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Spam-Users

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:30 pm
by Kiwi
I already reported some months ago, but nothing happend until then, so again. This forum has a spam-user problem. Most of the last 22 users (see screenshot below) are spam-users. In total we have more then 300 spam-users already. In my function as moderator I'm deleting them sometimes, but it doesn't stop.

It's always the same schema. A strange username, an age (mostly 30+ years old), countries all over the world, interests are always swimming, dancing, nightclubs or something like that, and in the signature or website-info there are links to strange pages.

They always have birthdays in the next few days after registration, so people who have a look who they are maybe will click on the spam-links.

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Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:54 pm
by Marv
Skitch2, Mr. Burguers, ...
Sure sounds suspicious :D

I'll see if we can set up better sign up captchas.

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:30 pm
by agg1401
yusufcihan's, i d'ont think you're spamming.

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:33 pm
by VaidX47
Deleted all users with spam URLs and 0 posts.
Also without last seen and before 2018-06-01 join date.

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:35 pm
by Marv
Thanks

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:37 am
by Kiwi
There are still many spam users left.

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:43 am
by VaidX47
Kiwi wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:37 am
There are still many spam users left.
I'm well aware. The ones that have malicious, ad filled websites were my main targets due to their nature. Rest are dummies with meaningful data that can eventually be cleaned too, since most of them have 0 posts and never log in again.

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:55 am
by Kiwi
Admins, FYI: In the last 3 days I've deleted 14 spam-posts, as well banned 4 new spam-users.

Any news regarding a better captcha implementation?

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:08 am
by The Man
You probably know this: Some pages that require logging in, have this puzzle box, in which you're supposed to identify all objects (choose the squares that contain a specified object, e.g. motorbike) at least two or three times before all the squares are meaningless. It's a pain in the donkey when you always have to work your brain before getting into the forum, but it surely works.

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:34 am
by Marv
Let's try this... I disabled reCaptcha and enabled the questions again. Users now have to enter the name of the game, when it was released and whether they're a human.

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:50 am
by Kiwi
Sounds good. I also will check once more, if I banned all possible spam-users. Can be, that I overlooked some. With some users it's also not 100% clear if they are spam-users. Sometimes I can just identify them by strange names, and no filled out data. But actually this also could be "real" persons. So it's hard.

I think from now on we should communicate via PM's.

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:25 am
by Instant
Is there any point in me making those reports..?

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:51 am
by URV
Yes. I receive them as notifications on both the board and via email.

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:35 pm
by Huki
I banned another user and his/her/its spam posts. This user had registered on Mar 28, so it doesn't really point to a flaw in the new registration system. Though it's interesting that we have spam "zombies" that lay dormant for such a long time.

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:00 pm
by URV
Hmm, never quite noticed that. It might help to deactivate older accounts with no posts. Some regular users would likely get caught in, but it should be okay if we make a roll call thread for them to post in first.

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:58 pm
by Kiwi
We have more spam then ever before. About 30 moderator actions since December 25th... :( Nearly every time I look at the forum, I have to delete spam-posts.

Aren't there any tutorials somewhere, how to avoid spam at phpBB effectifly? I will also have a look later.

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 7:21 pm
by 607
Huh, strange. I wonder what's the origin, and if there are multiple.

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 7:37 pm
by Huki
And I banned and deleted more posts, this time from two (!) new users unfortunately (both joined Dec 27).

If they happen to be actual humans, the only viable solution would be to disable automatic activation. :grimacing:
We do have email-based activation enabled, right? (i.e., users are required to confirm that their registered email address is valid?)

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:06 pm
by URV
Yep, activation is email-based. Marv also suggested enabling moderation for the very first post made by new users. However, while it would prevent spam from showing up again, I worry that all the moderation efforts would simply move from removing the spam to approving posts. Personally, I think seeing spam is preferable to delaying posts from regular users (such as this one).

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:50 pm
by Huki
Do we have questions now? I can't confirm without actually registering a new account. The initial registration page only has picture based reCaptcha. If we're asking questions relevant to the game, I can't see why so many spam users still succeed...

So, can anyone confirm that we're really using questions, and should we add more questions?

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:04 am
by URV
ReCaptcha shows up on my end.

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Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:46 am
by Huki
URV wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:04 am
ReCaptcha shows up on my end.
I know, I get that too, but what about questions? I'm talking about this:
Marv wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:34 am
Let's try this... I disabled reCaptcha and enabled the questions again. Users now have to enter the name of the game, when it was released and whether they're a human.
I can't really confirm whether questions are enabled. The registration page only has reCaptcha - no questions.

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:00 am
by URV
Oh, sorry, guess I was a bit tired at the time, heh. I tried to register an account as a test, and it indeed passed through just with the reCaptcha. It also seems to allow using easy-to-get temporary mails, so we should definitely look into blacklisting those. However, I haven't actually received an activation email yet. Not sure whether that is due to the site acting up (which has happened before) or if it actually does blacklist the email.

In any case, I'll look into re-adding the game-related questions.

Edit: Nice, it seems we can only choose one or the other.

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I think reCaptcha is probably the best option, so I'll leave it as it is. As a side note, it appears that the phpBB installation is slightly out of date. I doubt there are any great new features to combat spambots in the latest release, but perhaps it might be worth looking into upgrading. It also looks like the announcement for the version prior to that has a "Please Update" note, as it seems to come with some security fixes. Our version is older than that one as well.

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:36 pm
by Huki
I just had to delete 71 posts :grimacing: from two spam accounts, apparently with Ukraine based IPs. (#1553 and #1554)

In handling spam accounts, I only ban the accounts themselves. Perhaps it's a good idea to ban the IP too if IP Lookup shows it's a Static IP? :thonking:

Re: Spam-Users

Posted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:50 am
by agg1401
Man can change IP address immediately. It's not a solution either.