Page 1 of 1

We've been found.

Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:40 pm
by jackhodgson
Over the past few days we've seen the appearance of Forum Spammers on this board. Sadly, it was inevitable that this would happen.

The moment I found, or was pointed to, these users and their posts, I have deleted the post, the user, and banned the originating IP address. Sadly this will probably not be enough.

I'll be continuing to act to delete this stuff as soon as possible, but I beg your understanding and patience, as we pass through what might be a frustrating time.

The best way for you to help, if you choose to, it to flag offending posts by clicking the "report this post" symbol near the top of the message. It's the exclamation mark inside the pointed-down triangle. Thanks.

-- Jack

Re: We've been found.

Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:51 am
by Laminar
May all their teeth fall out the day before Thanksgiving.

Re: We've been found.

Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:12 pm
by Warren
Hey maybe some of the spammer will look around and take an interest in GA :lol:. But as they say on the lottery commercials "Hey, you never know".

Re: We've been found.

Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:14 pm
by fordan
The ways other forums I've been involved with deal with spammers are by upping the captcha hurtle, either by making them more complex visually or making them harder to automate ("what color is the sun?"), inserting a manual authentication step in the registration process, or by making the posts of new members invisible until a moderator approves them and tags their user account as not needing moderation (don't think phpBB supports this).

I will warn you from my time admin'ing a phpBB forum that had spammers find it that if you've found one account, there's probably a number of additional accounts created that haven't spammed yet, but will.

Re: We've been found.

Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:22 am
by Warren
Well speaking of spam it looks like the spammers just went on a blitzkrieg, there's at least 1 in every section XD

Re: We've been found.

Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:38 am
by jackhodgson
Once again, my apologies for the disturbance of this spamming. I hope that you can look past the more disturbing examples.

I'm trying to check in at least twice a day to see if new junk has arrived. My thanks to the listeners who are flagging these things. That helps me to quickly see what needs attention.

-- Jack

Re: We've been found.

Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:44 am
by jackhodgson
One change I've now made to try to fight these spammers is that new users must be approved before they can post to the boards. I'm not positive that this will help, but we'll see.

Unfortunately I've just discovered that there are over 50 recent new registrations which appear to be potential spammers. I'm working my way through evaluating and deleting them, but in the meantime any of them could become the source of spam.

Again, thank you for your patience while we get through this annoying period.

-- Jack

PS. Anyone out there with any special skill or experience with dealing with this on a phpBB system, I'd love some advice and/or help. Email me at podcast@uncontrolledairspace.com

Re: We've been found.

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:08 am
by jackhodgson
UPDATE:

Since changing over to me having to manually approve new forum members, we've been getting 50+ new registrants each day. They almost all seem to be bogus. I've wrestled with coming up with a way to fairly evaluate these requests, but the only one I've come up with is very labor intensive, and not really do-able.

The good news is that manually approving the new members has stopped the spam in the forums. But an unpleasant side-effect of this new scheme is that now my email is being indirectly spammed by the "new member" email notices that I'm getting from the forum software.

Over the weekend I took a step that I'm not really happy with. I have temporarily suspended new member registrations.

Until I figure out the next step, if you would like to register to be able to post on these Forums, please send an email to podcast@uncontrolledairspace.com. In the email include your requested username, and a 1-2 sentence explanation of how you found this board and what your interest is. This requirement is only to help derail spammers, everyone who demonstrates a good faith interest in the subject of this board will be approved.

Also, remember that you do not need to be registered to READ these forums.

I believe that in the long-run this will all be gotten under control. But for the time being I apologize for the inconvenience.

-- Jack