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Author Topic: tired of spam  (Read 1274 times)

THUMPER

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tired of spam
« on: August 14, 2010, 12:00:16 pm »

I am getting tired of seeing all this Spam ebery time i come on and check.  Zendrum needs to get this fixed!  Is there anything being done? Is a fix in the works ?  Maybe we should all migrate to Facebook?  I rather be here ,but this is getting really annoying. What are your thoughts? Thumper
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Thumper

THUMPER

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Re: tired of spam
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2010, 01:35:44 pm »

I think it is time to limit posting to this forum to only registered Zendrum owners.  Have a read only for the public and have questions asked thru Zendrum headquarters Email. Can this be done easily? Thumper
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Thumper

Geosphere

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Re: tired of spam
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2010, 08:53:11 am »

A primary function of the forum is a sales tool.  To limit it to owners takes away a primary sales channel for Zendrum.

The attacks we get are not random.  They occur at specific times of the day (my commute) to cause the most disruption.

Each level of security we add is quickly overpowered.
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THUMPER

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Re: tired of spam
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2010, 11:01:40 am »

I politely disagree.  It can still function as a sales tool if they can just read only. There is a world of information here  that they can access. Then if they are really interested they can email the headquarters. Allow posting for members only would clean this up in my opinion and we would have more participation/dialog on all things Zendrum
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Thumper

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Re: tired of spam
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2010, 11:50:01 am »

The language of the spam is anything but subtle.  I would expect that a simple Bayesian check of the body and subject would eliminate 99% of this, if not more.  This could be done before a post is added to the DB.  The nice thing about Bayesian is you would also get a numerical score for each posting, telling you how egregious it is.  So for low scoring spam, you might just flag it or reject the post.  For the really high scoring stuff we're seeing here (and the pr0n that's showing up in my RSS feed) you could suspend the account outright and block the IP.  Speaking of IPs, another thing you can do is a blacklist lookup of the user's IP.  Generally this type of trash comes from the same IP segments as email spam, and you could easily reject any connections that originate from these segments.  There are a number of blacklists out there for just such purposes.

These are the types of defenses that are difficult for spammers to get around.

I just did a cursory check on the Simple Machines site (makers of this forum) and it looks like they have some anti-spam features baked in already, but I suspect you've already tried tinkering with those, and i don't know the strength of them without looking deeper.

Holler if I can be of any help.
-dk
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Re: tired of spam
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2010, 12:34:01 am »

A primary function of the forum is a sales tool.  To limit it to owners takes away a primary sales channel for Zendrum.

I have sent 3 people to this site in the last few months.  One fellow was looking with his kid, and once he saw the spam, he was adamant about how he would not deal with a 'second rate business that doesn't care about it's internet impression'.  The other two potential buyers were similarly shocked at the level of spam on what is purported to be a 'sales tool'.

I for one want as much success for 109 and all involved, but this spam has gotten out of control and may actually be hurting Zendrum - you only get one chance to make a good impression.
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Re: tired of spam
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2010, 04:14:45 am »

Avast Thar Mateys,

     Ye must remember that Geo does this as a labor of love for Zendrum.  Aye be certain that he does the best he can.  Aye have also sent people to this site over the last several months, including two this past Saturday after me stellar public performance.  So while none of be liking the spam attacks, keep in mind that our friend Geo does all he can to stop it.  So pay Geo some respect, or ye will have the wrath of Neptune set upon ye!

Fair Winds and Following Seas,
Pyrate
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Geosphere

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Re: tired of spam
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2010, 07:01:40 am »

We use spam filters.

How many?

Presently 1051 conditions.

I have to set up each condition manually.  IP address.  Host.  Email.

This past month, 281 spam posts were stopped by the filters and 426 users were denied registration.

I do this on my own time.  It takes hours each week to ensure that others cannot post but you can.  Every day, new filters get added.

And still, several times a year, we get complaints from valid users that we are denying them access.  Every few months, I have to go through a series of emails with a potential buyer to loosen a restriction so they may post.

And I have to do this on my own time.

This is all done for love of the instrument.

About 8 months ago, we were spam free.  Then a valid user found he was blocked.  This was intentional.  He used a proxy server to get in, making it appear as if he was somewhere not blocked.  This set up a cascade of spam using the same route. 

That user has been denied access to this forum due to the secondary damage he has caused.  We had the forum taken down and rebuilt with new security by SMF.

This is done on a grand budget of something like $150 a year for support emails.

Zendrum is an independent entity with limited resources in a niche market.  To have someone monitor the forums full time and construct security tight enough to block everyone we don't want and intelligent enough to let the right ones  through would result in a price increase across the board.

To imply that nothing is being done and that the state of the forums is not cared about is not only incorrect but personally insulting.
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Geosphere

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Re: tired of spam
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2010, 07:10:43 am »

Today's new stuff:

A new, more complex Captcha system has been added to registration.
The old one was being broken by bots.

SMF software updated for new security features.
Not saying what, as that would defeat the purpose.

3 new IP banks banned.
Repeated fake registrations.
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Pocket Master

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Re: tired of spam
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2010, 07:28:15 am »

Keep up the good work Geo.  I know a thing or two about computer networks and it can be difficult because everyday there is something new out there trying to undo what you have done.  You are appreciated, and it will get back to the way it was in time.

Rob
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THUMPER

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Re: tired of spam
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2010, 09:31:50 am »

To imply that nothing is being done and that the state of the forums is not cared about is not only incorrect but personally insulting.

I Geo am truly sorry  if it was I that gave you this impression. I have the up most respect for the time that you must put in to keep the forum up and running. I can hear the frustration in your posts. My main post was to try and convey that the spam is hurting Zendrum.  I am on this board many times and it was getting to a point that I did not want to log in anymore because of the spam which is why I said something.  It must be a constant battle which I hope that we will win someday. It was not meant as a personal attack on you or Zendrum but my opinion about the situation. Thumper
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Thumper

THUMPER

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Re: tired of spam
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2010, 09:33:38 am »

Ditto what Rob said!
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Thumper

randtor

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Re: tired of spam
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2010, 04:26:46 pm »

No Question the spam is annoying as h@ll! Here's my way around it: I log on to the forum, and hit "show unread posts since last visit". THis brings up everything I haven't read, including all the dreaded spam. I then read what I want, and each time I finish a subject I go back to hitting "read unread posts....".
Eventually, all thats left is spam, so I hit "Mark all posts read", and voila! they all go away.
It ain't poifickt, but it works!
Geo, I can't imagine the frustration of all this to you, not to mention the hours spent doing it. I think the tone taken was not a personal insult to you, it was sheer frustration at the amount of spam still able to get through after everything you've done. I read your posts on this several months ago, so I am aware of all the hard work you have been doing. Perhaps not everyone read those posts and so were not aware. I'm sure you are much appreciated by those in the "Know" at Zendrum HQ, as well as those of us that happened to know your involvement here. For the rest, .... well, now more zendrummers know.

As I get older, why does it take me twice as long to do half as much???  :-)   Argh!!! I can't type!!!

Rand
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Re: tired of spam
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2010, 09:41:37 pm »

As in the past, we WILL rise above this malicious attack.
It'll take more than one cowardly and mean SOB to break what's been created here.
This is for the ones whose opinions matter to someone besides themselves.
You know, like a collective effort with good and decent people.
Thanks (times a million) to Geo.
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randtor

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Re: tired of spam
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2010, 03:55:27 pm »

And oh, by the way.............


NO spam for the last few days! Woohoo!

Doggone, Geo... Great Job!!!! :)

Rand
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