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 Post subject: The SPAM situation
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 1:52 pm 
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Joined: Jul 25, 2003
Motorcycle: 98 Valkyrie
Rebel: 250
Country: USA
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Folks, all forums on the net get spam. They keep finding better and better ways to get in, regardless of your security precautions. And with more and more jobs being 'outsourced' to other nations, particularly third-world ones, it's now economically feasible to hire real people to register at forums and thus defeat a lot of measures set up for automated spam.

The good news is that most spam is 'hit-and-run,' and relies on the automated functions most forums offer: in particular, "Subscribe to this thread."

Knowing that, we have a _slight_ tool in our favor. Sadly, it's a double-edged sword.

See, they join, then they run away, and wait for someone to either go "Hey, you know, I'd like to learn how to make elevem million dollars watching TV. That's why I joined this crochet forum, after all; let me ask this MAKECASHNOW124 for more information." As soon as a reply is posted, then the forum notifies that member that a reply has been posted. They don't come back to answer anything, as they usually include links, etc in their posts.

But what they _do_ like to do is record the address that generated the hit. Maybe it's someone interested in the add, maybe it's someone saying "SSSSPPPPPAAAAAaaaaaaAAAAAAMMMMMMmmmmm"

But either way, it's confirmation that they have found an active forum. They can now continue to bombard that forum with even more spam, as well as the money they make selling 'good sites' lists to other spammers.



We update our security measures as often as possible, but it's hard to stay ahead; we need everyone's help.

What can be done?

Well, for one, watch what you say, in terms of vocabulary. In short, stop swearing. It's against the rules of this forum anyway, as I find it particularly insulting to the person doing the swearing, and to everyone else on the board whom that speaker has decided has no more self-respect than does the speaker himself.

But beyond the social etiquette, let me offer a very real "'frinstance:"

Every try to remember something you saw on the net, but couldn't recall the name of the site of the address? So you googled a particular phrase or descriptive passage you remembered from that site?

Well Spambots do the very same thing, and sadly enough, that form of 'entertainment' that involves nekkid folks is the most common form of spam out there. Now think about the most commonly-used vulgarities, and consider some of the truly wierd forms of 'entertainment' around there.

The very real 'frinstance:

early in the second incarnation of the board, I got a phone call at seven AM on a Sunday. I don't know what most folks do on Sunday, but as long as I can remember, it's been my only day off from any job I've worked. I can tell you that at seven AM, I am _not_ doing anything that would involve being awake...

While at the dealer the week before picking up an air filter, I had encountered a man and a his sixteen year old daughter picking out riding apparel. They had just ordered her a Rebel. Jim-- the guy behind the parts counter-- knew I had this site and suggested to him that he speak to me. I gave them the (at that time) address, and we discovered that we lived six blocks from each other. In fact, he was the preacher at the church on the edge of the neighborhood. We made some plans to get together after church when his daughter's bike showed up and begin instructing her on riding, then we went our separate ways.

Anyway, before church the next day, she decided to check out 'all the great stuff' that Jim and I had told them were on our site.

First thing she found was SPAM post-- WITH PICTURES!-- of a particular form of 'entertainment' that involved one person emptying their bladder onto another person...

So got a phone call, lots of threats and arguing, lots of appologizing, and I got out of bed and pulled the stuff down.

I got curious as to why this happened and did some searching.

I found out that the word -- well, the word that ordinarily be used in an expression similar to 'that is going to tick me off'-- that word, in various forms, was posted on this board one hundred and seventy seven times!

Wonder what they keyed on...

Seems while doing some house keeping the previous week, I had inadvertantly turned off the word censor.


So watching what we say is a big help, both socially and with spam-related problems.

Another biggie:

Don't reply to any thread with SPAM in it. Don't tell them to leave; don't say "Hey! This looks like SPAM." Whoever left it-- and it's usually an automated thing anyway-- is never going to see what you say. All they are doing is waiting for someone to post. So even if you say "go away, you filthy spammer!" all they see on their end is "Someone has replied to your thread." Which, in Spammish, means "There's activity here! Spam away, and invite all your friends!"


I know we all want to do something about it, and I appreciate that. The best things we can all do is to watch what we say and not reply to any spam post. If you see a spam thread, either alert one of the staff in a PM, or start a new thread with the title "Found SPAM" and give a link to the thread in which the spam is posted. One of us will get it as soon as we discover it.

Thanks folks.

_________________

Duke
"Skills must be Learned"
------ Herb Christian


"Ask your doctor if medical advice from a television commercial is right for _you_."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 6:43 pm 
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Country: USA
State/Province: MN
City: Fergus Falls
Duke wrote:
Don't reply to any thread with SPAM in it. Don't tell them to leave; don't say "Hey! This looks like SPAM." Whoever left it-- and it's usually an automated thing anyway-- is never going to see what you say. All they are doing is waiting for someone to post. So even if you say "go away, you filthy spammer!" all they see on their end is "Someone has replied to your thread." Which, in Spammish, means "There's activity here! Spam away, and invite all your friends!"


I know we've been seeing more of this lately, and we're taking care of it as quickly as we can. I cannot reiterate Duke's point enough - please DO NOT reply to any spam posts. It just eggs them on and triggers the 'bots that this forum is active.

Thanks folks!
Tom O.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:37 pm 
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Joined: Aug 11, 2005
If you guys ever come to a point where spam gets to be too much, you can always do what some other forums do; and that is to only allow people to register with email accounts from their service provider ( --- or whatever their email accounts are).

The only way to get an email account through the service provider is to have an account with them, and even still you can only add something like four more email accounts per service contract.

Just a thought. 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 10:48 pm 
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Motorcycle: 98 Valkyrie
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That sort of shuts out some folks.

My provider, for example, doesn't offer e-mail. Just a modem.

_________________

Duke
"Skills must be Learned"
------ Herb Christian


"Ask your doctor if medical advice from a television commercial is right for _you_."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 3:18 pm 
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Motorcycle: 98 Valkyrie
Rebel: 250
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City: Vidalia
Just wanted to bump this, given our recent successful spamming.

Please folks, remember that part about "don't reply." I have to purge these things, and the one thing I find in _every_ instance of spamming is that the threads are subscribed. No; it's highly unlikely that someone is actually reading the little e-mail "someone has replied to your thread" messages.

But a computer is. It logs a reply, and from where, and uses that to confirm that it has found an _active_ website (as opposed to a small-group private or a completely abandoned website), updates and distributes this information throughout the spam servers, and ultimately sells or trades it with other spammers.

Worse yet, the more replies they get, the more "valuable" this new target becomes, making it more appealing to future spams.


In short, replying to a suspected spam thread makes the problem _worse_. To completely cut out a single spammer I have to spend between twenty and sixty minutes-- and sometimes more-- dealing with each one of them.

Please don't encourage them.

If you spot something you think is spam, leave it alone or shoot a PM to anyone on the staff. Thanks. :)

_________________

Duke
"Skills must be Learned"
------ Herb Christian


"Ask your doctor if medical advice from a television commercial is right for _you_."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:05 pm 
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I even read this in the sticky wen I first joined...My bad... :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: The SPAM situation
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:24 pm 
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Motorcycle: 2009 Honda Rebel
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The tractor forum i belong to has a method of controlling the spam to an extent. whenever you log in to the forum you have to answer a simple human Question that changes often ( I. E. What color is Grass ----How many wheels on a motorcycle--- Etc.)
it is a little bit of a pain but it does control the Bots.

Ralph

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Ralphscubs.com



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 Post subject: Re: The SPAM situation
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:44 am 
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The forum software needs to have that type of code installed. I don't believe this new software does.

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Romans 12:18
www.patriotguard.org


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 Post subject: Re: The SPAM situation
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:47 pm 
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Joined: May 13, 2006
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hercman wrote:
The forum software needs to have that type of code installed. I don't believe this new software does.



It does now. Has for the past two, three weeks now. Well, at least since that last horrible spam attack we just had.

Seems to be working pretty good too. So far, since then, have had only one spammer get through and I believe that one was an actual human.

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deanna r.w.


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 Post subject: Re: The SPAM situation
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Dec 20, 2006
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State/Province: CA
City: Los Angeles
An easier way is to upgrade this forum to phpBB 3.0.9. I run several forums myself and this forum looks like the old phpBB 2.x series, the latest phpBB 2.0.23 released back in 2008. Using this present version of the forum, I was getting so much *SPAM* that I backed up the MySql database and did the necessary conversions so that it would run on phpBB 3.x or SMF 1.x now upgraded to SMF 2.0.1.

At the time phpBB 3.x was not fully developed so I also used the SMF forums which is less load intensive than phpBB forums and more difficult to *SPAM*, hack, etc. The phpBB 2.x forum does not have the safeguards built in that phpBB3.x now has. Once I upgraded forums from the phpBB 2.x series, this really reduced and/or eliminated the headaches associated with spammers & hackers. There are upgrades so patches have to be applied. phpBB stop supporting phpBB2.x -so only phpBB 3.x is now supported.


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