Here’s a slightly edited version of the message I sent to wp-hackers today:
The first public version (v0.5) of the WP Trackback Validator is no
w available from the following URL:
The idea behind the Validator, which is under development by students in the Rice University Computer Security Lab, is simple: Trackback URLs that point to pages that don’t link back to your blog are bogus. It’s an easy test to perform, and one that no
current Trackback spammer is bothering to try to defeat; since we’ve started using this plugin on our personal WP blogs, our Trackback spam rate has dropped to zero.
This test is already present in some other anti-spam plugins, typically included among a hodgepodge of other content-based schemes and rules. If you’re looking for something lightweight that does one job extremely well, please check out the Validator.
The point of the project, in addition to helping to combat Trackback spam, is to collect data. We’re interested in the kinds of spams people get, from which sources, at what rate, etc. We’d like to
see if, once everyone starts applying the simple reverse-link check, the spammers step up their assault. In order to help us, the Validator distribution comes with a small shell script which will send us a profile of the spam you’ve caught recently.