Mod Security and DBSL

Updated the server last night while feeling crappy and skipping out on martial arts.

Installed mod_security (here’s why) and Jacques’ hacked DBSL plugin for Movable Type. While my blogs have been pretty spam free since moving to the new server and implementing a pretty comprehensive .htaccess file, it’s always good to stay at least a little ahead of the game.

Mod_security offers some pretty fine grained rule structures which should prevent some false positives generated by mod_rewrite rules. Really it’s like a little IDS for your webserver. I need to start playing around with rule sets, as last night all I really did was compile it and make sure a basic rule worked without breaking the webserver. I’m pretty paranoid about b0rking the production box.

Jacques’ modified DBSL plugin checks comment submissions and trackbacks against and denies them if they are listed as open proxies. This is not perfect for catching spammers, but it’s a lot better than nothing, and another brick in that spam blocking wall.

There’s a lot of talk in the blogosphere about killing trackbacks altogether after a recent spate of spamming dedicated to it. And it makes sense. Trackbacks are used for little more than referers these days so for many of us, it would be a small loss. Although I agree with Matt Haughey: This is why we can’t have nice things.

I’m kicking around the idea of a redesign for this site and TGB. We’ll see if I have time. Most people are hitting the sites with RSS readers these days that it hardly seems worth it, but what the hell, it’s fun. If you are hitting the site with a browser and you’ve got “century gothic” installed in your fonts, you’ll notice I’ve switched to it for the body text. Me likey.

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