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The Interwebs Can Bite You In The Ass

One of the features that keeps Wizbang running smoothly is the SpamLookup service that is a part of our blogging software. I actually use three products - SpamLookup, Akismet, and AutoBan to automate our spam prevention process. The three together work great; catching, removing, and banning the spammers automatically.

All of the sudden this week the comment process at all of the Wizbang sites went from blazingly fast to horrifyingly slow. There wasn't any good explanation since we're not really doing anything differently behind the scenes. After ruling out speed and server performance issues I went to work breaking down the comment submission process and all the dependencies. It turns out that the built-in SpamLookup service (which is on by default) uses a three different blacklist services for its lookups: bsb.spamlookup.net, opm.blitzed.org , and sc.surbl.org. A little investigation lead to this:

Please stop querying the opm.blitzed.org zone. As of May 2007 in order to reduce query load on our servers opm.blitzed.org is pointing at a blackholed nameserver -- queries will take a long time and result in a SERVFAIL.

The SpamLookup service was timing out (based on our observation it waited 20-30 seconds) trying to connect to opm.blitzed.org before the comment was successfully submitted.

I believe this affects all Movable Type blogs (running version 3.2 and above of the software) unless they've disabled Spam Lookup (which is rare), so if you've got a Movable Type based installation open the SpamLookup - Lookups module and remove opm.blitzed.org from the list of services checked.


Once you do that commenting should be back to normal. Pass this along to other sites - their Movable Type installation is most likely broken, whether they realize it or not...

Update: I've confirmed this with the Movable Type developers. I'm not sure if they're planning on making an announcement to their customer base, but given the amount of time I had to spend tracking down the problem and the likelihood that most of their customers are affected, they really should.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Interwebs Can Bite You In The Ass:

» UtterlyBoring.com linked with Are Your Comments Posting Slow In MovableType?

» dustbury.com linked with Haus of the rising spam

Comments (11)

This should only take a few... (Below threshold)

This should only take a few seconds to submit...

Muchas gracias. I don't ge... (Below threshold)

Muchas gracias. I don't get quite so many comments at my place, but any little increment of speed helps. (I'm running MT 3.21.)

Also weird, Akismet started... (Below threshold)

Also weird, Akismet started capturing all kinds of non-spam at my blog this week. Including all of MY comments.

It's back to normal, but I had to wade into the cesspool for a bit.

On the interwebs, no one ca... (Below threshold)

On the interwebs, no one can hear you scream.

Thanks for the tip. This wa... (Below threshold)

Thanks for the tip. This was causing problems on our websites as well.

Appreciate the time you took to dig into this.


We are in your debt. Commen... (Below threshold)

We are in your debt. Comment submission has been really slow and this fixed it.

I have been looking everywh... (Below threshold)

I have been looking everywhere for a solution to this issue. Thank you thank you!

Thanks so much! I thought m... (Below threshold)

Thanks so much! I thought my comments were slow because I'd just started using a new plug-in. Glad it wasn't because of that.

Thanks! This solved the pro... (Below threshold)

Thanks! This solved the problem with comments timing out on my site. Great article!

Any other ideas for speedin... (Below threshold)

Any other ideas for speeding up comments?

Thanks. Comments on my blog... (Below threshold)

Thanks. Comments on my blog MT 3.33 and higher stop hanging up indefinitely.






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