Junk Posts or Members with SPAM links

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Postby ChrisRLG » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:42 pm

Agreed.

Get the permission - and FTP access codes etc.

The standard verson will be 'easy to install and update.

It will mean the forum would be down for say 24 hours (should be far less).
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Postby Angoid » Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:53 am

I'll be unavailable over most of Easter, but may be around on Easter Monday. If so, that might be a good time to do it.

The next weekend isn't good (house guest), and I'd rather reserve a weekend day for it rather than try to cram it into an evening in case anything does go wrong or something needs to be tweaked that takes time.

I do have the FTP access codes noted down - I keep them offline for all the usual security reasons.
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Postby ChrisRLG » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:00 am

Hi Angoid

Best to move this discussion to a private place. :)
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Postby Dab051176 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:32 pm

Sorry to do this over Easter weekend folks, but another spam link found - bruce65nelson, this time.

Happy Easter to any passing mod/forummer!
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Postby Angoid » Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:29 am

Many thanks Dave .... spammer has been dealt with. Same URL as the spate we had recently, so that outfit is still active :(

Happy Easter to you too :)
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Postby Dubhy63 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:25 am

Another spammer is trying to get attention for a particular site,nicoleman50 is the culprit .
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Postby Angoid » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:41 pm

Thanks Dave,
Another spammer bites the dust.
Really could do with a way of holding them up as examples, to make technical admins of other forums aware.
For the last one, I tried setting the web address to begin with hxxp:// instead of http://, but the forum software just deleted it (because it's invalid).
That would have made it show up on Google searches, but not as fllowable links, so the search engines would not have been able to follow the link from here to the spammer's site, thus having it show up in the spammer's referer logs as a visit from here.
That's why we delete the spam links whenever we see them.
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Postby Dab051176 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:09 pm

Angoid wrote:Thanks Dave,
Another spammer bites the dust.
Really could do with a way of holding them up as examples, to make technical admins of other forums aware.
For the last one, I tried setting the web address to begin with hxxp:// instead of http://, but the forum software just deleted it (because it's invalid).
That would have made it show up on Google searches, but not as fllowable links, so the search engines would not have been able to follow the link from here to the spammer's site, thus having it show up in the spammer's referer logs as a visit from here.
That's why we delete the spam links whenever we see them.


Must admit, I've got to give the credit to Dubhy on this one - although I'll take the thanks, anyway! :wink: :lol: :lol:

As for the spam links, as Angus has said before, the spammers are just going to get cleverer, so to a point it's a case of "chasing a moving target". All we can do is get them "dispatched" as we find them.... :(
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Postby Angoid » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:03 pm

Thanks Dave,
Sorry Dubhy, and thanks :)
Yeah, it gets boring dealing with the spammers but it has to be done.

Dave, I notice you posted your last post twice ..... is this a case of Dave-ja-vu? :mrgreen:
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Postby Roibeard Óg » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:48 pm

Is there any possibility of maybe using something like reCAPTCHA for phpBB 2? That might help, although incorporating it could be a nightmare. phpBB should make add-on integration easier! xD
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Postby Dab051176 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:31 pm

Roibeard Óg wrote:Is there any possibility of maybe using something like reCAPTCHA for phpBB 2? That might help, although incorporating it could be a nightmare. phpBB should make add-on integration easier! xD


Sorry, for the duplicate post, folks (@Angoid - I'm not going to beat you in the pun stakes, so I'm not going to try!) - could a mod do the honours and delete the first post, please?! :mrgreen:

Roibeard has a point, though. I'm a little surprised that there isn't some kind of signature based system that could be implemented centrally. As Angus mentioned earlier, this could then be shared amongst all the tech admins of the various forums that use the same software. I'm no expert (at least, not yet! :wink:), but if my anti-malware can do it without too much fuss, it seems surprising that phpBB don't offer the same sort of thing.

I know there's nothing we can do about it, but if phpBB ever ask for user feedback, it's just an observation...... :D
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Postby Angoid » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:12 pm

Have deleted the extra post :)

As for ReCaptcha, we do have a spam-prevention mechanism in place which I wrote myself. As it's a once-off, I doubt any spamming outfit has bothered to code for it because it would not be cost effective to do so. But I believe these spammers are real persons, not bots. Therefore, whatever you do will be broken because the spammers are real people (probably paid a pittance) to go round forums and sign up to them with their junk links.

We are soon going to be upgrading the forum software, and the security on the new version is better than that we currently have, so making any more code changes to this version will not be worth the effort.

However, once it's in place I may investigate the possibility of writing a mod to make the banning of spammers a simple one-click process, if this has not already been done.
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Postby ChrisRLG » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:31 pm

Hi

The new software has LOTS of additional features.

One feature is the Moderator Approaval of posts. Such that new members could have say the first (or xx number) of post placed into a 'queue' which would not be visable to the public till the post was approaved by a moderator. The number is configerable by the admins of the board.

Another is the hold on being able to use the PM system until they had made xx posts (we also get spam via the PM system).

The captcha system is such that it uses pluggins - including reCaptcha. Angoid might well be able to write a pluggin which could be unique to this forum. The advantages of any unique pluggin is none on the spammers auto systems would be aware of it.

But as Angoid said - out in the far east it is a big business of providing humans to register at forums, and nothing will be able to stop a human spammer from registering.

I am sure the current spammers we are getting are human already. Angoids anti-registration system is only in use here at Moya's forum and the forum is too small for that auto software to have been coded to get around it.
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Postby Angoid » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:49 pm

The only thing you can do - and I have seen this in use on another forum - is ask a CAPTCHA-style question that requires some knowledge of the forum's subject area. In this case, Moya (who would have guessed it? :lol: ).

However, this can be a double-edged sword in that it requires knowledge before you can even register, so any question would have to be crafted very carefully. Once a registration process becomes onerous, many folk give up.

If more Internet forums did this, then it would make the cost-effectiveness of employing humans, even if only for a pittance, less effective as they would have to do research into the various subject areas for the different boards before they could register.

But yes, once we have the new software in place I might take a look at creating a plug-in specially for this board. It can only help!
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Postby Dab051176 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:41 pm

They're coming thick and fast at the moment...... :roll:

Micheldiaz03 has a link that looks suspiciously like a variation on the theme of recent spam links. Can I leave it with the mods/technical geniuses to investigate?! :mrgreen:
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