MoveableType Comment Spam
July 8, 2004 8:35 AM   Subscribe

My MT powered blog (version 2.51) has just been hit by over 200 comment spams. Is there some sort of "delete last x comments" command, or do I have to delete them all manually? And how do I stop this happening again? To install MT Blacklist I have to update MT, and I can't do this under the new license because it is a group blog with numerous authors. Please spare me the dullness of repetitive delete button clicking!
posted by Orange Goblin to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
The most painless method would be if you have some sort of direct access to the mySQL database -- does your web host give you phpMyAdmin or something similar?
posted by Aaorn at 8:44 AM on July 8, 2004

You can still get the latest version of MT 2.x on their website under its original license; you have to agree to the 3.0 license in the process of logging on but since you're not using 3.0 it won't apply to you. At least, that's my reading of it.

MT-Blacklist is *absolutely necessary* to keeping an MT blog healthy, if you ask me.

(And FYI, the Movable Type Support Forums are still available on their site, even if they done their damnedest to hide the link)
posted by bcwinters at 8:47 AM on July 8, 2004

Response by poster: Yes I have phpMyAdmin - what do I need to do, and how likely am I to screw it up?
posted by Orange Goblin at 8:49 AM on July 8, 2004

Going straight into the database would work, I suppose, but I agree with bcwinters, MT-Blacklist is the only way to go. If you were hit once with 200 comment spams, you'll get hit again (and again and again). MT-Blacklist catches most of these on its own, but the new ones that come out can be cleared with two clicks of the mouse.

FWIW, there are lots of people committed to holding their MT installs to v2.661, which is still available for download, and MT Blacklist works with it, installs easily (a handful of files in a couple of locations), and will save you a lot of headache.
posted by pzarquon at 9:29 AM on July 8, 2004

Response by poster: pzarquon those sites say that if I download any version of MT now, the 3.0 license will apply, or am I reading it wrong?
posted by Orange Goblin at 10:20 AM on July 8, 2004

It looks that way, Orange Goblin. I'm glad I upgraded to 2.661.

Is your data stored in an SQL database? If so, what Aaorn said.

Otherwise, if your data's in a Berkeley DB, your best choice is to write a script using the Perl API, if you're into that sort of thing.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 10:39 AM on July 8, 2004

Just download the version 2.661 and install MT-blacklist. You won't be violating any licenses and no one will "come get you" for doing something perfectly legal and allowed.
posted by mathowie at 10:43 AM on July 8, 2004

It sounds like someone was spamming your site using an auto-spam-script. If you do not want to upgrade your mt installation, the easiest way to combat this would be to rename your mt-comments.cgi file and then note the change in your mt.cfg file (and maybe your templates, if the filename is hardcoded in). This will still allow individual spammers, but will combat the hundreds-at-a-time spam comments.

There are also other steps you can take to keeping spam-free without mt-blacklist.
posted by rhapsodie at 10:56 AM on July 8, 2004

Response by poster: rhapsodie: I looked at doing that but couldn't find the line in mt.cfg to change. I guess I'm just going to download 2.661.
posted by Orange Goblin at 11:05 AM on July 8, 2004

Regarding MT-Blacklist, a side-question if I'm allowed to:

The instructions say: "Set the permissions for all files to 755 (-rwxr-xr-x)".

What if you've got a Win32 host? How do you set permissions on a non-Unix host?

That's what's keeping me from adding this plugin to my MT installation.
posted by kchristidis at 3:54 PM on July 8, 2004

If you are uploading your files via FTP, your FTP program should have the functionality to set permissions on files/folders.
posted by gen at 5:02 PM on July 8, 2004

Response by poster: Well I managed to give myself a heart attack by screwing up the MT upgrade, but its sorted now, so I'll try Blacklist in the morning.
posted by Orange Goblin at 5:53 PM on July 8, 2004

If it's the same guy that got me, do this:

mysql>DELETE from mt_comment where comment_email='';
posted by Hackworth at 11:43 PM on July 9, 2004

Just download the version 2.661 and install MT-blacklist. You won't be violating any licenses...

Actually, Six Apart now distributes 2.661 with the new license.
posted by hyperizer at 2:44 PM on July 13, 2004

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