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Spam issues

This is for discussion, mainly on 1.x but there's some 2.x topics here too.

Spam issues

by halfer » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:31 pm

We've had a veritable blizzard of spam recently, and it is starting to require my daily attention. Unfortunately the spammers have worked out how to bypass the text-based CAPTCHA registration thing.

However the forum software has a few roadblock systems that I will try out. Accordingly, let me know if you have any problems posting - my email address is in my profile.

Meanwhile please continue to report spam using the 'report to moderator' feature and I'll ban the user and remove the offending posts. Thanks for your patience!
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Re: Spam issues

by halfer » Mon May 17, 2010 11:09 am

The spam load continues to increase. I've discussed this with Fabien, and he has agreed to move to a new forum system in due course, so we can have some decent anti-spam/captcha tools.

Unfortunately as a result I have a little less time to help out here, so if any newer symfony developers could volunteer their time to help their fellow programmers, it would be much appreciated by the community :)~ :-)~ :smile:
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Re: Spam issues

by halfer » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:20 pm

I am still fighting spam, and to save time I often move it to the Misc forum. Apologies for the disruption to that group.

Incidentally, project-lead Fabien is arranging for a converter to be written so we can move to a better forum, with decent anti-spam controls. Watch this space :)~ :-)~ :smile:
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Re: Spam issues

by robleyd » Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:10 am

I appreciate your time is valuable, but by moving some of these messages - such as the 'Convert DVD' junk - to the Misc pages you are actually helping the spammers :D~ :-D~ :grin:

I (as a mod elsewhere) delete the bloody things on sight -shoot first and ask questions afterwards.

</rant>
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Re: Spam issues

by halfer » Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:59 pm

Point understood, but if I delete an item of spam, I have to ban or delete the associated account, which takes time I just don't have, since our forum software makes it fiddly. So I move them to /Misc and then delete them en masse later - it keeps the majority of the board cleaner.

Anyway, we are very close indeed to getting a new board system, so spam here will be - perhaps in a few weeks - a thing of the past.
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Re: Spam issues

by halfer » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:17 am

The CAPTCHA on sign-up in our shiny new forum should be much better at repelling automated bots... watch this space :)
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Re: Spam issues

by halfer » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:39 am

We're still getting new spam sign-ups, but the new system allows IP ranges to be blocked.

I am therefore blocking in the form a.b.c.*, which will get them eventually. If this is too aggressive, or not aggressive enough, feel free to let me know.
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Re: Spam issues

by claudia_k » Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:15 pm

Hi halfer

Have you tried using recaptcha as captcha provider for phpbb? I do not run any high traffic sites but it seems to do a pretty good job whenever I use it (I have not tried it with phpbb yet though)

Is there any way to help you with detecting spam - maybe a system where users can report a pa post for spam and if a post is reported more than x times it is hidden automatically?

Anyway - thanks for all your efforts here on the forum - it is very much appreciated.

Claudia
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Re: Spam issues

by halfer » Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:43 am

Thanks Claudia, appreciation is appreciated!

The captcha device on sign-up is extremely complex, and unlike the previous forum I am not sure this one is readable by machine. Accordingly I am wondering if the spammers are just employing teams of workers to create accounts by hand - I've heard of such a thing before. I wonder if it's possible that they can do it quickly enough to make it cost effective? The only further step we could take in this direction is to require a captcha per post, but since they often use an account once or twice and then dump it, this doesn't seem worthwhile - and meanwhile it creates accessibility problems for genuine users.

Today I have taken to blocking IP addresses in the form x.y.*.* - much more aggressive, but will foil them faster. We didn't have this facility in FUDForum.

If that fails to get a handle on the problem, I'll ask Fabien to install the Akismet plugin - it's available for phpBB apparently :)
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Re: Spam issues

by halfer » Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:15 pm

Btw, I have now set users to be in the group "Newly registered users" until they have posted a few times. Users in this category will not be able to use signatures, which is a carrier for much of our link spam here.
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Re: Spam issues

by maastermedia » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:13 pm

I also see many unrelated links appearing in wiki over and over again. Can there be anything done regarding spam links in wiki:
http://trac.symfony-project.org/wiki/Wi ... _version=1

Regards.
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Re: Spam issues

by Seikilos » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:19 am

What about disabling posting links on users which have 0 posts?
Or users with <2 posts still need to provide a correct reCaptcha or something.

If your issue with moving to misc still exist, than create a spam forum, make it only visible for admins and move the topics there
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Re: Spam issues

by claudia_k » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:34 am

Hi Seikilos

What about disabling posting links on users which have 0 posts?
Or users with <2 posts still need to provide a correct reCaptcha or something.


I just responsible for deleting any spam posts so I do not have full admin access to change any such settings.
Nevertheless - could you please describe how to set this up in phpbb? Then I will test on my local copy and maybe talk the full admins into implementing this.

Thanks

Claudia
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Re: Spam issues

by Seikilos » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:59 am

Hi Claudia,
I have never worked with phpbb so I actually cannot help you. I think you or an admin should look for help in the phpbb support forum since I believe that many phpbb are targeted by spam at the moment. Maybe there is an exploit or something which allows them to register.
However you should talk to an admin to create such a subforum where the spam can be moved.

So since I do not know how extensions and modification in phpbb works I can only suggest to look for help at their support site (or hack your own version, which I would not do)
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Re: Spam issues

by darren13 » Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:56 am

Though I'm not exactly a Symfony expert yet, I do recognise spam - I'd be willing to put some time in weekly to bin whatever spam I can find - if that saves you some time Halfer / Claudia - just let me know if I can help.

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Re: Spam issues

by tkoomzaaskz » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:59 pm

hello,
seems like the user 'edingecrono' is a spam bot...
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Re: Spam issues

by claudia_k » Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:23 pm

Hello

@ tkoomzaaskz:
Please do not post stuff like this here. Instead click on the 'report post' link (on the icon with the exclamation mark on it) of at least one post of such a spam bot. Spam reports certainly help me to find more hidden spam - so report what you find. Usually it is not necessary
- to report more than one post of the same poster - I usually check all posts of a spam poster anyway
- to report anything that is younger than a day - most often this just means that I have not had the time yet to check the forum

@ darren13:
I do not know whether there is any policy about who can become a spam moderator. I simply wrote to halfer and asked him. Might be that you need to have a few more posts under your belt - I don't know. You can find halfer's email address in his profile.


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Re: Spam issues

by tkoomzaaskz » Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:31 pm

Ok, I'm sorry, just wanted to help, won't do it again.
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Re: Spam issues

by claudia_k » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:17 am

Definitely do it again - just in the right place :-). I can certainly use every help that I can get for removing spam...

Greetings from Luxembourg

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Re: Spam issues

by halfer » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:32 am

Folks,

I've switched the CAPTCHA device from the standard phpBB widget to a nice shiny reCaptcha thingy. Hopefully this will have an effect on the number of registrations the spammers are able to make on an automated basis.
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Re: Spam issues

by gizmola » Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:55 am

It should. I did this for a phpBB forum that was inundated with spam, and it solved their problem. Their default captcha is useless.
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Re: Spam issues

by Mathias » Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:19 am

haha, spam in the spam issue thread. :D

could please make me (or someone else) a spam moderator? It's really getting out of hand lately.
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Re: Spam issues

by halfer » Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:40 am

Mathias, yeah - d'oh! I've removed a load of spam this evening.

As per the other thread, I will discuss moderation with the other mod, and will see if we need to appoint some more admins. Thanks for the offer :)
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Re: Spam issues

by halfer » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:24 pm

I've set a password complexity requirement, which might foil a few spammers. Looks like they are getting through the text captcha. Unfortunately we tried one of the image-based captchas, but Fabien said it was causing hanging on the server. We might look at trying something else at some point.
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Re: Spam issues

by Mathias » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:43 pm

nice! thank you!
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Re: Spam issues

by halfer » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:21 pm

Update on anti-spam measures - I've not heard from the other mod for ages, so I think it is just me - and I am no longer using Symfony. So I log in periodically, although thankfully we get very little in the way of spam these days. If you see some spam then use the alert-mod feature, and (if you can) also drop me an email. Thanks.

If anyone here who is a regular on the boards or on the mailing list - or who has good rep on StackOverflow etc. - would like to moderate, please drop me a line and I will propose it to Fabien (project lead).
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Re: Spam issues

by alistair » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:27 pm

2 threads of mine have been spammed several times in the last 24 hours.

I have reported them.
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