Chain Reaction

I’ve experienced a weird and unfortunate chain reaction over the last 48 hours.

  1. A flood of comment spam
  2. Akismet not accepting connections from my server1 and/or not catching the spam. UPDATE: this wasn’t Akismet’s fault, see bottom of post.
  3. The email notifications from all the spam comments sending to my mail account
  4. My mail host started blocking all mail from my server (due to the high volume of comment spam)

This has presented me with a choice between receiving email and accepting comments on this site, and that’s an easy choice.

I disabled comments, and once the flow of spam mails stopped my mail host seems to be accepting mail again. It’s sad to see the problems caused by comment spam extending beyond the annoyance of having them appear on your blog.2

I’m taking some additional steps to try to get the mail situation set up a little better (domain migration so I have better DNS control, sending mail directly to Google Apps and then forwarding to my primary mail account from there). I’m hopeful that I can get the Akismet connection issues resolved and enable comments again in the near future.

Regardless, it’s been a genuine pain in the arse having to deal with this. Apologies for the impact it’s had on anyone looking to comment here and/or receiving emails from my server.

UPDATE: re-enabling comments, hoping for the best.

UPDATE #2: the inability to reach Akismet appears to have been due to a firewall issue on my server (no blame should be placed on Akismet).

  1. It allows connections at times, but then doesn’t for long periods of time. [back]
  2. They can also cause server scalability issues. [back]