Author Topic: Slamming the door on Spammers.  (Read 345 times)

TimothyEllis

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Slamming the door on Spammers.
« on: October 30, 2021, 08:18:51 PM »
Up until now I've been just taking spammer activity as junk you have to deal with.

But I've a very bad day today, and I've lost patience.

The last spammer had the entire IP address banned. As in 188.everything.

Most of the spam is coming out of Russia, mainly SEO peddlers using us to build links for search engines. Or porn.

As far as I'm aware, Auslander is the only member from that region, and I have his IP recorded.

The rest are going to get IP banned as I see them now.

If you hear of anyone who suddenly can't get in, let me know. I'll try not to get people blocked, but it might happen by accident.

IP banning is never a good thing, but there is a point where you just slam the door. And I reached it today.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.

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Matthew

Re: Slamming the door on Spammers.
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2021, 11:49:00 PM »
Thanks for your efforts and thanks for letting us know.

From my past experience, I wouldn't worry too much about banning IPs. Most of them are compromised servers, not residential IP addresses.

I remember in the past when I ran a public forum it was a nightmare trying to find spam plugins that were effective. I'm tempted to make a honeypot website just to help create my own anti-spam systems... could be a fun project.
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Slamming the door on Spammers.
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2021, 11:54:17 PM »
I'm tempted to make a honeypot website just to help create my own anti-spam systems... could be a fun project.

Let me know if you do.

One reason I don't use the best of the recommended anti-spammer systems is I found them too complicated to use.

So if you can come up with something effective which is also easy to use with the forum, I'd be happy to test it.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.

Timothy Ellis Kindle Author page. | Join the Hunter Legacy mailing list | The Hunter Legacy series on Facebook. | Forum Promo Page.
 

LilyBLily

Re: Slamming the door on Spammers.
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2021, 01:30:37 AM »
Yeah, it's ridiculous. Do what you have to. I got such continuous attacks on my website from Russia that my webmistress made my site invisible to that entire country. It was amusing when I actually visited Russia and our tour guide could not find my website to see my books.
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Slamming the door on Spammers.
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2021, 09:35:18 PM »
Just as an update, I had to undo a couple of IP bans due to inadvertently blocking a member. I was afraid of that, but sometimes you have to try.

In the last week I've been seeing an uptick in the number of seemingly legit registrations, but with email addresses which set off my alarm bells.

A lot of these sit dormant for months, and then finally post porn or advertising.

Until they update their profiles with something I can action, there is little I can do.

However, I am doing more pre-emptive pre-moderation on registrations which set off an alarm, so if by any chance you are a legit registration and find your posts have to be moderated before going live, this is why. Legit posts will go live as soon as I see them, and the restriction removed.

The other thing I've done is slowed down the posting rate. Previously a spammer could register and post 23 times before I got the notification and removed them. Now, they can only do 1 post in the same time. The bots won't notice that 22 of the posts failed. But we will notice the 23 posts of crap have stopped.

I keep reviewing periodically.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.

Timothy Ellis Kindle Author page. | Join the Hunter Legacy mailing list | The Hunter Legacy series on Facebook. | Forum Promo Page.
 
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Lynn

Re: Slamming the door on Spammers.
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2021, 11:53:56 PM »
If someone is registering, they sold be willing to make at least one post to keep the registration. Why not edit the welcome message or success message to say that if there isn't at least one post within a day the registration will be deleted?
Don't rush me.
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Slamming the door on Spammers.
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2021, 12:02:26 AM »
If someone is registering, they sold be willing to make at least one post to keep the registration. Why not edit the welcome message or success message to say that if there isn't at least one post within a day the registration will be deleted?

There are a lot of members who login to read, but have never posted.

Forcing them to post something isn't my first choice.

And besides, once spammers figure it out, they'll post something innocuous to start with, leave it a while, then post spam.

Ideally I'd like all new registrations to be on pre-moderation automatically, but I can't figure out how to do that. That way first posts would always only be seen by me until I okayed them. Might frustrate a few people who post just after I go to bed, and have to wait before they appear, but it wold keep the spam out.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.

Timothy Ellis Kindle Author page. | Join the Hunter Legacy mailing list | The Hunter Legacy series on Facebook. | Forum Promo Page.
 

She-la-te-da

Re: Slamming the door on Spammers.
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2021, 12:09:43 AM »
Hope you fix the issue. I just came in to catch up and had another spam thing. Could see no way to report it.

Anyone lurking thinking I'll fall for your junk, I don't and won't. Been around the block far too many times to respond to spam, here or anywhere. LOL
I write various flavors of speculative fiction. This is my main pen name.

 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Slamming the door on Spammers.
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2021, 12:14:13 AM »
Hope you fix the issue. I just came in to catch up and had another spam thing. Could see no way to report it.

PM spam?

Copy it to me and tell me who sent it. I'll nuke them.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.

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TimothyEllis

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Re: Slamming the door on Spammers.
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2021, 12:23:48 AM »
I'll repeat it again for those who missed it.

If you get spam in your PM's, let me know immediately.

There is a class of spammer who looks innocent on their profile, never poss in public, but are here to post PM spam.

Tell me about them and they'll be history.

Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.

Timothy Ellis Kindle Author page. | Join the Hunter Legacy mailing list | The Hunter Legacy series on Facebook. | Forum Promo Page.
 

Eric Thomson

Re: Slamming the door on Spammers.
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2021, 12:27:04 AM »
Tim,
I've beaten the spammers by setting "Admin Approval" for new members. The spammers are easy to recognize - their email addies are garbage and when they bother with a domain name, so is that. I literally delete a dozen registrations awaiting approval each day before the spammers can even get to the point of posting. Here's a screenshot of the relevant panel in SMF.
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Slamming the door on Spammers.
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2021, 12:33:01 AM »
Tim,
I've beaten the spammers by setting "Admin Approval" for new members. The spammers are easy to recognize - their email addies are garbage and when they bother with a domain name, so is that. I literally delete a dozen registrations awaiting approval each day before the spammers can even get to the point of posting. Here's a screenshot of the relevant panel in SMF.

I tried that, but with that turned on, they can't update their registration, so nothing wonky shows. You can only activate them, and then they update and post spam anyway. You can spot some of the email addresses, but not all.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.

Timothy Ellis Kindle Author page. | Join the Hunter Legacy mailing list | The Hunter Legacy series on Facebook. | Forum Promo Page.
 

Eric Thomson

Re: Slamming the door on Spammers.
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2021, 12:37:03 AM »
Tim,
I've beaten the spammers by setting "Admin Approval" for new members. The spammers are easy to recognize - their email addies are garbage and when they bother with a domain name, so is that. I literally delete a dozen registrations awaiting approval each day before the spammers can even get to the point of posting. Here's a screenshot of the relevant panel in SMF.

I tried that, but with that turned on, they can't update their registration, so nothing wonky shows. You can only activate them, and then they update and post spam anyway. You can spot some of the email addresses, but not all.

Strange, but I have no problems. Every morning, I go to the members awaiting approval panel and delete the ones with wonky email addies, and after a while, you get to recognize them immediately. If by chance I reject a legitimate registration awaiting approval (hasn't happened since I set admin approval last spring) I figure the individual will contact me via other means. Saved me a lot of grief last summer when over sixty of the fake accounts congregated at the same time and tried to log in for whatever nefarious purposes. I can only imagine the mess that would have ensued.
 

Hopscotch

Re: Slamming the door on Spammers.
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2021, 02:37:46 AM »
We just moved to the big city and found the local library won't issue cards online unless you prove ID by submitting a verifiable credit card # thru a secure system.  U.S. Copyright Office does the same.  Is that too cumbersome an anti-spammer tool for WS? 
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Slamming the door on Spammers.
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2021, 02:40:39 AM »
We just moved to the big city and found the local library won't issue cards online unless you prove ID by submitting a verifiable credit card # thru a secure system.  U.S. Copyright Office does the same.  Is that too cumbersome an anti-spammer tool for WS?

Yeah. Takes too long for a start, and those who are not using real names would object. Some very strongly.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.

Timothy Ellis Kindle Author page. | Join the Hunter Legacy mailing list | The Hunter Legacy series on Facebook. | Forum Promo Page.
 
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