The CAPTCHA reinvented: PlayThru

The evolution of spam

Many blog owners will be familiar with one particular pest on the internet: spam bots. This blog is no exception, but I was determined to keep my pages clear of digital graffiti even when I don't have much time to post regularly.

Fortunately there are some nice and unobtrusive countermeasures available, like Akismet. They work pretty much like the spam detection for your email. For some time, this used to be enough to keep the spam bots at bay, but spammers are constantly changing their angle of attack. Many comments that are posted nowadays don't even contain any links anymore. With some luck, they can even pass for a comment from an interested reader. I'm not completely sure how exactly this helps the spammer, but no doubt they are trying to raise the reputation level of the IP address or email used to post the comment with, so t hey are more likely to pass through filters like Akismet later. In any case, spam filters are not as effective against these messages as they are against something containing one or more actual links.


Updates to the Website

Just a quick note: I've updated the software for this website to BlogEngine.NET 2.8. Not a lot has changed since I've kept my original theme, but it does fix a few issues.

It also means that from now on you'll need to enter a CAPTCHA (provided by reCAPTCHA) in order to post comments. This is unfortunately necessary to stop excessive spamming that has been going for a while now. On BlogEngine 2.7 the reCAPTCHA plugin refused to work properly, but this seems to be fixed now.

If you happen to run into issues trying to post a comment – or anything else – drop me a note using the Contact form or on Twitter (@mveldhui). Also, authenticated users don't need to fill in a CAPTCHA for the moment, so you could also create an account. Thanks!