A few weeks ago, I installed Bad Behavior on this site. This prevents malicious access to the server, thereby preventing comment spam and other nasties. It works in a different way to Akismet in that it doesn’t allow the access in the first place, thereby preventing a long queue of spams from forming that need to be moderated (either manually or automatically).
I’ve noticed two things. Firstly, whilst Akismet is still active, it is now picking out less than half a dozen spams per week. This will disappoint Rodney who was looking forward to the next
pie spam chart, I’m sure. At this rate, it will be a very long time before another 50,000 spams make it to grayblog.
Secondly, the number of access attempts blocked by Bad Behavior (hate that spelling) has declined dramatically and rapidly since I first installed it. During the first week, over 7000 malicious access attempts were made on this site – which shows where the gazillions of spams were coming from and must have been putting a bit of a strain on the server (and adding to my bandwidth bill). By the second week, that figure had halved. I’ve just checked the figure again and, in the last seven days, there have been just 416 malicious access attempts. This implies that by preventing access and returning an error code to the malicious server, I’m actually deterring them from even trying to access grayblog – clearly the spam servers learn where they get 404s and 200s so that they don’t waste resources (clever chaps, these spammers).
Conclusion: I recommend Bad Behavior whole heartedly. I think I may install it on my other (work) blog.