Spam Threads

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DTNC Vicious
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Spam Threads

Postby DTNC Vicious » Sat May 04, 2013 7:42 am

Hey all, just had to delete about 12 spam threads all posted in a 2 hour period in a row. Currently I'm on EST, so I know it's pretty late for you who are located in Europe. But if anyone is up, and see's anymore of these threads please PM me I will be patrolling nightly now since I just got loads of free time. Thanks


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Postby Pursanator » Sat May 04, 2013 10:12 am

Most of them are kitchen shit...
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Postby Laika » Sat May 04, 2013 3:35 pm

Also viagra. Cracked captcha ?
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Postby daniele01 » Sat May 04, 2013 3:59 pm

Viagra in the D+ annoucement thread
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Postby DTNC Vicious » Sat May 04, 2013 6:30 pm

Yeah quite a bit of Ikea and kitchen shit.... more than usual lol
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Postby bert_the_turtle » Mon May 06, 2013 8:21 am

DTNC Vicious wrote:more than usual lol
Sadly, no. It has been this way for about a week.
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Postby Laika » Mon May 06, 2013 12:28 pm

Bought kitchens are not goal of spam threads - clicks on a link are. So unless forum captcha is cracked, we could stop it by lowering ratio of clicks per spam-thread (probably). I.e. don't click on spam links and they will vanish, eventually.
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Postby bert_the_turtle » Mon May 06, 2013 4:14 pm

That's an optimistic view, in several ways.

Do the word censors work on URIs? Let's see.

Well, sorta. Worth a try.
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Postby Great Magical Hat » Mon May 06, 2013 6:39 pm

The CAPTCHA system in use on this forum has been cracked for quite some time now. I have administrated a forum without any active members being targeted mercilessly by spammers, so the lack of view isn't going to get them out of your way. (To be fair, I don't remember the actual amount of spam generated each day, so if spam would have been deleted multiple times per day and there would be many posts per day to bury any spam under, it might not have been quite as bad a situation as it was now.) If the difference is the extra spam (rather than the lack of quick deletion) I think it's more likely you're only now being discovered by the spam bots. If that's the case, the problem is only going to get worse.


Letter based CAPTCHAs took a major hit when OCR (Optical Character Recognition - amongst things, what is used by bots to solve these supposed CAPTCHAs) became better a while back and suddenly became able to read letters. Letter based CAPTCHAs now need a new element to keep bots from solving them: letters that are hard to separate from one another (i.e. they touch). Of course reCAPTCHA also still works, because it is based on words that OCR failed to read and is kept up to date with clever distortion (since for typical OCR as reCAPTCHA uses it, it is needed you need a really high success percentage, while spam bots can still sneak through quite some spam if they have only a small success percentage).

The alternative is of course to use a CATCHA system that isn't based on a human reading a word. Preferably, such a system will have a customizable text element, so your forum would have to be targeted individually by spammers.
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Postby NeatNit » Mon May 06, 2013 8:14 pm

http://forums.introversion.co.uk/introv ... php?t=3573

At some point (which I can't find at the moment) I offered the following algorithm:

For every new user's first post, if it contains the word kitchen in title or in post, and is not in the Prison Architect forum, instaban and remove said post.

What do we have to lose?
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Postby Laika » Mon May 06, 2013 8:28 pm

Yeah but we need a living man with access to hosting server. Or perphaps a third-party server, managing 24/7 a user with forum-admin rights and being runned by a script, which is something NeatNit has described ? Please tell if it's impossible.
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Postby Great Magical Hat » Mon May 06, 2013 8:30 pm

And once you do have one of those mythical people, the real solution is to change the CAPTCHA, but that is going to be a rather painful process, considering that we're on a heavily modded phpbb2 installation and you need a phpbb3 installation to get access to the system that easily let's you replace your CAPTCHA system.
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Postby bert_the_turtle » Tue May 07, 2013 8:20 am

NeatNit: In addition to the reasons given back then, they'd also just switch tactics. They'd simply avoid using "Kitchen" in the topic. Evidence: I added completely ineffective word filters that alter the appearance of their URIs (not the URI itself), and they now more frequently circumvent the filter by adding pointless spaces (destroying the URI, so mission accomplished, as far as possible).

Hat: I'd love to have the forums upgraded so we have better spam countermeasure support. Maybe IV can use some of the money raised to pay an expert to do it?
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Postby jelco » Tue May 07, 2013 9:32 am

A StopForumSpam-hook would probably stop all of this nonsense and is simple enough to hack into phpBB 2 (as long as it's taught that the forums live behind a reverse proxy these days). I would have no problem attempting that, but perhaps Neo wants to step up considering the current setup is mostly his work (I think). :)

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Postby Great Magical Hat » Tue May 07, 2013 7:17 pm

bert_the_turtle wrote:I'd love to have the forums upgraded so we have better spam countermeasure support. Maybe IV can use some of the money raised to pay an expert to do it?


I was going to say something about how the unpredictable nature of upgrading with mods makes hiring an expert a hard thing to do and I was goi8ng to suggest doing some of that work for them by setting up a phpbb3 forum that had all the required features. However, this made me look at the current setup of the features and then I realized the real problem.

The real problem is that the current situation is a complete mess. Unless IV is willing to give up some of the "features" of this setup, it's never going to get much better.

What we have is several forums, that behave as if they are separate forums. However, they do share some data. The user accounts aren't that amazing, but they actually also all share the "Introversion" part of the base forum (which we're on right now) as well. Then, there's the base forum. Alongside the introversion part that each one of the forums has, it has links to the other forums, but it actually shows those as if they are sub-forums and show the last posted message and how many messages are in there.

I think the main feature to give up in order to get to a normal situation, is to have each forum have the same theme. From there, things will look slightly different (some of the things will actually be better if you ask me, as we'll now actually have a link back from each forum to the introversion forum, the lack of which I believe is a problem with the forum right now). That said, after the different themes are given up, it's actually possible to create a foru that works mostly the same as the current "mess with multiple forums". However, the choice to give up the different themes can only be made by IV.

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