Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

[administrative] Spam Attack

arroba Email

In the last 48 hours we’ve had almost 1000 comments attempt to be posted from sources in Europe (“Ripe Network” ISP in Amsterdam to be precise). They’re all promoting different kinds of insurance. This is at least an order of magnitude greater than the normal rate of spam (for perspective we’ve only had 10,000 spam comments total in the last year) and it’s too time consuming to sort through looking for legitimate comments so for the nonce I won’t be doing any more recovering of user comments from it – they’re simply being deleted en masse. For most of you this will have no impact.


Hello DS,

Kendal at


may have had a problem with massive spam similar to what you describe.
His post at that link describes his unique solution.

Click on that link above, scroll to the bottom and look at the comment entry box.

It seems to be a simple yet effective way to make sure a given comment is created by a thinking human rather than a computer program.

Not only that, but Kendal's solution also demonstrates the ability of a human to recognize intelligence.

Our spam is coming in through the trackback interface, not the user interface. But thanks anyhow! -ds glennj
The suppression of criticism is very real and quite frightening. Every day I scour the internet for arguments against teleology in biology but can't find a single reference anywhere that anyone might dissent from the ID position. UD should be obligated to allow unfettered criticism of its positions here on its blog; how else will the non-teleological be heard? Charlie
duncharris, if you want to see what suppressing criticism looks, go to href="http://newprescribedevolution.blogspot.com/">New Prescribed Evolution Unlike JD, DaveScot will be forthright when he decides to ban a commenter! It's not fun getting spammed. I have a pretty low-traffic blog with a faithful, local audience of commenters, but these same spammers have found me, too. kathy
But also a sneaky way to suppress criticism? duncharris

Ah, finally a topic here that my experience as a system administrator qualifies me to address!

The RIPE Network (http://www.ripe.net/) is not an ISP. They are the Regional Internet Registry that coordinates the distribution of IP addresses in Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia. You may have found them through a referral to RIPE when you did a whois lookup of the spammer's IP address. To get more information on the spammer's location you can do a RIPE WHOIS Database Search at http://www.ripe.net/.

If they are coming from a consistent range of IP addresses you may be able to tweak your software to disallow posting from these addresses, at least until the problem goes away.

Thanks. Wordpress lists comments on the admin view with the IP already encapsulated in a URL pointing to an arin whois lookup which makes it easy to do a lookup. I understand what Ripe is now that you mention it. There are many IP address providers like them and the arin whois record contains a link to a referral server in such cases. Yes, I can block site access by IP address but no, they're not in a consistent range. -ds sagebrush gardener

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