Yet Another Wiki Spam Attack

Over the weekend, got hammered by a(n apparently) coordinated and distributed spam barrage. Hundreds of pages hit, new pages created, talk namespaces crapped into, etc...

I think I saw part of it happen in "real time" - I was watching a movie with Evan, with my Powerbook plugged into our TV (the only DVD player in the house), and every now and then I heard the system beep. After the movie ended, I saw the Watchmouse monitoring page for saying there was trouble connecting, and the main page was showing a MySQL connection error. Reloading the page made it go away, so I didn't pay much attention.

Paul and I just spent the better part of an hour going through the wiki and delousing it, and I sure hope we didn't inadvertently nuke a "real" edit, or spank a "real" user. The last thing I want is collateral damage in this silly battle against spammers.

I just can't put into words how frustrating this is - we run a service for the use of the University community, to enhance the practice of teaching and learning online - and spammers run repeated drive-by-shootings spraying their crap all over it. It's not just simple vandalism, though. It diminishes trust in the resource - why would a prof put stuff in it, if they can't protect it from spam?

There has got to be a better solution to protecting a wiki from spam. I've got the Spam Blacklist extension for Mediawiki installed (and keep adding my own regex patterns, and periodically grabbing the blacklist from - but that only helps protect against known spammers. I'll be adding Bad Behavior (thanks to Paul for the link) to see if that helps.

Is there a tool available to go into a wiki and nuke any spam it finds? If spam keeps getting through the filters, there should be a way to yank it out again...

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