Comment Spams with .info

FOCUSer.net has been bambarded with lots of comment spams lately. As many members do not check their emails regularly for comment notifications, many spam messages were left there for a day or two. I have been tuning the Apache server configuration to block out spam bots, but many of them still manage to slip through by supplying "real" user-agent and referrer information. I can't block by IP's either, as they seem to be coming from everywhere - probably from virus infected zombie PC's.

So I fell back to the mighty MT BlackList, and tried to manually add offending domains to the black list. But the effort was in vain - all of them have different domains! One way to stop spamming is to reduce the commercial viability of the spammers, based on the principle that if they can't make profit, they will stop. Black listing domains has been an implementation of that principle, assuming that the spammers cannot have unlimited supply of domains, as registration new domains on TLD costs money...

Until some registrars started to offer free .info domains for one year. When the news hit the street over 2 months ago, I initially thought that the idea was interesting - you can register up to 20 .info domains for free. Who would want to register that many second-level domains with only 1 year expiry, other than the evil domain squatters? But apparently spammers, who represent another form of evil on the Internet, have found a new application on these free domains - to defeat the black list.

That is exactly what has been happening. Many spam-bot generated comment spams over the last couple of days were pointing to many weird but unique .info domains. There is no way that I can block every single one of them with MT BlackList, especially when they can quickly register new ones at no cost!

At the end, I am very tempted to just block the entire .info domain from leaving comments on FOCUSer.net, since over the last 2 years no one has ever commented on these blogsites with a .info domain, other than the comment spammers. We'll see.