# MediaWiki Spam_blacklist Extension

I'd installed Spam_blacklist back in October, but we'd been getting the occasional spam attack since then, lately every single weekend. So I just dug into the Mediawiki config, and realized that Spam_blacklist never got properly configured on my server, meaning it was essentially running wide open. Crap. What a waste of time that was. Paul and I have removed dozens/hundreds of spams over the last few weeks, and I was assuming Spam_blacklist was enabled properly. Oops.

So, if you're running Mediawiki, be sure to carefully (re)follow the instructions, especially Morbus Iff's patch for 1.5 compatibility (I had to manually patch the file, since patch was barfing on an unmatched }).

The wiki is now configured to pull the blacklist from meta.wikimedia.org every hour, and will check edits against both that blacklist and the one we're growing ourselves.

Things to watch out for:

• If you're running the latest MediaWiki (1.5.x), be sure you've applied Morbus Iff's patch.
• Also, be sure you've moved your local Spam_blacklist page to Mediawiki:Spam_blacklist so the plugin can see it. It apparently must be in the Mediawiki: namespace.
• Fix your copy of load_lists.sh to use the proper URL for updating the blacklist - bots have to use http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Spam_blacklist&action=raw
• If you want, add the load_lists.sh file to your crontab so it runs automatically. I think the plugin tries to do that, but better safe than sorry ;-)
• Test your wiki's now-hopefully-working antispam measures. Try to edit a page with a URL from the shared blacklist, then one from your own. Hopefully both attempts fail.
• (hopefully) relax a bit, and with luck the spammers will move on to greener pastures...

Why on earth isn't this plugin included with the core Mediawiki distro? And why hasn't the download been updated for 1.5 compatibility yet? It would be great to keep it up to date, and to make it easier to get it running properly. There are likely a LOT of Mediawiki instances that aren't configured properly, making all Mediawiki instances nice, juicy targets.