Board spam

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lgromanowski
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Board spam

Post by lgromanowski » 22 Aug 2011, 19:19

raevol wrote: Lots of board spam lately. We allow non-registered posting? I know we're trying to be accessible and all, but is it worth it? How many non-registered actual people post here?

If it's worth it to continue allowing non-regged posting that's cool, I'm just curious.
Hircine wrote: edit: thought they were registering.

kill guests, make people log in(would avoid confusion with people forgetting to log in :P).

get captcha/recaptcha w/e

get phpbb mods that help with anti spam.

could moderators please post their timezone here, I'm pretty sure we have like one TZ covered. so we have to wait 24hrs for spam kill.
sir_herrbatka wrote: 20 to 1 that Zini is from Europe, like me.

Is this a real problem? IMHO for now â?? no. Although recent PR made the forum attacked by bots (PR was effective :D) I think that we should ignore this for a month or two before making any changes (although they will be needed).

At least they are not advertising "increase your penis!". ;-)
Zini wrote: GMT+1.

I agree, that we need better spam protection. Moderators patrolling the board are not a solution, when it is so easy for spammers. We have captcha for guests, but apparently it is not good enough.

A part of the problem is probably the phpBB software, which seems to be a primary target for forum spammers. On the Redemption project we are using a different, less common board and we get virtually no spam at all (but we had plenty, while we were still using phpBB). But unfortunately it is too late now to change forum systems (plus we probably don't have a good alternative available).
Star-Demon wrote: You DO get what you pay for with PhpBB - unfortunately, maintaining a vBulletin license can be expensive no matter what way you look at it, and the other forum technologies (there are lots now...) always leave something to be desired.

However, vBulletin does have a lot of nice features for a community like ours, where we've been talking about dev blogs and such. The problem is getting people to use them and get the most out of it.

Either that or have a webmaster to be hacking up a decent Vbulletin version and not bother spending money to update it.

I think we should just stop having guests, or let them post only in off topic...
raevol wrote: I like phpBB. :geek:
Star-Demon wrote:
raevol wrote:I like phpBB. :geek:
I think it's okay.
Star-Demon wrote: *more spam*

Oh, May I also recommend captcha?

:O
sir_herrbatka wrote: this is not solution anymore. Bots are now able to pass captcha.

On few forums i saw other bots fighting methods (like solving simple equitation)...
Star-Demon wrote:
sir_herrbatka wrote:this is not solution anymore. Bots are now able to pass captcha.

On few forums i saw other bots fighting methods (like solving simple equitation)...
yeah, I came back looking around about this - seems reCaptcha was hacked and the source released. It's been, and is going to be, a storm until the Good Guys get back in the game.
Zini wrote: Spam is out of hand now. I think we need to at least temporary disable posting without logging in.
raevol wrote: If you need a mod in PST (GMT-8 I think?) I am on the boards at least once a day. I can take mod duties just to delete spam, and nothing else.

Up to you, just figured I'd volunteer.
sir_herrbatka wrote: I have just banned registered bot.
safferli wrote: It's really getting out of hand... I reported 4 (I think) posts today...

I'm a mod at the Paradox games forums (200k+ members), I could ask the admins there what they do to combat spam, if you'd like. We seldom see spam there these days.
sir_herrbatka wrote: Yes, you reported 4. Thank you.
Star-Demon wrote: Wow...Take Cover!
Hircine wrote: LORDREA (or people who can) KILL THE DAMN GUEST STUFF!!

soon we will die to spamsssss


EDIT: I too am available for moderating/killing teh spam. GMT + 10. i also know way my around the back end of phpbb3, so if you need someone to fix any problem quickly i could help with that.
sir_herrbatka wrote: this is sparta!!! ;-)
safferli wrote:
sir_herrbatka wrote:this is sparta!!! ;-)
:)
We shall go on to the end. We shall fight on the internet, we shall fight on the forum and the wiki, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength with captchas, we shall defend our site, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight in the threads, we shall fight in the posts, we shall fight in the input fields and in the links, we shall fight in the member lists; we shall never surrender!
Hircine wrote: FOR THE LOVE OF BAAL, KILL ME.


honestly we need moderators in every 4-6 hours time zones. i check the forums like a maniac. and its killing me with all this spam and pron.


Edit: Yay! for clean boardsszzzz.. for now anyway.
Lordrea wrote: Guests can no longer post.

I have an Invision Power Board license that I'm not using. But, I don't have a quick and easy way to hook IPB and MediaWiki.

Edit: Scratch that, linking the two shouldn't be a big deal.
Lordrea wrote:
My license will be able to download 3.1.4, so I'd need to use this: http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:IPBAuth

But yeah, transferring over user accounts and such shouldn't be -too- big a deal.
Hircine wrote: in terms of protection, how is IPB better equiped to deal with all the spams?
raevol wrote: Yea, I'd much rather stick with an open source system...
Zini wrote: I don't know this particular board system. But it seems to be less common than our current one, which means it is a less attractive target for spammers.

I suggest we wait a few days and see, if killing guests helps at all (we had quite a few registered spammer already). If the situation does not improve, we should move.
Zini wrote: The situation is somewhat worse than I thought. I checked the member list and at least half of the last page is made of spammers. While they don't cause any real damage (their profiles and their links are inaccessible, unless you are logged in), this is still pretty disgusting.
Lordrea wrote: Damn popularity!

Changed to ReCAPTCHA. Let's see if that's any more effective in hands with requiring registration.
sir_herrbatka wrote: ... and no groupies :(

;-)
Zini wrote: It should be obvious by now, that killing guest access did not work. The spammers are all registering now. I guess we have no other option than to change the forum system. Also, it might be a good idea to purge the member list from spammers. Most are quite obvious.
Star-Demon wrote:
Lordrea wrote:Damn popularity!

Changed to ReCAPTCHA. Let's see if that's any more effective in hands with requiring registration.
Source code leaked - read earlier post. :)
heilkitty wrote: Kill it with fire, plzkthx.
Husaco wrote: You can see a lot of the spammers here (EDIT: in descending order). It is obvious that quite a few of the users are spammers, but not obvious for others. Something really should be done about the problem.
2ND EDIT: FWIW, a minimum post limit for url links should be considered, if possible.
Hircine wrote: the best thing to do is to make two custom fields when signing up. which are required so if its a bot, they won't easily get past it.

make it a Question relating to Morrowind. like who is the player a reincarnation of, "Indoril Nerevar"



don't reply to spam. report it.


EDIT: maybe this will help too
http://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/mod/a ... block_mod/
Husaco wrote:
Hircine wrote:don't reply to spam. report it.
having just noticed the button, I feel rather stupid... :oops:
Hircine wrote: i say it cause its just gonna get deleted :P

don't feel stupid. its an inherit flaw in huminz.
safferli wrote: I asked on paradoxplaza, and they say that they disallow posting for new posters for quite some time. They do have games that you can register, and if you have registered at least one game, you can post straight away. This stops spam nearly entirely.

Now, that's not possible for us, but some question like the "altar of literacy" question on KoL would be funny and help perhaps? http://kol.coldfront.net/thekolwiki/ind ... f_literacy
When they get [there|their|they're], [there|their|they're] going to put on [there|their|they're] mittens.

[Your|You're] nuts if you think I'm going to polish [your|you're] armor for free.
I can ask the admin on paradoxplaza for a more detailed breakdown of what they're doing if you'd like.
Hircine wrote: if we do adopt that, hopefully our foreign users with English as their second language. can get past it :)
sir_herrbatka wrote: Dear God! No!

Anything but english grammar. We can ask about capitol city of France or something but not about english grammar.
Husaco wrote:
sir_herrbatka wrote:
safferli wrote:Now, that's not possible for us, but some question like the "altar of literacy" question on KoL would be funny and help perhaps?

When they get [there|their|they're], [there|their|they're] going to put on [there|their|they're] mittens.

[Your|You're] nuts if you think I'm going to polish [your|you're] armor for free.
Dear God! No!

Anything but english grammar. We can ask about capitol city of France or something but not about english grammar.
Yeah, I think our user demographics would suggest that would be a bad idea, as simple as English grammar may seem to us native English speakers.
safferli wrote: Well, but the general idea still holds, not? :)

I wouldn't do the Morrowind questions, I'd have to look that one up...
gus wrote: Why not asking some "maths" questions like sqrt(4) ?
safferli wrote:
gus wrote:Why not asking some "maths" questions like sqrt(4) ?
That would also work, or something even easier: 3+6, or some such.

What also works, is to disallow new posters (less than 5 posts?) to start new threads, but they can still post in existing threads.
Star-Demon wrote:
safferli wrote:
gus wrote:Why not asking some "maths" questions like sqrt(4) ?
That would also work, or something even easier: 3+6, or some such.

What also works, is to disallow new posters (less than 5 posts?) to start new threads, but they can still post in existing threads.
I'd prefer they'd stay out of existing threads...

Easier to delete an entire thread than prune another, from my pov.
sir_herrbatka wrote: we don't want bots at all, not just spam.
Husaco wrote: gus wrote:
safferli wrote:
gus wrote:Why not asking some "maths" questions like sqrt(4) ?
That would also work, or something even easier: 3+6, or some such.
The problem with maths equations is that they are solvable by bots, as previously stated by sir_herrbatka. :shock: I personally think that the way to go would be to go with, as safferli also stated, post (and time?) limits for new posters. One thing I haven't seen spambots do is actively contribute to discussions in order to post spam. If we can try and restrict things like posting a hyperlink or starting a new topic to a rudimentary standard, that should curb spam considerably. Of course, if there is a simple unobtrusive way of stopping bots registering then such restrictions would be unnecessary.
Hircine wrote: we need to have a 'new registered users' group.

they Can't post in announcements.
they can only post in 'support' to ask for help.

and for them to gain access anywhere else, they need to ask in a PM to a moderator.

the links i posted earlier should be able to kill all bot users.

we could also do a screening process, where moderators/admins have to approve new applicants. so if they have weird names/websites etc they can be just disapproved and not go any further.
Star-Demon wrote: That's a good idea - for now, We'll have to have moderater-approved membership. At least until recaptcha or another human-authentication system gets back in the game.
Hircine wrote: I request Star-Demon, Myself and a person from the US be appointed moderator status. at the moment we have two moderators both of which come on about the same time, which means the spammers have 10-15 hours of free reign..
Husaco wrote:
Star-Demon wrote:
Hircine wrote:we need to have a 'new registered users' group.

they Can't post in announcements.
they can only post in 'support' to ask for help.

and for them to gain access anywhere else, they need to ask in a PM to a moderator.

the links i posted earlier should be able to kill all bot users.

we could also do a screening process, where moderators/admins have to approve new applicants. so if they have weird names/websites etc they can be just disapproved and not go any further.
That's a good idea - for now, We'll have to have moderater-approved membership. At least until recaptcha or another human-authentication system gets back in the game.
I suppose, although I doubt the efficiency of such a system. Are all spammers really distinguishable by name alone?
Hircine wrote:I request Star-Demon, Myself and a person from the US be appointed moderator status. at the moment we have two moderators both of which come on about the same time, which means the spammers have 10-15 hours of free reign..
Good idea. If we have such range we shouldn't have the overnight spamming problem.
Lordrea wrote: Agreeing.

Added the two new moderators assuming they'll want to help out. There are a few phpBB3 mods out there to help curve spam, but I'm still looking for a more permanent solution.
Hircine wrote:
Husaco wrote:Good idea. If we have such range we shouldn't have the overnight spamming problem.
its more that it won't appear to have as much spam and the boards will be cleaner faster. just makes things a bit more professional.
Husaco wrote:
Hircine wrote:
Husaco wrote:Good idea. If we have such range we shouldn't have the overnight spamming problem.
its more that it won't appear to have as much spam and the boards will be cleaner faster. just makes things a bit more professional.
That's sort of what I meant... ;)
raevol wrote:
Hircine wrote:I request Star-Demon, Myself and a person from the US be appointed moderator status.
I'm from the U.S., west coast even, so there's a big time zone difference. :) I tend to see 3-6 spam threads every time I come onto the boards.
Star-Demon wrote: I have no problem helping out - I used to Admin a popular EQ community back in the day, so I know the game. I also used to play with my own LAMP server using PHPbb.

I am on the forums often, too. I'm on east coast. :)
Zini wrote: May I ask what the state and the timeline on technical improvements regarding spam is? (switching board system, posting restrictions and such)
It should be obvious by now that moderation alone won't cut it. I guess almost half the registered users are spam bots and the level of spam is beyond annoyance level.
Star-Demon wrote:
Zini wrote:May I ask what the state and the timeline on technical improvements regarding spam is? (switching board system, posting restrictions and such)
It should be obvious by now that moderation alone won't cut it. I guess almost half the registered users are spam bots and the level of spam is beyond annoyance level.
The board system is flexible enough to handle this situation - we need to have moderators approve access, though. You need moderators for that, anyways.

But if you want to stop spam - you're really in the same boat the whole internet is - someone has to develop better authentication, everyone else just has to wait or do it themselves.

We really do need a decent spread of moderators.
safferli wrote:
Star-Demon wrote:We really do need a decent spread of moderators.
As long as this board stays small, I could help out. I check by 2-3 times a day, and I know the moderating routine. But I'm on CET, so I guess you have enough moderators for that timezone!
Hircine wrote: we probably need a long standing person that is in a timezone that is similar to Australia/Asia pacific etc. so between GMT +6 to GMT +10 GMT -10 ? i think.
Lordrea wrote: Changed to a Q&A anti-bot method. Let's see if that's any better.

I also deleted all users who have 0 posts that have registered after December 1st, 2010.
sir_herrbatka wrote: thx. If it works you are my hero ;-)
Husaco wrote:
Lordrea wrote:Changed to a Q&A anti-bot method. Let's see if that's any better.

I also deleted all users who have 0 posts that have registered after December 1st, 2010.
Hurray for progress! :D Like the question as well. Let's hope this hinders (or ideally stops) spam.
Lordrea wrote: There were 11 moderator actions yesterday... and I don't see any today.

Dare I hope?
safferli wrote:
Lordrea wrote:There were 11 moderator actions yesterday... and I don't see any today.

Dare I hope?
Tempting fate! ;) Especially the West Wing quote...

But it does sound good!
Lordrea wrote:
safferli wrote:
Lordrea wrote:There were 11 moderator actions yesterday... and I don't see any today.

Dare I hope?
Tempting fate! ;) Especially the West Wing quote...

But it does sound good!
TV Tropes should be banned from the internet. Nothing else is as big of a time sink.
safferli wrote:
Lordrea wrote:TV Tropes should be banned from the internet. Nothing else is as big of a time sink.
Tvtropes, or this: http://xkcd.com/609/
best regards,
Lukasz

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