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Forum Updates and Changes Announcements

Announcements and site updates.

Forum Updates and Changes Announcements

Postby Scepcop » 09 Oct 2012, 00:37

This thread is for announcements of forum updates, changes and improvements.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Miscellaneous Site Updates

Postby Scepcop » 09 Oct 2012, 00:40

I just installed a hack that opens links posted in the forum in a new window. That way, you don't have to always right click and select "Open as new" to open in a new window. You can just left click the link, so that you don't leave the site accidentally. It's stupid that the default was set to open links in the same window and make you leave the site if you followed them.

I also set rel="nofollow" on the links here, so that any undiscovered spam links here will not affect our ranking or incur penalties from Google.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Miscellaneous Site Updates

Postby NinjaPuppy » 09 Oct 2012, 00:44

Scepcop wrote:I just installed a hack that opens links posted in the forum in a new window. That way, you don't have to always right click and select "Open as new" to open in a new window. You can just left click the link, so that you don't leave the site accidentally. It's stupid that the default was set to open links in the same window and make you leave the site if you followed them.

I also set rel="nofollow" on the links here, so that any undiscovered spam links here will not affect our ranking or incur penalties from Google.

LOL @ penalties from Google from "undiscovered spam links". Winston....I can smell a spam link a mile away. :lol:
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Re: Miscellaneous Site Updates

Postby Scepcop » 09 Oct 2012, 00:53

NinjaPuppy wrote:
Scepcop wrote:I just installed a hack that opens links posted in the forum in a new window. That way, you don't have to always right click and select "Open as new" to open in a new window. You can just left click the link, so that you don't leave the site accidentally. It's stupid that the default was set to open links in the same window and make you leave the site if you followed them.

I also set rel="nofollow" on the links here, so that any undiscovered spam links here will not affect our ranking or incur penalties from Google.

LOL @ penalties from Google from "undiscovered spam links". Winston....I can smell a spam link a mile away. :lol:


You mean you can still smell with that black ninja mask over your nose/snout? :lol: Wow that's amazing. lol
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Miscellaneous Site Updates

Postby NinjaPuppy » 06 Nov 2012, 21:56

For anyone interested, on Oct. 31 we got slammed with a spambot program that registered about 20 IDs in less than 10 minutes and it probably would have kept on registering IDs at this rate for hours. I banned the offensive little bugger and it came back in about an hour under another form and full set of information. I'll try to keep it down to a dull roar but it will have to be done manually as I can't figure out the main source for these attacks.

Unless I ban all of China, Pakistan, Sweden, Germany and every UK based email addy, the spam is gonna keep on comin' back until I figure out how to block the suckers without keeping legit people from joining.
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Re: Miscellaneous Site Updates

Postby Scepcop » 07 Nov 2012, 00:21

NinjaPuppy wrote:For anyone interested, on Oct. 31 we got slammed with a spambot program that registered about 20 IDs in less than 10 minutes and it probably would have kept on registering IDs at this rate for hours. I banned the offensive little bugger and it came back in about an hour under another form and full set of information. I'll try to keep it down to a dull roar but it will have to be done manually as I can't figure out the main source for these attacks.

Unless I ban all of China, Pakistan, Sweden, Germany and every UK based email addy, the spam is gonna keep on comin' back until I figure out how to block the suckers without keeping legit people from joining.


Holy cow. You mean it registered 20 user names per hour? I've never heard of one that could do that. I guess the forces of evil must be improving their technology?

What are the IP's of these spam bots? Any pattern? We could try banning its IP range. Otherwise, we can set every registrant to moderator approval, but even if we did that, how would we know which new user was legit and which wasn't?

I can try changing the humanizer question to something more difficult, but I'm not sure that would help. Maybe this is a human spammer, because bots can't answer humanizer questions.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Miscellaneous Site Updates

Postby Arouet » 07 Nov 2012, 00:33

You can set it so that the first post needs moderator approval. That should weed out most spammers, you just don't approve the post.
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Re: Miscellaneous Site Updates

Postby Scepcop » 07 Nov 2012, 00:50

Arouet wrote:You can set it so that the first post needs moderator approval. That should weed out most spammers, you just don't approve the post.


New users are already on moderated status. But she is saying that these spammers keep registering tons of accounts. Maybe I can just remove the website field in profiles, so the spammers will have no incentive to post links there and hence no incentive to register.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Miscellaneous Site Updates

Postby NinjaPuppy » 07 Nov 2012, 04:57

Scepcop wrote:
NinjaPuppy wrote:For anyone interested, on Oct. 31 we got slammed with a spambot program that registered about 20 IDs in less than 10 minutes and it probably would have kept on registering IDs at this rate for hours. I banned the offensive little bugger and it came back in about an hour under another form and full set of information. I'll try to keep it down to a dull roar but it will have to be done manually as I can't figure out the main source for these attacks.

Unless I ban all of China, Pakistan, Sweden, Germany and every UK based email addy, the spam is gonna keep on comin' back until I figure out how to block the suckers without keeping legit people from joining.


Holy cow. You mean it registered 20 user names per hour? I've never heard of one that could do that. I guess the forces of evil must be improving their technology?

What are the IP's of these spam bots? Any pattern? We could try banning its IP range. Otherwise, we can set every registrant to moderator approval, but even if we did that, how would we know which new user was legit and which wasn't?

I can try changing the humanizer question to something more difficult, but I'm not sure that would help. Maybe this is a human spammer, because bots can't answer humanizer questions.

There was no pattern on the IPs at all. They are mostly from China, Pakistan, Sweden and now Germany. It didn't register 20 name per hour, it registered 20 IDs in less than 10 minutes.

Here's how it seems to work. It starts with a bot that registers the IDs on a forum. Since a bot can't answer the humanizer question, the entire group of IDs are forwarded to human spammers who only have to activate the process by answering the humanizer question. The human spammer gets a penny or two for each one they complete. Once the ID is confirmed and active, the bot can then log on and spam the accounts with nonsense loaded with links. So far we've had the biggest problem with handbags and t-shirts.
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Re: Miscellaneous Site Updates

Postby Scepcop » 07 Nov 2012, 05:23

But how have the bots been able to register any ID's at all without answering the humanizer question? I don't see how that's possible.

Are these bots posting anything? Or just inserting links in their profile in the website field?
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Miscellaneous Site Updates

Postby NinjaPuppy » 07 Nov 2012, 05:29

Scepcop- The bots do the basic registration process. Name, email addy, location, etc. and the name comes up in the Members list without being completed. Then a human gets a list of these incomplete IDs and comes here to finish the registration process. Then they "sleep" for a few days, weeks or even months and then whammo! the entire site is full of spam.

Arouet wrote:You can set it so that the first post needs moderator approval. That should weed out most spammers, you just don't approve the post.

Even if Scepcop and I had all the time in the world to read every post, it wouldn't stop them.
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Re: Miscellaneous Site Updates

Postby Arouet » 07 Nov 2012, 06:05

NinjaPuppy wrote:Even if Scepcop and I had all the time in the world to read every post, it wouldn't stop them.


But the posts wouldn't show up on the site, and I bet it takes less time to delete the accounts this way too.

You're reading the posts anyways since you have to delete them or lock them after they've posted- why not cut them off at the pass?
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Re: Miscellaneous Site Updates

Postby Scepcop » 07 Nov 2012, 20:42

NinjaPuppy wrote:Scepcop- The bots do the basic registration process. Name, email addy, location, etc. and the name comes up in the Members list without being completed. Then a human gets a list of these incomplete IDs and comes here to finish the registration process. Then they "sleep" for a few days, weeks or even months and then whammo! the entire site is full of spam.

Arouet wrote:You can set it so that the first post needs moderator approval. That should weed out most spammers, you just don't approve the post.

Even if Scepcop and I had all the time in the world to read every post, it wouldn't stop them.


But the thing is, no profile is created if the humanizer question isn't answered right? That's what I thought. That's how it's supposed to be. Do you mean actual profiles are created without answering the humanizer question? That is odd. I wish there was a way to change that.

Should I remove the website field in profiles? Will that help?
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Miscellaneous Site Updates

Postby Arouet » 07 Nov 2012, 21:13

No, she's saying that the spammers have real people to come back and complete the registration by answering the humanizer question.

I don't know that the website field in profiles is a problem - these guys want to put their links in the posts.
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Re: Miscellaneous Site Updates

Postby NinjaPuppy » 09 Nov 2012, 06:39

I've been having an SQL error, so I've been MIA. It seems to be fixed now.
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