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What to do if you see a spam message on EBTF

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 9:53 am
by avij
some people wrote:SPAM Alarm
If you see a message that is clearly spam, please follow these simple guidelines:

Do nothing.

It's faster for me to spot such spam messages if the last poster to that topic is a spammer. This method doesn't work if someone writes a message to that topic, pointing out that the above message is indeed spam. However, if the spam message doesn't get deleted within, say, 12 hours, feel free to PM either myself or the appropriate forum moderator for removal (please include a link to the message).

EDIT: If you're on IRC, feel free to drop me a note if you see a spam message.

EDIT 2, after installing phpBB v3: You can use the "Report this post" functionality when you spot spam messages, it's the exclamation picture in the message.

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 10:25 am
by avij
I've now installed a modification to phpBB that asks guest for a confirmation code before they're allowed to post.

Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 8:48 am
by androl
in the last weeks the spam has increased extremely. Are these spammers really entering the confirmation codes manually? Should we think about making it still harder to post anonymous messages?

Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:59 am
by Dakkus
The confirmation code is always in the same font. It's not a very big deal saving each letter into a separate image file and then letting a program compare the code with its saved images.

I'd suggest alternating the used font, colours and disguise technics between, say, 15 different types.

Posted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:36 pm
by Nomen Nescio
The visual confirmation used by the forum isn't very difficult to overcome for those bot-writers out there.

There's one thing which would throw a nice, huge monkey wrench into their wheels, ie to switch from port 80 to 443.

Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 11:23 am
by Dakkus
Nomen Nescio wrote:The visual confirmation used by the forum isn't very difficult to overcome for those bot-writers out there.

There's one thing which would throw a nice, huge monkey wrench into their wheels, ie to switch from port 80 to 443.
Why 443? That could cause problems to some people behind firewalls. But what about 21? That's usually open.

Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 11:27 am
by Rufes
mabey, dont allow guest to post? or something

Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 11:59 am
by Nomen Nescio
Dakkus wrote:
Nomen Nescio wrote:The visual confirmation used by the forum isn't very difficult to overcome for those bot-writers out there.

There's one thing which would throw a nice, huge monkey wrench into their wheels, ie to switch from port 80 to 443.
Why 443? That could cause problems to some people behind firewalls. But what about 21? That's usually open.
21 would be another option, but that probably would cause more firewall related problems, especially for people using EBT from work, depending on the local security policy, of course. A political problem, not a technical one :lol:

Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:01 pm
by Nomen Nescio
Rufes wrote:mabey, dont allow guest to post? or something
Won't help. the bots used currently have the ability to register bogus users and log in using this bogus user and posting on the forum.

Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:50 pm
by androl
if these are bots that post the spam messages, don't they always have the same IP? So could we make IP blocks?
I think wikipedia could have the same problems with automated spammers, and I guess their IP blocks work quite well

Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:55 pm
by avij
androl wrote:if these are bots that post the spam messages, don't they always have the same IP? So could we make IP blocks?
Generally speaking, no.

Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 5:53 pm
by Dakkus
androl wrote:if these are bots that post the spam messages, don't they always have the same IP? So could we make IP blocks?
I think wikipedia could have the same problems with automated spammers, and I guess their IP blocks work quite well
If I was a spambot admin, I would use random hijacked computers for spamming.
For those who don't know: A rather big amount of computers whose owners don't consider internet security important are being used also by hijackers.

Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:50 pm
by androl
okay, I see, 100 people on Wikipedia can handle 100 spam messages per day from 5 different IPs per day better than 3 people on a forum 3 spam messages per day from 3 different IPs :?
So we have to make the effort bigger for them

Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:52 pm
by avij
Comparing EBTForum with Wikipedia doesn't make that much sense, as the number of people who are able to remove spam from a Wikipedia page is essentially unlimited.

Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:29 pm
by wisi
the only think is that you might increase the number of moderators to speed up the deletion of the spam here. or at least give the rights to all mods at any part of the forum...