I mentioned this on twitter a while back, but I’m consistently amazed by how much effort is made by hackers to hack into my personal web sites. I’d be really interested in seeing what percentage of internet traffic is taken up by these types of efforts (not on my sites, but on content management systems overall). I plan on doing some analysis of this, but simply haven’t gotten around to it.

Anyway, I had some issues with the CAPTCHA on this site, and my comments plugin provider isn’t responding to any forum posts on the topic so I had to just leave the comments on and use the plugin’s moderation capabilities to weed out the spam. What’s interesting about this is that I generally only get spam on just one of my posts as shown in the figure below.

I don’t know what it is about that particular topic that attracts the spammers, but it sure does (to the tune of about 50 spam comments a week).

Apparently there’s some known bug in GeSHI and/or Joomla and the botnets are trained to look for it to see if they can capitalize on it. All the spam comes from the same botnet I think because the format of the message is always the same, just the topic and target change. In the old days, the comments would be entered by a human, or at least written by a human, so the messages had a real subject and real content. I’m really not sure why anyone things that comments with random characters in the subject and body of the comment wouldn’t raise red flags and get the comment deleted, but that’s what’s happening time and time again.

What I’ll probably do is switch out the comment plugin for another that actually works with Joomla’s built in CAPTCHA (see, CAPTCHA is an acronym so I’ll spell it that way, spam isn’t, so you won’t see me capitalizing spam that way). This is the second comments plugin I’ve used, and I hate to whack all the existing comments again, but I don’t get that many comments (only spam) so it probably isn’t a big deal.

People are reading these articles, right?


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