Clearly, fixing the damage and waiting for the spammer to go away just
The following things, in my opinion, will most likely work. I don't know
which of them are possible within the MediaWiki software, however, so I'm
listing everything I can think of that seems plausible. Most of them only
fix this one spammer, though, not the problem in general -- but it seems
that we've only had this one really problematic spammer in two years, so
maybe it's enough.
* Block all edits that contain "<div ...>" tags. All of these do --
they're all using a "<div ...>"-tag block to hide links invisibly on the
page. (Many of them have left out the links, but nearly all of them have
included the tag.)
* Set things so that all of Musa8's edits (as tracked by username) get
ignored rather than actually applied.
* Block the five dozen or so IP addresses that he's using. (This is a
* Protect the two dozen Wiki pages that he's changing -- he keeps changing
the same ones, not randomly-chosen ones. (This, again, is a temporary
* Put in an "are you human?" test for all anonymous users, and for all
logged-in users who haven't been approved by the site admins. (Something
like one of the "type in the numbers in this warped image" things that some
* Change the edit page urls from "&action=edit" to "&action=editpage". My
guess is that this person is using an automatic script that's aimed at
bunches of MediaWiki sites, and changing the url will break his script, and
he's unlikely to change it just for one site. (This trick works pretty
well for weblog spam, apparently.)
Meanwhile, is there a community of MediaWiki users somewhere that we can
talk to about this? I'd guess that this spammer has been hitting other
sites pretty hard too, and there are probably lots of other people working
on figuring out good solutions to this....
P.S. Someone came through and put in a couple of "real" edits to the
"Russian" page. I've made backups of the updated page so it can be
re-updated after Patrick reverts things to an old backup of the site.