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I got all of a sudden a number of strange feedback messages from my sites feedback form its where normally users would come and enter feedback and then I would review it on an admin panel. However these messages make little to no sense like for an example: here are two 'messages':

2GyOim  <a href=\"http://vdjzpnoyzfji.com/\">vdjzpnoyzfji</a>, [url=http://gixlpbtswcdh.com/]gixlpbtswcdh[/url], [link=http://zudauexgjgot.com/]zudauexgjgot[/link], http://vqhafprwogyf.com/

jF2wdU  <a href=\"http://aprjkscbhnxf.com/\">aprjkscbhnxf</a>, [url=http://dhfeoqufoqvu.com/]dhfeoqufoqvu[/url], [link=http://whmzpbqrsume.com/]whmzpbqrsume[/link], http://xxfntqzhhbza.com/

I got about over a dozen of these - and they are all from very different ips is someone playing around and is it a cause for me to get vigilant?

Also they all have the exact same time and date of entry which is spooky?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

No, someone is trying to use your commenting system for advertising spam links.

Simple solution: Install a recaptcha plugin (or similar) so the bot can't automatically populate and submit fake/spam comments.

edit: I'd forgotten about Akismet. I suspect it's fairly easy to integrate into an existing service.
Personally, i'd rather not have to sift through the spam to find the genuine comments, so I'd always choose to prevent it, rather than selectively moderate it out of existance.

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It's definately NOT someone trying to hack your website. It's just people(or bots) spamming your form with spam messages, you can safely ignore them. Make sure not to click those links or reply to the messages. You will be fine.

Now you'll probably want to know how to stop this, You can try changing the names of the input fields from (for example) e-mail to a2 or similar cryptic naming. This will stop quite a lot of spam already, but it's far from optimal.

You can also use an anti-spam service like Akismet ,which is very easy to use within wordpress.

Or use a captcha (those scribly text/numbers you have to copy in forms) That will stop spammers, but makes the form less user friendly so use it as a last resort kind of thing.

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I agree with Tom that this is only an attempt to subvert your comment system.

I get hundreds of these, and similar, each day, and I don't bother trying to filter them on the server, because:

  1. The only thing that happens to them is that they are emailed to me; the server does nothing else with them. I can approve comments offline, using Steve Kemp's chronicle.
  2. I prefer to have a lean set of filters on my server, to deal only with things that are dangerous.
  3. Nearly all are trivial to spot using mail filtering software, and that seems the right place to deal with comment spam.
  4. I prefer reviewing spam using mail rather than server logs.

If you approve all messages that appear on your website, then don't use a captcha. There are comment filtering services out there that can analyse comments in a manner similar to mail spam filters (all links to the client API page, organised from simplest API to most complex):

  1. Steve Kemp (again) has an xml-rpc-based comment filter: it's how Debian filters comments, and the code is free software, meaning you can run your own comment filtering server if you like;
  2. There's Akismet, which is from the WordPress universe;
  3. There's Mollom, which has an impressive list of users. It's closed source; it might say "not sure" about comments, intended to suggest offering a captcha to check the user.

My own experience is that very little comment spam is intelligent, in the sense of getting around filters, in the way that email spam is.

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