Killing Chinese Comment Spam

Is any body else suffering from considerable amounts of comment spam from China? Is Chinese comment spam managing to bypass your Captcha plugin? I seem to be getting an awful lot, most of it from Putian in China. I have 3 WordPress sites yet only one of them is really badly affected – this one! It’s as if it has managed to get itself on a list somewhere and just gets bombarded by up to several hundred spam comments per week.

Now, I have Akismet installed and believe me, if you don’t have it you must get it, it is just fantastic. All the spam goes straight to your spam folder and it misses very little. Plus it learns all the time from other WordPress users what is and isn’t spam. I have also been using SI Captcha Anti Spam which appears to have done nothing to reduce the amount of Chinese spam. Although Akismet firmly places it all in the spam folder, it is still a pain as it can quickly mount up to several hundred spam comments making it a bit of task to skim through to double check no ham has slipped into the spam folder.

I can only assume either the Chinese spam bots have a clever way round SI Captcha or there are people happy to get paid not very much for sitting there and manually commenting on blog posts.

chinese spamEither way, I think that I have found a way round most of it that suits me. If you rely on traffic from China, this method will not be so great. I installed Wordfence which is also a fantastic plugin for protecting your site. I won’t go into full details here as I am just focusing on spam but have a look, it has many great features and is a real doddle to set up.

Wordfence has a feature that enables you identify and ban individual IPs and even whole networks. Now a bit of patience and persistence is required initially but over just a day or two you can pull the IP addresses from your spam comments and either block individually or block the network.

To get you started, here is a list of Chinese networks that have been spamming me:

IP Range: Block visitors with IP addresses in the range: 27.159.0.0 – 27.159.255.255
Browser Pattern: Allow all browsers
Reason: Spamming

31 blocked hits
Last blocked: 5 hours 45 mins ago

IP Range: Block visitors with IP addresses in the range: 27.153.128.0 – 27.153.255.255
Browser Pattern: Allow all browsers
Reason: Spamming

12 blocked hits
Last blocked: 3 hours 43 mins ago

IP Range: Block visitors with IP addresses in the range: 27.148.0.0 – 27.151.255.255
Browser Pattern: Allow all browsers
Reason: Spamming

6 blocked hits
Last blocked: 12 mins ago

IP Range: Block visitors with IP addresses in the range: 222.77.0.0 – 222.77.255.255
Browser Pattern: Allow all browsers
Reason: Spamming

73 blocked hits
Last blocked: 26 secs ago

IP Range: Block visitors with IP addresses in the range: 59.56.0.0 – 59.61.255.255
Browser Pattern: Allow all browsers
Reason: Spamming

156 blocked hits
Last blocked: 25 mins ago

IP Range: Block visitors with IP addresses in the range: 220.160.0.0 – 220.162.255.255
Browser Pattern: Allow all browsers
Reason: Spamming

28 blocked hits
Last blocked: 2 hours 44 mins ago

IP Range: Block visitors with IP addresses in the range: 117.24.0.0 – 117.31.255.255
Browser Pattern: Allow all browsers
Reason: Spamming

58 blocked hits
Last blocked: 36 mins ago

All these hits were in the last couple of days. You could make things a lot easier by just paying for the premium version of Wordfence and getting the additional Country level blocking feature.

Anyway, I hope this helps and just to make absolutely clear, I have no connection with Wordfence and as far as I am aware, they don’t pay for referrals, I’m certainly not getting anything from them, I just like the plugin and don’t like people spamming my blog.

Good luck!


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