in your account. In accordance with Chase Bank’s User Agreement and to ensure that your account has not been compromised, access to your account was limited. Your account access will remain limited until this issue has been resolved. We encourage you to log in and perform […] Continue reading »

Phish or Die

Ahh, the joys of stealing from people… Dear Customer Of The WellsFargo Internet Banking We Have Noticed That Your Wells Fargo Online Bank Account Needs To Be Updated, because we have made a new updates on our online banking service and we lost some information of our customer online banking accounts, we are sorry for that but you should update your Wells Fargo online bank account. To verify your online account and access your bank account, to be able to […] Continue reading »

Welcome
Perishable Press is operated by Jeff Starr, a professional web developer and book author with two decades of experience. Here you will find posts about web development, WordPress, security, and more »
WP Themes In Depth: Deep dive into WP theme development.
Thoughts
Watching. Waiting. Praying.
Got all of my free WordPress plugins updated for imminent WP 5.6 in early December. Pro plugin updates currently in the works.
7G Firewall now integrated into BBQ Firewall (free version). Pro version soon ;)
macOS Big Sur update complete. So far no crazy issues. Except TextEdit, which is completely screwed up and unusable. Replaced with free BBEdit.
Got so sick of macOS’ annoying “red dot” that I had to remove System Prefs from the dock. Come on Apple you can do better.
Beginning development of an Nginx version of 7G Firewall.
Happy Birthday to Perishable Press, celebrating 15 years online! :)
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