Hey, I’m Steven — about a year ago, someone asked me to remake an old anti-spam plugin. He had used this old plugin for some time.
This plugin wasn’t well known, but it didn’t bother real people and was deadly effective. Problem was, like many plugins of that era, it wasn’t very user-friendly. So, I remade it user-friendly, also with a way to notify the admin of blocked attacks, and it was hammering spam like crazy.
At the same time, in my consulting business, I occasionally got emails like this from owners and webmasters of other sites whose anti-spam methods weren’t working. It’s possible you’ve been in that place, being flooded with spam — maybe.
“Aargh, I’m exhausted from wrestling with the spammers. We have been averaging one spam registration every 10 minutes.”
“Hello. we are trying to moderate. There’s likes 500 – 1000 spam posts on there.”
Working great and simple enough to maintain, it was decided that the plugin I remade was to be shared with others publicly. The response was overwhelming — people no longer had to fight spam anymore.
There were a few critical problems with that version of the plugin, though: once a spambot network admin got a hold of the code, they could reverse engineer it easily. There was also zero statistics tracking, whitelisting, and so on. The solutions to these problems later became Spam Hammer.
Imagine having 30 less minutes of your time everyday. What would it be like to wake up, log into your blog, and have a roadblock between you and your vision for it. This is more or less your reality.
Your vision of maybe running a popular blog that visitors can’t stay away from seems so far away. Maybe your vision was making a small amount of money every month for your work. Maybe it was to change the status quo.
Spam makes none of that matter anymore. It makes you loathe even thinking about your blog. Some of that spam links to fake software updates that installs viruses on your visitors’ computers. They can lose their money, their most private information or worse. It’s a ticking time-bomb.
You Can Get Out
You might think this is just the way it is, and there’s nothing to be done about it. It’s not your fault to think this way from experience. That said reality is that’s far from the truth. Many of these people thought the same thing, and look at them now.
- Spam Hammer 5.0 Dennis B says: 383 caught in the first 36 hours... not bad.
- Spam Hammer 5.0 Bacon Butty says: Wow - this modification is ridiculously good. I've installed on my forum, a forum that's been running sine Feb 2007. I've always had a problem with Spam - I'd tried every mod out there, as well as every default feature to keep them at bay but nothing worked as well as I'd hoped, and recently our spam attacks hit a new level, where I needed to moderate every signup manually - an exhaustive and time consuming process with 10 spam accounts to every 1 human account, not to mention dealing with the emails from the accounts we'd wrongly rejected. Since installing this and disabling every other feature - I've not had one instance of spam. Unbelievable. Thank you very much.
- Spam Hammer 5.0 Vitaris says: Just dropping in to say this plugin is a life saver. We've had anti-spam measures in place for years, but in the last couple of weeks bots have started to get around those measures and have been hammering my forums incessantly. This blocks well over 70 spam bots a day, so thank you! I now give a little cheer each time I get a mail notification (activated just for my gratification that another bot was foiled).
- Spam Hammer 5.0 abqtj says: Well I've had this for a week now on my forum and it's stopped almost 4,000. I'd say it works.
- Spam Hammer 5.0 GONUMBER6 says: I have mine set at 30 seconds and so far no spambots have made it through.
- Spam Hammer 5.0 DStephan says: I was spending a 1/2 hour to an hour each day approving new members, and that was with Glowhost and Captcha active. I deactivated Glowhost and I installed this mod a week ago and have had over 5500 spam registrations blocked and I've been able to turn off modded registration. Only one or two people spammers got through. I'm definitely liking this mod.
- Spam Hammer 5.0 Vantastic says: This is working a charm... in 6 hours it has bagged 150 spammers... and my site isn't even one of the big forums...
- Spam Hammer 5.0 Vintum says: Just want to say that I have installed this plugin a few weeks ago, and have yet to see a spam bot get past registration. I have it set to send me an e-mail every time to an account I set up just for this program, and believe me - they have certainly been trying.
- Spam Hammer 5.0 jcgriff2 says: 1st one caught just 4 minutes after installation!
- Spam Hammer 5.0 DAMNIK says: Over 50 in the last 6 hrs.
- Spam Hammer 5.0 Baf_Jams says: Thank you coder 1 less spammer that mods don't have to deal with :)
- Spam Hammer 5.0 smstoolbox says: Hi, This does exactly what it said it would - after 2 days received over 800 emails, thank you very much for your work...
- Spam Hammer 5.0 wayne.richards@ says: I honestly thought this wouldn't be much good but its amazing, only installed it half hour ago and 5 dodgy registrations blocked! INSTALL IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Spam Hammer 5.0 Jim Quinn says: Brilliant Mod! After initial implementation, over 1,600 blocked attempts in less than a 12 hour period.
- Spam Hammer 5.0 JMocks says: This mod is amazing. And does its job. I haven't changed ANY of the settings. 13 days since forum launch, has 113 blocks. Thanks again!
- Spam Hammer 5.0 patrick91 says: Need to say it works like a charm. After installation few days ago had more than 40 bots that where blocked! Great marked as installed! Using vB4.2 Pl3... It saves me a lot of time to ban and remove those and now have to do nothing at all
- Spam Hammer 5.0 Rostor says: 41 bots blocked in 64 min Good very good mod :)
- Spam Hammer 5.0 Neno says: my programmer loaded it today: I turned it on: caught 12 bots in 30 minutes registering in less than 15 sec. LOVE IT, now i can turn registration back on. TY
- Spam Hammer 5.0 dwkmi says: I was getting bots about every 2 to 4 minutes, so I turned off registration for a few days. Installed this, turned registration back on, and in the past 15 hours it has stopped 74 bots, and a real person registered fine. 100% success rate.
- Spam Hammer 5.0 Jason Ramsey says: already blocked 33 in about 30 minutes on one of our sites. Spam had gotten so bad, we had resorted to manual registrations on all of our sites. (We still do it for other reasons on one of them, which is also the one that this plugin has denied over 30 spammers in the last 1/2 hour). This could be the single-best mod ever made. Thank you, very much.
- Spam Hammer 5.0 midgetgrimm says: I just want to say thank you for this mod. It is a very efficient mod. In less than 24 hours it has stopped over 80 attempts. Majority from Ukraine/Russia region. So thanks for the inventive, and creative idea and for putting it together for all of us for free. Cheers mate Installed and rated as well.
- Spam Hammer 5.0 strudinox says: Just wanted to drop in and say thanks x 10000!! I've been hammered by spammer registrations the past few months. An hour after installing this mod I had 60 emails about blocked registrations! I'll turn off the email function for now, but glad there is finally a way to block these bots! Installed + Rated!
- Spam Hammer 5.0 msolano says: I have to thank you so much for this. Even though I enabled Akismet service (Anti-Spam Service from vBulletin) and Human Verification Questions/Answers many months ago, the last week I had a lots of bots spamming, my moderators were getting annoying but this saved the day. Send them to Miserable group is a must! My site is a little one but spammers don't care about the size. Again, thank you so much and I voted for this (MOTM) I set the time in 17 seconds: 10 reports in 30 minutes, most of them < 5 seconds.
- Spam Hammer 5.0 rodajest says: Great mod! 25 blocked on the first 20 min
- Spam Hammer 5.0 canadianrodder says: Pete, that's hug. Installed last night about this time and have received 115 block reports.
- Spam Hammer 5.0 pete_brady says: 10,100 bots rejected so far nice.
- Spam Hammer 5.0 bomb192uk says: Excellent mod, simple and effective. Over 300 blocked in 24 hours! (all were spam)
- Spam Hammer 5.0 mrfarb says: Like others, I recently got bombarded by spammers. I installed GlowHost mod, but this one seems so simple it's a no brainer, and not intrusive at all. I've disabled the other mod and left this in place, it's stopping a bot registration every minute or so! Excellent! Voted for MOTM for sure, thanks.
- Spam Hammer 5.0 gajinoz says: I saw this mod some time ago but didn't pay it much attention, I wasn't getting much in the way of spammers and they were reasonably easily handled. Recently though I started getting swamped with the buggers so I thought I'd give this mod a go. VERY glad I did, in the 12 hours since installing it over 60 bots have been stopped and they're still coming. EXCELLENT mod, very happy with it. Thanks. (My mod team thanks you too.) :)
- Spam Hammer 5.0 da prez says: I have only had 2 spammers try and 2 spammers caught. Nominated. Thanks
- Spam Hammer 5.0 BGN64 says: Before installing this mod I was getting 10-20 spam registrations per day. After installing I am getting 2 per week. THANK YOU!!!
- Spam Hammer 5.0 John Lester says: I installed this about a week ago before going to bed, woke up the next morning and found 134 emails from blocked registrants Have it set to 9 seconds and most of them had a time difference between 3 and 5 seconds. Love it!
- Spam Hammer 5.0 dilbert says: I've been using this for two weeks now. 3,052 spammers blocked and I have a very small site. Thank you again.
- Spam Hammer 5.0 The Cat! says: 70 in the first hour. Awesome mod.
- Spam Hammer 5.0 CharlieDelta says: What a great mod. Within the first 24 hours I had 50 emails. Works so well I had to turn the emails off. Thank you for sharing!
- Spam Hammer 5.0 JarretC says: Awesome so far! Just installed and have already blocked 2 spammers within 5 minutes of installation.
Your Next Step In The Right Direction: Country Blocking
If you live in North America, South America, or Australia, there’s a 95% chance your WordPress blog doesn’t get any human no-spam comments from certain countries like Bangladesh, India, Ukraine, and Bulgaria where spam farms thrive.
Offending countries might be different for you, but the problem is the same. A solution to this problem is 1. name the countries attacking your WordPress blog and 2. block them from registering and posting comments.
Take my answer to this problem for a spin — there isn’t any setting up of complex tools or investing massive amounts of time to use it. All you do is tick a country’s name and it’s blocked from registering and posting comments — that’s it.
I only give 100 trial keys a month for this plugin — these 100 keys are split unevenly between multiple community software platforms so keys go fast. Steven