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bloody spammers
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Carl_Constantine



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 304
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 10:18 am    Post subject: bloody spammers Reply with quote

They are really determined to get their product out if they have to go through the autorization process to register just to post their CRAP.

ALL SPAMMERS should be drawn and quartered with their body parts sent throughout the world to other SPAMMERS as a warning of what will happen to them when I catch them!
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Carl B. Constantine
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salden



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 1363
Location: Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, I have been busy deleting them from this site and from what I understand so has Ken.

They always find a way to get around things.
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Sue Alden
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 7076
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just got home and recieved a PM from Bill, I am guessing Sue has already taken action on the SPAM. Thanks Sue. Very Happy
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Carl_Constantine



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 304
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We should be able to recover the IP address of the original signup and deny it to the site. that obviouslly doesn't prevent them using another IP (say from a library) but it might slow them down a bit.

Also, I forget if the site uses some sort of CHRP system (text/image verification) for signup, but if we don't, we should. Make it harder for those bots to register.
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Carl B. Constantine
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Mike B in OKlahoma



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1048
Location: Oklahoma City

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I understand it, these guys have taken to using networks of covertly-hijacked computers owned by innocent people--If you don't have antivirus protection on your computer, your own computer may be at risk of being used to send spam or run forum bots! This is especially true of those who have cable connections, since they are "always on".

There is some good free antivirus software out there. I'd select one (or one of the paid ones, if you prefer) and run it!

Another good (and potentially free) thing to do is run a good firewall. There's one in the later versions of Windows that allegedly is good, but I use one called ZoneAlarm, which is free for home use. ZoneAlarm can be downloaded here, and I recommend it. You can have it limit which of your programs have access to the internet, and it can tell you if a program is accessing the internet unusually often, or when you don't think it should be. It also can block unauthorized outside access to your computer, of course. ZoneAlarm can be downloaded here (hopefully including this link is okay with the moderators):

http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/company/products/znalm/freeDownload.jsp?dc=12bms&ctry=US&lang=en
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Mike Broderick
Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Constructive critiques of my pictures, and reposts in this forum for purposes of critique are welcome

"I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul....My mandate includes weird bugs."
--Calvin
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 7076
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use Norton Anti Virus Internet Securtiy (NAVIS, not NAV), so far it has been an excellent anti virus software and has a very good firewall. Really paid off a couple of weeks ago as you all know, when I was hit by "drive cleaner virus," which of course was a moderate risk virus. NAVIS automatically snatched it up and quarenteened the program so I could delete it from my computer. Very Happy
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Carl_Constantine



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 304
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's true of regular spam and viruses, but not true of forum spam. Most of the time, forums are subjected to registration bots to do the registration and then posting of the spam. If it's a real human doing it, they are bloody desparate.
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Carl B. Constantine
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twebster
Site Admin


Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 442
Location: Phoenix "Valley of the Sun", Arizona, USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi y'all,

Spam is a real headache for us. In actuality, due to the diligence of our administrators you, our members, see only about 1% of the spammers. Y'all only see the spammers that have taken the time to actually verify their registration. We, the administrators, see all of the spam and we are able to remove them before they show up to you on the member list. It's sometimes a constant job. I've removed 4 spammers today, just myself.

I have anti-spambot mods installed in the BB software. Just as soon as some anti-spambot security software is released, the spammers are working to defeat it. It's a never ending cycle, my friends.

I've installed visual verification and email verification but still the spammers get around these mods. The only way we can stop spammers is to remove all of the registration routines from the BB software. Unfortunately, we would never be able to sign up any new members.

I am very proud of our administrators. They have done a terrific job of keeping spam from view of our members. Still, there's going to be that 1% that still gets through.

Best regards to all as always,
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Tom Webster

Phoenix "The Valley of the Sun", Arizona, USA

The worst day photographing dragonflies is better than the best day working! Smile
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rjlittlefield
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18856
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carl_Constantine wrote:
...I forget if the site uses some sort of CHRP system (text/image verification) for signup, but if we don't, we should. Make it harder for those bots to register.

It does, but I'd be surprised if that really matters very much.

There are lots of people for whom solving visual puzzles while sitting in a warm dry comfortable chair sounds like a cushy job. It sure beats grubbing roots in the rain.

As if that weren't bad enough, clever spammers have even figured out how to get people to do the job for free. See this article from January, 2004:
Quote:
Someone told me about an ingenious way that spammers were cracking "captchas" -- the distorted graphic words that a human being has to key into a box before Yahoo and Hotmail and similar services will give her a free email account. The idea is to require a human being and so prevent spammers from automatically generating millions of free email accounts.

The ingenious crack is to offer a free porn site which requires that you key in the solution to a captcha -- which has been inlined from Yahoo or Hotmail -- before you can gain access. Free porn sites attract lots of users around the clock, and the spammers were able to generate captcha solutions fast enough to create as many throw-away email accounts as they wanted.

The most effective anti-spam solution I've seen was one used by a Panorama Tools group. To join up, the prospective registrant had to provide a coherent explanation of why he or she wanted to join the group. Then after registration, the new member's first post was moderated, meaning that its distribution was delayed until reviewed and approved by an administrator. That way the registrant had to say something relevant on two separate occasions -- much too much trouble for a run-of-the-mill spammer!

Whether that approach is a good idea depends partly on the nature of the forum. No doubt the two-relevant-writings approach scared off some people who would have joined the Panorama Tools group otherwise. But that group was essentially a mailing list. There was no way to get rid of any spam that got through, so the extra burden of preventing it in the first place was a good tradeoff. The situation is not so clear for this forum, where offending messages can simply be deleted.

Another issue is what options are built into the software. Offhand I don't know what options phpBB provides for administrator-approved registrations and moderated postings.

--Rik
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Mike B in OKlahoma



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1048
Location: Oklahoma City

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, and I see another one of the buggers has posted. "Beautiful gifts for your love..." Who are the twits who buy stuff from these people?!
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Mike Broderick
Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Constructive critiques of my pictures, and reposts in this forum for purposes of critique are welcome

"I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul....My mandate includes weird bugs."
--Calvin
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DaveW



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1702
Location: Nottingham, UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is often ex hackers, spammers and possibly virus writers that are employed to produce anti spam and virus software! It is also well known that most countries secret services use hackers to hack into their so called enemies security networks. So obviously, though misguided, these people are amongst the worlds best programmers and are at the cutting edge of computing! The average computer user therefore is little match for them, we need to rely on others with anti virus program's etc.

Sort of set a thief to catch a thief!

DaveW
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puzzledpaul



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 414
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All admin / mods seem to be based in the US - would it also be worth having someone from a different time zone 'on the team' ?

pp
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 7076
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

puzzledpaul poses and interesting question:
Quote:
All admin / mods seem to be based in the US - would it also be worth having someone from a different time zone 'on the team' ?


Food for thought there pp. Maybe someone a day ahead of us on the otherside of the dateline. Therefore they could catch SPAM that we here in the US won't get to until the next day or vice a versa and maybe keep things a bit more tidy around the forums. Though not a cure, it could be an effective tool. Very Happy
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puzzledpaul



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 414
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<< Though not a cure ... >>

Agreed, Ken - the most effective route / solution is probably that described by Rik (although also has its cons) - my comment was based on experience with another site - with ppl a 'bit more spread out' Smile

No 'magic bullet' - just helps.

pp
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 7076
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know pp, that could explain why I do not see hardly any spam at all on some of the other sites that I too often visit or am a member of. They have at least five or six moderators spread out across the globe, which possibly enables them to effectively catch and delete spam before the members even have a chance to notice it having been posted. I think you have a good idea here. Very Happy
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