Automating MT-Blacklist

by john on January 4, 2004

The best defense against the growing problem of comment spam that Movable Type powered weblog owners have is Jay Allen’s MT-Blacklist. If your weblog is built on MT then you simply must install this plugin. There is no better feeling than checking the activity log and seeing all of the comment spammers who have been stopped dead in their tracks by this wonderful plugin.

Once you install the plugin keep the blacklist up to date by visiting the Comment Spam Clearinghouse. Here you will find the most recently updated blacklist as well as a mechanism for submitting any new comment spam that happened to slip through. We as a community of users help to keep the list updated for the benefit of everyone.

Up until a few days ago the only fault I had with this system was that it still required me to periodically grab the new blacklist, and of course some comment spam would slip in between the time someone identified the new variant and I was able to grab the new blacklist.

Thankfully, someone has solved this problem. Cheah Chu Yeow has created the MT-Blacklist Updater which is a simple PHP script that can be scheduled via cron or Windows Scheduled Tasks, or whatever other job scheduling mechanism you use. Installation was a breeze and my blacklist now gets updated automatically every 6 hours. What I really like about this implementation is that it processes and records both inserts and deletes to the list. The only problem with it I have is that there doesn’t appear to be a way to record the details behind what was inserted or deleted. Particularly for deletes I would be interested in the details.

Comment spam is a growing problem but thankfully there are people like Jay Allen and Cheah Chu Yeow who are tackling the problem head-on.


Chris January 4, 2004 at 8:57 am

Just edit updateblacklist.php
and change

$to_add[] = $entry;


$to_add[] = $entry;
echo “Added $entry \n”;

And do the same for the delete function below.

Cheah Chu Yeow January 5, 2004 at 3:54 am

Yup that was what I did before. This will only show up if you actually view the page or have cron send you an email when the thing runs.

I actually rely on MT-Blacklist which logs any additions or deletions. They should show up on your activity log, just not exactly which are added or deleted (unless only 1 entry is added or deleted at 1 time). A change to MT-Blacklist should do the trick.

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