Forum spam

The Silencer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2005
Location
Echo Sector
Lately there has been an increase in spam on this forum. New "accounts" either spam links and stuff in a message, or have a signature with spam links and then spam topics with "interesting info" or "valuable information" or something like that. I keep reporting to those posts whenever I see them (I'm not sure if the moderators like the flood of mails they receive because of this, if you prefer me not reporting the stuff because you possibly see the messages anyway let me know).

I was wondering if there isn't a way to stop it, or at least try to cut back. In the old days, spam was done by guests. This has been combatted by requiring an account. But even that doesn't work anymore evidently. Perhaps it is possible to implement a CAPTCHA challenge/response for creating new accounts (you know, where you show an image with letters and you have to type those letters). If those new accounts are automated actions (which I think they are), that might prevent crap accounts from being made that simple. It's no cure all of course as spammers can still make accounts by hand, but I that takes slightly more effort and the point of spam is to do it automated for maximum effect.

Another solution would be applying CAPTCHA to making posts, but I don't think we should go down that road. That impedes all the regular users on this forum as well and the spam isn't that much (yet). Or perhaps make user categories with "trusted" users who can post without restrictions and a user group for new users who get CAPTCHA images and may be promoted to "trusted" when it's obvious they are not spambots.

Just throwing in some ideas here as the spam starts to get annoying.
 

Cyberion

Administrator
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
ya I monitor this thing. Delete them regularly. There is a solution to make every user admin activated, this will solve the problem. However I do not want to turn on this mode as so far I'm dealing with it ok.
 
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The Silencer

The Silencer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2005
Location
Echo Sector
Cyberion link said:
ya I monitor this thing. Delete them regularly. There is a solution to make every user admin activated, this will solve the problem. However I do not want to turn on this mode as so far I'm dealing with it ok.
I guess that would be a good solution in case it gets out of hand. Probably easier than implementing changes to the registering proces (if that is possible at all).

Do you want me (and others) to keep hitting that 'report this post to a moderator' button? Or is that unnecessarily spamming your inbox with e-mails/notifications?
 

compelx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Location
Dallas, Texas - United States
May I suggest this...

http://www.animeneko.net/projects/smf/recaptcha-for-smf/

and this...

http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?action=search;basic_search=anti-bot
 

Candy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Look at the list of people that become 41 on january 1st! I'm guessing most of them are spammers...
 

compelx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Location
Dallas, Texas - United States
We need to do something, its got to be killing bandwidth. Perhaps the most simple fix would be to add re-captcha at the bottom of the page when creating a new thread. That way users must enter in the correct phrase or their thread will not be posted...



I would be willing to help out to take care of this evil that has covered these lands.
 
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The Silencer

The Silencer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2005
Location
Echo Sector
How about captcha the registration process? And/or make new accounts to be approved by an administrator before letting loose into the wild? Why even put up with the spambots (even when they can't start threads) when you can silence them before they enter?
Also I hope the admins will get rid of all those spam accounts. It makes the community look large.
 

compelx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Location
Dallas, Texas - United States
I would recommend we add re-captcha on both. It takes care of about 95% of the spam account creation although it seems a few still seem to get by (usually using foreign email hosters like mailinator, mail.ru, etc). We could add a honey pot but it may start presenting a security risk if the bots find a way to launch scripts (we go to our own forums, hit a drive-by popup, and get infected with security tool or some other rouge). Not sure how SMF handles scripts but there is always a chance I suppose.
 

Keenan

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 24, 2005
Location
Omaha, Nebraska, USA
I purged all spambots. I'll look into getting some anti-spam plugins installed.

Also, I'm really itching to update the website to 2011 web design standards. Possibly a complete overhaul of the design and CMS.
 
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The Silencer

The Silencer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2005
Location
Echo Sector
Compel-X link said:
I would recommend we add re-captcha on both. It takes care of about 95% of the spam account creation although it seems a few still seem to get by (usually using foreign email hosters like mailinator, mail.ru, etc). We could add a honey pot but it may start presenting a security risk if the bots find a way to launch scripts (we go to our own forums, hit a drive-by popup, and get infected with security tool or some other rouge). Not sure how SMF handles scripts but there is always a chance I suppose.
I don't see the added value of captcha on starting threads on top of having added captcha to the registration process. Automated spambots will fail at the first already. Captcha on starting threads will put an extra inconvenience on established users. Perhaps captcha for starting threads in the guest book forum, where people can post without registering (if that's still the case).

An alternative to forcing captcha on everyone starting a thread might be user groups. Put all current forum users into a group "trusted" users or something like that, new people into a gropu "new users" and require captcha for that group. Once it's clear they are not spammers they can be promoted.
 
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The Silencer

The Silencer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2005
Location
Echo Sector
Keenan Weaver link said:
I purged all spambots. I'll look into getting some anti-spam plugins installed.

Also, I'm really itching to update the website to 2011 web design standards. Possibly a complete overhaul of the design and CMS.
Great job!

As far as the website goes, I hope the dark background colours won't go, I find those easier on my eyes. Websites with light or even white back ground are just horrible to read on for an extended period of time.
 

Keenan

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 24, 2005
Location
Omaha, Nebraska, USA
The Silencer link said:
[quote author=Keenan Weaver link=topic=1592.msg7956#msg7956 date=1294195873]
I purged all spambots. I'll look into getting some anti-spam plugins installed.

Also, I'm really itching to update the website to 2011 web design standards. Possibly a complete overhaul of the design and CMS.
Great job!

As far as the website goes, I hope the dark background colours won't go, I find those easier on my eyes. Websites with light or even white back ground are just horrible to read on for an extended period of time.
[/quote]

I really enjoy the color scheme; that's definitely gonna stay. Just need to re-do the side bars and the content pages. People like big text now, and we're really small text.

Aside from website changes, I'm going to add more actual content to the site. Probably starting with scanning the official guides and making them PDFs, and making a "tech support" page for DOSBox.
 

Cyberion

Administrator
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
Goku, I love your new avatar!  8)

Just let me know when you are gonna make changes, I'll create an empty sql database for you to upload the webby and set it up the way you need. Than after we done the new website, I'll redirect www.echosector.com to that new folder and we gonna be happy ;)

btw, here is my email for quick contact if i'm off the website - syberion at gmail.com

Feel free to write, so we can cooperate on this issue. Our website really needs an update.  :p
 

Cyberion

Administrator
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
we can install any forum engine. It's just that smf is currently installed. I'm not sure what's Goku's plan. He keeps silent hehehe
 

Keenan

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 24, 2005
Location
Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Thinking Wordpress. It'd allow for easy page editing and it'd be a lot easier to maintain.

Cyb, I'll use my own FTP for testing, then we'll transfer to CybSys's when it's done. I'll PM you a link to what I'm doing once I start doing it.
 

Cyberion

Administrator
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
got it. Will be waiting for the info and ready to jump in and help you out with design, color or whatever ;) As always mate  8)
 
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