Forums General General Chat An Official Warning about SPAM messages.

This topic contains 37 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  MSG Commander 1 week ago.

  • #33780
    Mastertrek
    Moderator

    That isn’t a good idea. Unless @msg-commander will become super active and will start approving accounts, it won’t lead us to anywhere. On this forum people register to ask a quick question about one of the games and disappear (or stay here longer). If they will have to wait nobody knows how long to ask a question, they will just leave and will never back.

    Moderators would be able to approve Posts made by the Users (I would be active more if this would be implemented) while @msg-commander would Verify the Accounts if that’s a Bot (in that case he would ban that bot before he can post anything) or a Human (Verified accounts would be able to post without the need of Post Verification).. 

    But that’s just a suggestion.. I’d really love if there would be a Second Spam Button that would instantly Mark all Person Posts as Spam (but with Confirm Button to prevent accidental press).. 

    Welcome 😇

    #33890
    Mastertrek
    Moderator

    I’m really hoping that @msg-commander will get back as that new bot is making me Rage with all wasted time on deleting the SPAM 🙁

    Welcome 😇

    #33920
    MSG Commander
    Keymaster

    I’m so sorry; I set up a captcha last week on the registration page and thought that would slow down the spamming, if not stop it completely.

    But, the user JerryKnice apparently joined the site over 2 weeks ago (and supposedly, has just been waiting until the last few days to start spamming… either that or I’m more out of touch than I thought I was.)

    There is a way to manually approve new comments on blog posts… but I have yet to discover a way to manually approve new comments in the forum (at least when it comes to using bbPress, which is what this site is currently running.)

    The only other thing I can try right away is to add a captcha to the login form (assuming that works; I haven’t actually tried it yet.) The downside is everyone of us would have to complete the captcha every time we log in, but it might go another step toward reducing spam, in which case I’m game to try it out and see if it makes a difference or not?

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    #33921
    NobleStripes
    Participant

    Hmm, I made a research and found these things from the ever reliable Wiki, this might help you @msg-commander.

    Techniques for avoiding, removing, and mitigating forum spam include:

    • Blacklisting services such as fspamlist, StopForumSpam and BotScout keep databases of IP addresses, usernames and e-mail addresses used to post spam or register forum accounts. Forum software can query these lists and either deny posts or registration, or submit the request for human moderation. This is similar to DNSBL services.
    • Flood control forces users to wait for a short interval between making posts to the forum, thus preventing spambots from overwhelming the forum with repeated spam messages.
    • Registration control mechanisms used by forums include:
      • CAPTCHA (visual confirmation) routines on forum registration pages can help prevent spambots from carrying out automated registrations. Simple CAPTCHA systems which display alphanumeric characters have proven vulnerable to optical character recognition software but those that scramble the characters appear to be far more effective.
      • Textual confirmation is an alternative to CAPTCHA in which the user answers one or more random questions to prove that he/she is not a spambot.
      • Confirmation e-mails to registering users prior to allowing the user a first log in, either containing a site-generated password or an activation code/link.
      • Manual registration approval by administrators for each account.
    • Authoritative voice, using an external filtering service to get a verdict if the data is spam or not.
    • Posting limits on users, both to prevent flooding or to limit posting to certain users (e.g., registered users).
    • Registration restrictions include:
      • Denial of registration from certain domains that are a major source of spambots, or even domain extensions such as .ru, .br, .biz.
      • Manual examination of new registrants for several indicators. Spammers often delay email confirmation of several hours, while humans will confirm promptly. Spambots tend to create relatively noisy user names (e.g., John84731 or JohnbassKeepsie vs. John) in order to ensure uniqueness.
      • Using a search engine to investigate usernames for hits as recognized spambots on other forums.
    • Changing technical details of the forum software to confuse bots — for example, changing “agreed=true” to “mode=agreed” in the registration page of phpBB.
    • Blocking posts or registrations that contain certain blacklisted words.
    • Monitoring IPs used by untrusted posters, like anonymous posts or newly registered users. A useful technique for proactive detection of well-known spammer proxies is to query a search engine for this IP. It will show up on pages that specialize in the listing of proxies.
    • Redirecting spammers to “spam subforums” to direct spam away from human users on the main site.
    • Disabling signature option.

    TIGER MOTIF OVERLOAD! MEOW!

    • This reply was modified 49 years ago by .
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    #33923
    MSG Commander
    Keymaster

    The other thing I can consider but it’s kind of a drastic measure… There are a ton of users who’ve created an account but never posted anything at all. Some of those could be spammers even though the majority of them are probably legit.

    I could see going through and deleting every account where the user has never posted anything to the forum, as a means of trying to remove any other spammers who haven’t started spamming yet. Unfortunately this would mean that all legit users who end up getting deleted, would have to create new accounts.

    Note that I would not be deleting anyone who has even one post or one reply in the forums, so the integrity of the forum itself would not be compromised. It’s just one very drastic but possible measure that I can take to weed out any remaining spammers who are already registered on the site.

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    #33925
    NobleStripes
    Participant

    Good point, any weird username is considered a potential red flag worth looking into.

    TIGER MOTIF OVERLOAD! MEOW!

    #33926
    1oldtymer
    Participant

    The most secure, but somewhat onerous method, is to require a solid recapthca for EVERY post to a forum.  That way, even if a bot gets registered, most will not be able to post.  Unfortunately, that does place an impediment to posting, which probably would be negatively received.

    Simply appointing a few more moderators would at least allow reasonably prompt cleanup of spam posts.

    Older, but not wiser

    #33927
    Mastertrek
    Moderator

    @noblestripes, I read this whole Bot-Prevents and I totally agree with you. Although I have some tolerance to delete Spam but seeing 200+ Topics to manually delete and over 70 today by one bot was too much.. But had to delete all that stuff (and I had to sleep too)..

    Welcome 😇

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    #33928
    MSG Commander
    Keymaster

    Thanks @noblestripes.

    I just added captcha to the registration last week, and have seen a big DECREASE in new registrations since then. Also, since the beginning, I’ve been using email confirmation or what-not, where after a person registers they get sent an email with a link to activate their account.

    The forum software we’re using is kind of like a step child of WordPress, I guess? It’s developed by the same people and meant to be the “official” and therefore greatest ever WordPress forum software… but it’s really lax on a lot of the permissions that you can adjust, such as manually approving new posts. (Either that or I’m just totally looking in the wrong place in the WordPress and bbPress documentation…)

    A lot of the other stuff you’ve shared is, sadly, above my head, and I really wouldn’t know how or where to make those changes to WordPress or bbPress.

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    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #33929
    Mastertrek
    Moderator

    @1oldtymer, there wouldn’t be any issue if there was a way for moderator to add Temporary Ban for Spammers (at least if they’d still be able to throw Spam Topics). Adding Recaptcha for every single post or Topic made would be bad..

    But if anything can prevent Bots from causing trouble, I’ll be happy about it 🙂 

    Welcome 😇

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