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Please report spam

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:16 pm
by McDuffies
As I've mentioned, there's something like 2000 new posts which I'm supposed to approve or decline every day, so I simply don't have time to clean them all out.
Since I see all those posts in actual forum (they're hidden from ordinary users), I can't clean up spam that actually appears on forum, since it's all hundreds of pages, both posted and those waiting for approval, mixed.
So in order to keep the forum clean for all appearances, please report spam. Then I can check out report section in mod panel and delete accounts that make spam.

Re: Please report spam

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:59 am
by LibertyCabbage
I should have some time today to help flag posts.

Re: Please report spam

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:35 am
by peterabnny
Can you lock the forums down temporarily to all but actual CGers until you get a handle on the spam problem? There can't be that many of us left. I should think that as long as you post an announcement as to what you're doing and why any potential new members should understand and will check back later to see if they can come on board. As it is right now, every single topic thread on my screen except one or two has been spammed.

Re: Please report spam

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:14 pm
by McDuffies
peterabnny wrote:Can you lock the forums down temporarily to all but actual CGers until you get a handle on the spam problem? There can't be that many of us left. I should think that as long as you post an announcement as to what you're doing and why any potential new members should understand and will check back later to see if they can come on board. As it is right now, every single topic thread on my screen except one or two has been spammed.

I can't really do anything.

Re: Please report spam

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:24 pm
by Terotrous
peterabnny wrote:Can you lock the forums down temporarily to all but actual CGers until you get a handle on the spam problem? There can't be that many of us left. I should think that as long as you post an announcement as to what you're doing and why any potential new members should understand and will check back later to see if they can come on board. As it is right now, every single topic thread on my screen except one or two has been spammed.

I agree. They're probably going to take down the board if we can't get them under control, as an emergency measure we probably need to shut down signups until we can get some kind of workable spam control in place.

Re: Please report spam

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:32 am
by peterabnny
McDuffies wrote:
peterabnny wrote:Can you lock the forums down temporarily to all but actual CGers until you get a handle on the spam problem? There can't be that many of us left. I should think that as long as you post an announcement as to what you're doing and why any potential new members should understand and will check back later to see if they can come on board. As it is right now, every single topic thread on my screen except one or two has been spammed.

I can't really do anything.


Well, you can suggest it to the appropriate person, can you not? :)

Re: Please report spam

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:07 am
by LibertyCabbage
I sent Kisai and STrRedWolf a PM.

Re: Please report spam

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:55 am
by IVstudios
On the plus side, seeing all these necromanced threads is very nostalgic.

Re: Please report spam

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:23 pm
by Kisai
peterabnny wrote:
McDuffies wrote:
peterabnny wrote:Can you lock the forums down temporarily to all but actual CGers until you get a handle on the spam problem? There can't be that many of us left. I should think that as long as you post an announcement as to what you're doing and why any potential new members should understand and will check back later to see if they can come on board. As it is right now, every single topic thread on my screen except one or two has been spammed.

I can't really do anything.


Well, you can suggest it to the appropriate person, can you not? :)


Unfortunately, there's not a lot that can be done to fend of 60000 spam accounts and 7800 IP's posting from them.

I've banned pretty much every IP possible that posted, but I'm worried it's going to slow down the forum with that much in it.

So guys I've switched it to Q&A, but I've put no answers in, so effectively right now the forum is invite only.


More to the point, there's so many forums that the maintenance utilities that phpBB has simply timeout. so trying to bulk delete things just errors out a lot.

Re: Please report spam

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:20 pm
by Terotrous
Do we have one of those Captcha things? I thought those were fairly hard for a machine to break.


In any case, I still figure we can't be the only forum that's had to deal with this. There's got to be some way to stop this kind of nonsense.

Re: Please report spam

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:29 pm
by Kisai
Kisai wrote:More to the point, there's so many forums that the maintenance utilities that phpBB has simply timeout. so trying to bulk delete things just errors out a lot.


MYSQL wrote:delete FROM lolforums_posts where poster_id NOT IN (Select user_id from lolforums_users);
Query OK, 21098 rows affected (1 hour 16 min 25.10 sec)


... yeah I think whatever we were doing to get rid of spam users wasn't actually getting rid of the spam posts.

Terotrous wrote:Do we have one of those Captcha things? I thought those were fairly hard for a machine to break.


In any case, I still figure we can't be the only forum that's had to deal with this. There's got to be some way to stop this kind of nonsense.


Clearly reCaptcha no longer works.

Re: Please report spam

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:59 pm
by Bustertheclown
This may sound extreme, but maybe we should think about moving the community to a different location entirely.

Re: Please report spam

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:27 pm
by Ahaugen
The Spam Mississippi can no longer be held by our flood control method. I'm with Buster on this one, I think it's time we moved the town to higher ground

Re: Please report spam

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:05 pm
by Terotrous
I definitely don't, that'd be a death sentence for this site and the spammers would probably track us anyway.


We just need to figure out how to get rid of them.

Re: Please report spam

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:24 pm
by Bustertheclown
How is staying and hoping while things get progressively worse not also a death sentence? I can't imagine that spammers are going to follow us to a completely different board system, when the exploits are obviously here in the phpBB, which doesn't seem to have upgraded in five years.

Re: Please report spam

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:25 am
by Kisai
Bustertheclown wrote:How is staying and hoping while things get progressively worse not also a death sentence? I can't imagine that spammers are going to follow us to a completely different board system, when the exploits are obviously here in the phpBB, which doesn't seem to have upgraded in five years.


What are you talking about, it's the current version.

The alternatives are SMF and vBulletin, which have their own scaleability problems. Every forum on the internet is not immune to this.

phpBB has to be modified to enable additional functionality, often with the problem if breaking other modifications. Ours is pretty much stock, because every time I've added functionality, a patch would destroy it anyway.

SMF and vBulletin have their own version of mods that do exactly the same thing, but are a lot more user friendly (eg SMF you can actually just tick a box like in wordpress, and it will install it for you) problem is that making a forum this friendly opens yet-more-security-breeches.

You don't know how often I get emails about compromised sites on comicgenesis. The threats are very serious. People abandon their comics, and then at some point their email gets hacked/phished and then their site is compromised.

It is very uneconomical to run a free-hosting site, it's no longer 2007. If people want to volunteer to help control spam, please do, otherwise, we have make do.

Right now signups to the forum are effectively disabled until I run more cleanup. It's very time consuming, and the major uptick in spam occured around November 8th, like from dozens to hundreds. I blame black friday.

Re: Please report spam

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:14 am
by IVstudios
Aeridus suggested some simple plugins that might help. Though they might fall under the "things that break when the forum is updated" heading. Though Aeridus didn't mention having any problems with them.

Re: Please report spam

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:42 am
by Kisai
IVstudios wrote:Aeridus suggested some simple plugins that might help. Though they might fall under the "things that break when the forum is updated" heading. Though Aeridus didn't mention having any problems with them.


More like "things that will certainly break"

I've tried installing stuff like this before, the authors never update these things, or they require paid third party services (eg akismet) to actually work.

Re: Please report spam

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:39 am
by Kisai
First try at this failed miserably.

Re: Please report spam

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:15 am
by LibertyCabbage
Kisai wrote:If people want to volunteer to help control spam, please do, otherwise, we have make do.

I wouldn't mind helping out with it.