Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

TarPit update

I’ve had a minor modification to my Spammer TarPit plugin in place here for a couple of weeks, but I’m just now getting around to updating it for public consumption. New in version 1.3: the plugin will now emit an HTTP 403 “Forbidden” status code, and the content-type is set to “text/plain”. There’s little hope that a spammer bot will actually recognize and respect the 403 status code, but at least it’s proper semantics on the part of the plugin.

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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9 Responses to TarPit update

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  2. Kitten says:

    you might be able to clean up the regex with something like:
    That way, the last quad can be dropped for spammers that are working a subnet.

  3. However, you would run the risk of blocking innocent bystanders who are in the same subnet.

    The tarpit shouldn’t be considered a first line of defense in blocking spam. I find that far more of the spam targeted at my site is blocked by the normal moderation checks than by my tarpit. The tarpit is mainly useful for cases like I was seeing a week or two ago, when an automated program is sending spam after spam after spam from the same address.

    I’ve seen hundreds of spams sent to moderation over the past few days, but only 4 hits have triggered the tarpit.

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  5. Artois says:

    and if i want to ban a subnet, like 82.55.x.x-82.59.x.x how i do?

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  7. MiG says:

    Hi there, I just downloaded and installed your plugin since I also am a target for the damn crap bots. My Q ( ignorant and stupid as it might be )is how/where do I add the ip’s I want to block? How is it supposed to look like when I add them?

    Thanks for your time


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  9. Jeff says:

    Dougal, what happened to the code for your tarpit plugin? I go to, and then from thereon, to|phps, but guess what, “Apologies, but we were unable to find what you were looking for. Perhaps searching will help.” …

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