Referrer Spam

On edit, February 23, 2005, I added: The following technique does not appear to work. We’re still getting referral spam in spite of keywords existing in WordPress’s moderation keys. It’s possible that I disabled its functionality when I modified the explode() and implode() commands in order to eliminate browser errors; or perhaps it’s not working for some other reason. I’ve left the rest of this article mostly as originally written. Dave’s technique for Row_deletes is useful, it works great.

Here’s the original text:

I’ve been having some limited issues with referrer spam, and Barbara’s blog is having and has had a huge problem with it. We’re both using StatTraq for quick statistics, and apparently it has some vulnerabilities with regards to this issue. Here’s an interesting fix to the stattraq.php file that’s written by Dave. It appears to integrate with an already existing wordpress file, and for some reason, I like that concept..

Unfortunately, after following Dave’s instructions, I kept getting some errors in Firefox 1.0: fortunately, after an hour or two of non-programmer’s stress, I located the apparent errors in explode() and implode().

Dave’s solution also references a text file that includes a series of MSQL commands that is run from phpMyAdmin to clean up the existing spam entries in the wp-stattraq table, it was easy to customize in a text editor. Since Barbara’s site has been subject to this type of attack for many months, there were thousands of entries to pick through to add to the DELETE from TABLE command string.

Everything appears to be working well now, with no more years of referral spam! We’ll see how it works over time.

While we were going through her referrer logs, we found one address that redirected to another site that appears to offer a software product designed specifically for generating this scourge. That site advertises the program has the ability to change the reported user-agent as well as IP spoofing through proxies. All for $50.00. If you want this program, don’t ask me where to find it.

2 thoughts on “Referrer Spam

  1. Loid, thanks for the Karma suggestion, and for referencing the article documenting the source of some of the spam. Your campaign is an excellent course of action that will empower outraged bloggers.

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