Akismet firewall problems (and how to fix them)

Recently I was confused when I spotted several spam comments on my blog. After logging into the Wordpress administration page I saw the reason for this issue:

1Akismet has detected a problem. A server or network problem is preventing Akismet from working correctly.

Oops - where did that come from?

It seems like my hoster All-Inkl has updated its PHP configuration recently. The Akismet plugin needs access to particular external servers to filter Spam comments. I discovered  that the following PHP settings need to be set that this access works:

1magic_quotes_gpc = 1
2magic_quotes_runtime = 0
3allow_url_fopen = On

If you're using a managed webserver and don't have the possibility to configure it entirely (like me) you can also set these parameters in the .htaccess file:

1php_flag magic_quotes_gpc on
2php_flag magic_quotes_runtime 0
3php_flag allow_url_fopen On

After reloading the administration page everything was working like a charm again. 🙂