Author: M.Prince (29 Apr 07 12:57am)
So we began to track comment spammers. The way we do this is by putting a form on the honey pot page and watching what gets posted to it. However, because the original honey pots weren't designed to listen for POSTs, but we wanted to leverage the existing network, we came up with a not-entirely-perfect, but fairly good solution.
First, we updated the PHP script so that it can listen for POSTs. New PHP installations will watch for POSTs back to themselves and then relay that information on to our servers.
Second, for honey pots that didn't have POST-handing, we still get a copy of the URL requested for every GET. So for those honey pots we handed out forms with a method of GET instead of POST. For example:
<form action="/honeypot.asp" method="GET" id="whatever" name="whatever">
When a comment spammer submits that form the contents of the fields are turned into GET variables and a GET request is submitted. This request is passed on to our servers by all current implementations of the honey pot script so we can record it.
The problem is that GETs appear in peoples logs. And we're all curious when something strange appears in our log and so we sometimes click on it. That then means that the clicker gets reported as a comment spammer when, really, they're just the server admin. Bad.
We've built some back-end checking to limit the risk of this, but our intent is to slowly convert all the honey pots over to the new POST-handing kind. Since we're not ASP experts, your help doing so would be great. If you want to see an example that does it just how we want it, download a PHP-based honey pot and check out the code. Very straight forward. Should only be a line or two more of code (not counting whatever needs to be fixed in order to make it not break when we hand back more complex content).
Until then, we're going to revert the ASP honey pots back to the old version. That should cause them to all start working again. But if anyone's able to modify the ASP code, we'll incorporate a new version.