My latest set of anti-junk defenses seems to have worked out very well. Over at Junkyard Blog, I’ve gone from hundreds of junk items a day to 5-10. I dropped the ban threshold back to 2, which seems to actually be working better than 1. The ban list is about 1800 addresses instead of 6700 or so but just as effective in slowing down the flood. It looks there is a clear distinction between scanners who hit a lot of targets once and the pounders, who hit the same targets a lot. Those guys get shut down rapidly by AutoBan and my filters take care of the scanners. The trackback modification is still under test here and at Low Earth Orbit but so far it has cut the trackback junk down to 1 every couple of days that gets filtered anyway. I have even cut back on my filter tweaking because I am not getting enough samples (a problem I am willing to live with).
The question is, will I be in trouble if my techniques become widely used and therefore worth circumventing? To some extent, but I think that it will still make it difficult for the script kiddies, which should cut down the volume. Raising the bar is always useful, even though it can never stop everybody. More likely, no one else will adopt the technology leaving me in a little oasis in the junk desert.
On the other hand, the more fringe the point of the junk, the less profit is in it and the less likely someone will bother. It just may not be worth the effort even for the clever ones to try and overcome my defenses, even if in wide use. I suspect that many of the originals have left the field and are now consulting and selling packages to the “get in right after the peak” crowd. One example of this is that the domain names are shifting from standard words to mispellings (like “parmacy”). That’s indicative of trying to harvest more marginal areas, a signal of a overfished ecosystem. Weblog parasitism is much more of a niche and much more difficult than electronic mail junk, so it’s possible it has a tipping point where it declines to a nuisance. We’ll see if I’m already there or just living in a fool’s paradise.