Getting sick of the spambots.

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by Daecon, May 11, 2015.

  1. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    3,133
    What about if new members had to be verified by a staff member to activate their account and be given posting privileges? I think there are some forums that have that kind of measure in place.
     
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  3. Bells Staff Member

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    We actually used to have that measure with the old software. It meant more work for all of us, but it was okay and we were able to weed out the spammers.

    The problem was a lot of people complained and I suspect, some just were not keen to stick around to wait for someone to be online to verify their post.

    Thus far with this new software, it hadn't been that bad until the last few days, where we seem to be getting block spammers from India, who are literally able to start multiple threads within seconds of each other. Which is why we ended up with hundreds of posts going up in a matter of an hour or so across multiple sub-forums. And when I looked at the times they were posted, it was within a second or two from the other. And I don't know about anyone else, but as they were doing this, it was giving me pretty bad lag, because so many posts were going up at once. And this was while I was trying to ban them to stop them before then going through to delete the threads.

    It was ridiculous.

    And I have to say, that was the absolute worst I have ever experienced on any forum.
     
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  5. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I think it's come up before, but some forums have something that prevents posters from including URL links, until they have made a certain number of posts. That would stop it rather neatly. But I also think someone told me your new software does not support such a filter.
     
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  7. Bells Staff Member

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    We used to have that as well on the other website and it didn't really slow them down that much. What we found was that spammers would post and then as soon as they hit the magic number, they would go nuts.

    I am not sure if this current software supports that. Up until now, this current software has been great in regards to spammers. We would get a few a day and it was manageable. And hopefully we can get on top of it. So far today, I have noticed a few block spammers from India and they are able to get a few threads off before I ban them and because I am getting them early, it auto-deletes all of their posts. So perhaps the owners have done something or tweaked it to allow us to do that. I have noticed that those who have been spamming us today are not online after they post a dozen or so threads. When we had the bad spammer attacks a few days ago, they were still online and posting when I logged in. And now they are not.

    Time will tell. At the moment I am banning them as they are registering when I can. And I have noticed a bit of a slow down. So we shall see.

    I do think we do need a few more tools to deal with such spammers though. Such as extending the spam button ban to 200 posts or something, which would then auto delete the threads. Currently it is set to 20 (they may have increased that without telling us, I am not sure, but it was something I requested). Which when you consider we had more than 20 spammers posting over 190 threads each on that night, it took a long time to clean up. And if it could auto move the deleted threads to the Cesspool, would be even better.. A girl's got to dream I guess.

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  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Well whatever you are now doing seems to be working. I just hope it is sustainable for the moderators, that's all.
     
  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Spoke too soon evidently. This one seems almost timed to catch the period when you have signed off for the day. Is that possible?
     
  10. Kittamaru Suppose it makes sense. Wearing a bit thin. Valued Senior Member

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    Alrighty, went thru and purged the deleted threads to the cesspool... should clear things up a bit at least for us to look at.
     
  11. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    I've sent a message to Plazma explaining a particular method to aid in reducing spambot signup's. If implimented it will greatly reduce "automated" spammers, however the ones that use human labour (Turk systems) and rogue programs like XRumer (Yes... Rogue!, since the developers really don't care about the spam they are involved in creating. They've even admitted this previously.) they are always going to be a problem.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2015
  12. Bells Staff Member

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    Hey Stryder! And thank you.

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    Thanks for that. I deleted them, but became distracted and forgot to move them to the cesspool.
     
  13. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    No problem I was in the area and well it's something I've been looking at dealing with my using my own forum. I don't however have as much traffic in regards to posters and spammers to test if the effectiveness is down to my methods or just the fact that its too far off the beaten track for spammers to target it. In any event it's a learning experience.
     
  14. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    As I write this, Sciforums is under attack by a spambot in the service of a Hindu scam-artist from India selling magic charms. 'Astropk46' had 46 posts when I first noticed it, and a minute or two later it was more than 80. Posts containing a phone number and the word 'Vashikaran' are coming in as fast as Sciforums can accept new posts.
     
  15. Kristoffer Giant Hyrax Valued Senior Member

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    And they're back...
     
  16. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    It's now topped 100.

    Why isn't it possible to immediately ban usernames that are flooding the board with spam posts?

    If there's a moderator on the board, this needs to be stopped quickly, if only to minimize the clean-up job.

    There was an icon showing a moderator on the board when this started, but now it's gone, so maybe the moderator signed off right before all this hit.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
  17. Kristoffer Giant Hyrax Valued Senior Member

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    Found a temporary fix if you don't want your 'new post' feed to include all the damn spam threads. Put the spammer on ignore and it cleans up your feed.

    First time I used the ignore option and it wasn't even on a troll

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  18. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I see that Tiassa is now signed in, Astropk46 is now banned, and miraculously, all of the 100 plus spam posts seem to be gone.

    Very quick and efficient work. I'm impressed.

    Thank you, Tiassa.
     
  19. Kittamaru Suppose it makes sense. Wearing a bit thin. Valued Senior Member

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    The problem is the forum software - once an account exceeds 20 posts, the "spam" ban function (which bans AND auto-deletes all the accounts posts) is no longer available... meaning every post has to be removed by hand.

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  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    We can remove them en masse by hand, but I tend to do that a page at a time. And then when I cut a spammer's post count below the threshold, it is time to use the anti-spam function. This is important because then the system can know what IPs to watch out for.

    But in many cases, you can select all, and then deselect the couple of posts that need to stay.

    For the mods' part, sometimes we're busy participating in another thread when a spammer shows up, and don't notice. The newest wave of spambots is fast, which is why they're making such messes.

    And while we always appreciate the notes from members, I would also remind that if you see one of us and we don't seem to be noticing, go ahead and send us a private message that will create an alert notification we will see. It frequently happens that I notice a new message when hopping between pages looking for prior references and posts. So even if I'm in the middle of one of my longer rants, yes, I usually do see the alerts that come in.

    That is to say, sometimes the pop-up capsule slips our attention, but the little red markers at the top of the page usually catch our attention.

    We'll get through this latest. It's kind of a new phenomenon and we're figuring the best routes to dealing with it according to the available tools. By the way, can anybody write a subroutine that will compel our system to identify the IP range and then dispense an email to said embassy? Then when they block us or even complain for spamming them, we might remind that we're simply asking that they get a handle the spam industries in their own countries. Futile, but possibly fun. Probably not worth the legal exposure for harassing a foreign government, though.

    The problem is that we just can't banish all of India and China from accessing the site. That would reduce the spammer count by 80% at least, and the actual spam count by well over 90%. But it's not practical to block entire nations. Maybe if the spammers were from Equatorial Guinea, or something.

    Thank y'all for your patience and understanding while we deal with this.
     
  21. dethfire Registered Member

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    This is a simple setting you can increase.
     
  22. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    Oh dear... it looks like it's going to be another long night of spam...
     
  23. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Sad...

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    The Mods have a huge task after seeing what's happening right now.
     

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