Websense Security Labs Blog

Websense Security Labs discovers, investigates and reports on advanced Internet threats that traditional security
research methods miss.

Latest Blog Posts

View all posts > 

(November 2007) Posts

Not our lucky week!

Posted: 27 Nov 2007 09:51 PM | Defensio, the blog | no comments

I guess it is not our lucky week! We're having some more server problems. This time, one of our database servers is affected: we've been growing pretty fast lately and this baby can't keep up. Even if it's the middle of the night, we're at the office working on the issue. Again, sorry for the inconvenience.


Short downtime

Posted: 27 Nov 2007 06:53 AM | Defensio, the blog | no comments

Hello friends, One of our servers decided to call it quits last night. The outage started at around 4:30am EST and everything was back to normal about an hour later. This might, or might not, have affected your blog depending on how we route your traffic. If many comments hit the moderation queue during this period, you can simply log into your control panel and resend the unprocessed comments to Defensio for auditing. (note: only the latest Wordpress plugin currently supports this feature) We are sorry for the inconvenience and we will take the necessary steps to make sure this doesn't happen again. What's our excuse? We're still in beta Thanks for your patience. EDIT: it looks like Amazon EC2 (our hosting provider) is the culprit for this outage. Our server didn't crash, connecting to it was impossible, however.


Wordpress plugin update available

Posted: 20 Nov 2007 01:35 PM | Defensio, the blog | no comments

Hola! We're glad to announce that we've just updated our Wordpress plugin. It now stands at version 1.1.2. Many of the features you requested have been added... but keep 'em coming! You can download the lastest version of the plugin at Wordpress Extend or from the Defensio website . Here's some of the new stuff: Unprocessed comment notification In the event that your Wordpress instance cannot connect to Defensio, comments are stored in the moderation queue. We've just added the possibility to resubmit those comments to Defensio with the click of a button. Easy and convenient. Defensio Counter Spread the Defensio love and tell the world how many spam you didn't see by adding the Defensio Counter to your blog. It's available as a "Wordpress Widget" for simplicity, or as a "PHP statement" for themes not supporting widgets. Our plugin ships with 2 default colors: dark grey and light grey (hey! we like grey!), but we've made it super easy for you to create your own fancy custom counter. Quarantine status in Dashboard Defensio now has its very own section in the Dashboard's activity box. The number of new spam is just a glance away. Architecture changes (important!) Our plugin is now hosted on Wordpress Extend . Its official name has been changed to defensio-anti-spam , which means that it should now reside in /wp-content/plugins/defensio-anti-spam instead of /wp-content/plugins/ defensio . When updating, do not forget to delete the old directory : not doing so will lead to version conflicts. If you have a recent version of Wordpress, you should be notified about plugin updates in the Plugins tab of your control panel. That makes it super easy to always stay up-to-date. Need Help? If you need help with Defensio, make sure to visit our community forum or simply drop us an email . Cheers!


Big Thanks to our testers!

Posted: 19 Nov 2007 08:09 AM | Defensio, the blog | no comments

It's been almost 2 weeks since we launched and we received tons of amazing press (see the sidebar). All this wouldn't be have been possible without the help of our testers from our alpha, private beta and public beta. Thanks to all! But more specifically, I want to thank our first 2 testers: Ben Yoskovitz and Julien Smith . They've been awesome at providing constructive feedback and helping us improve Defensio. Without them, I don't think Defensio would even exist today (really). Not only they're 2 great guys, but they also maintain top notch blogs: Ben's Instigator Blog is geared towards business, technology and startups. Julien's In Over Your Head is about technology, podcasting, music and life in general. Both are recommended additions to your RSS reader. Cheers to our testers! We really appreciate your help. (and for the record, we're still in public beta and we need more testers!)


People Like Us!

Posted: 12 Nov 2007 07:02 AM | Defensio, the blog | no comments

Well, after just a few days out in the wild, there has been a ton of stuff written about Defensio, and fortunately most of it is good!Here's a few of the good-est: Techcrunch: Defensio sorts blocked comments by “spaminess” Byrne Reese (Six Apart): Movable Type Dev Forum EasyWordpress: Defensio, the Real spam killer has arrived InstigatorBlog: Two Montreal startups launch: Defensio and CakeMail Jon Lee: Defensio out of Private Beta! Montreal Gazette: Defensio goes after blog spam ArchGFX: Defensio MontrealTechWatch: Defensio promises to end evil spam Problogger: Defensio Launches - a Competitor for Akismet AllSeoContest: Will Defensio surpass Akismet? YugaTech: Defensio anti comment spam system SuccessCreeations: Defensio promisses competition for spam killing Akismet Thanks to everyone who is supporting our bid to rid the web of the annoyance of spam.


PHP and Java Goodness

Posted: 08 Nov 2007 01:50 PM | Defensio, the blog | no comments

Whoa, that was fast! It's exactly one day after launch, and the super-fly Defensio community has already churned out plug-ins for PHP and Java . Big thanks to Nils and Rémy for their contributions -- you guys are A-OK in our books. If you're an application developer, this is good news. There are now pre-built Defensio libraries for Rails, .NET, PHP and Java that wrap our open API , so you'll be able to all-the-more-easily integrate Defensio into your world-changing app! And many thanks to all the people that have already downloaded our WordPress plug-in and provided feedback. We enjoy taking care of your spam.


Defensio Unveiled!

Posted: 06 Nov 2007 04:00 PM | Defensio, the blog | no comments

We are very charged up today to announce the much-anticipated (by us, at least!) public-beta launch of Defensio's new spam filtering web service for blogs (and other social web applications subject to spam). If you're a blogger, you are likely already intimately familiar with the "spam problem". Spammers have been waging war on the blogosphere for months now, bombarding the comments section of blogs with literally millions of spam messages per day. This creates a lot of work for blog owners, who have to wade through hundreds if not thousands of messages every week, just to make sure their comment garden remains weed-free. It's become such a problem that many simply don't bother anymore, preferring to let the odd legitimate comment disappear; and an increasing number of bloggers are even opting to shut down comments altogether -- an unfortunate, and unnecessary, concession to the cold-hearted spammers' cause. We felt that the time was ripe for a better spam management solution; so we built Defensio. But with other web-based anti-spam services out there, what makes Defensio so special? Well, let us count the ways: Ridiculously easy spam management : Defensio sorts your quarantined comments by their "spaminess" value. This means that finding the occasional legitimate comment buried in your spambox (aka false positive) becomes dead easy, by bubbling up to the top of the list. We think this feature alone will make you never want to go back to old chronological spam sorting ever again. RSS feeds of your comments and spam : Defensio provides RSS feeds of all comments and spam messages posted to your blog, in digest form, to make it a cinch to follow the conversation. And what's best is that since it's Defensio, new spam messages will always be spaminess-sorted, making it ultra easy to pick out the good stuff. Detailed statistics for complete transparency : We believe in letting you in on how Defensio is performing on your own blog; it's your traffic after all! You'll get up-to-date accuracy and traffic statistics directly in the plug-in, as well as gorgeous charts to help you monitor the evolution of spam and performance over time. Stellar accuracy : Defensio is coldly efficient in stopping spam. What's best is that our filter's performance is personalized to your own blog, and continues to improve over time. And since we're up-front about performance statistics you can see for yourself just how we're doing, which, after an initial learning phase should hover well above 99% accuracy. Not bad, we think! Not just for blogs : Defensio's spam fighting abilities don't end with the blogosphere. We've built an easy-to-use public API that is perfectly suited to handling comment traffic from any social web application that might be subject to spam. Already, generous community developers have contributed plug-ins for PixelPost , Ruby on Rails and .NET . So, if you're a developer, check out our API and get a-buildin'. Want to achieve s tress-free spam-free nirvana on your blog? It's super easy to get started! Simply sign-up for an account and then download and install a plug-in. We are currently supporting WordPress 2.1+, PixelPost 1.7+ and Umbraco, with more platforms coming online soon. And the best part is that Defensio is 100% free for personal use ; it's hard not to like that! Please browse around our shiny new web site , and let us know if you have any questions -- we've set up a community forum to hear what you have to say, and we'll be monitoring it closely. Finally, we encourage you to sign up for this blog's RSS feed so that you can stay up to date with all the latest news and developments, Defensio-style. See you on the other side of spam.

Read more >