[wp-hackers] Trackback Validator plugin now available.

Dan Sandler dsandler at dsandler.org
Wed Aug 24 18:30:46 GMT 2005

Dear hackers,

The first public version (v0.5) of the WP Trackback Validator is now 
available from the following URL:


The idea behind the Validator [which is under development by students 
in the Rice University Computer Security Lab] is simple: Trackback URLs 
that point to pages that *don't* link back to your blog are bogus.  
It's an easy test to perform, and one that no current Trackback spammer 
is bothering to try to defeat; since we've started using this plugin on 
our personal WP blogs, our Trackback spam rate has dropped to zero.

This test is already present in some other anti-spam plugins, typically 
included among a hodgepodge of other content-based schemes and rules.  
If you're looking for something lightweight that does one job extremely 
well, please check out the Validator.

The point of the project, in addition to helping to combat Trackback 
spam, is to collect *data*.  We're interested in the kinds of spams 
people get, from which sources, at what rate, etc.  We'd like to see 
if, once everyone starts applying the simple reverse-link check, the 
spammers step up their assault.  In order to help us, the Validator 
distribution comes with a small shell script which will send us a 
profile of the spam you've caught recently.

So, in short, to save Trackback from an untimely "death", try out the 
Trackback Validator.  We'd love for you to send us back some data; in 
the meantime, enjoy spam-free Trackbacks on your WordPress site.

Dan Sandler
Rice University

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