Apparently it is spambot season

What features and fixes would you like to see here at erfworld.com?

Apparently it is spambot season

Postby SpamtySpamALotMcSpam » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:55 pm

This place needs more moderators. Or I don't know, some kind of letter-of-intention before activating a registration :lol:

At least the spambots don't nag all the time, but when it's spam season like now ... yeah they're annoying.

And with that said I'll "retire" this account, it's served its purpose, and will return to using the proper one exclusively.
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Re: Apparently it is spambot season

Postby Crovius » Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:58 pm

Go BLAND!

Yeah, these spam bots are annoying. And at least one links to someone's religion thick blog. Which I think linking such things is against forum rules, on top of spammeing. I can't even access the others because my work network says those sites are being blocked.
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Re: Apparently it is spambot season

Postby Lady Nerevar » Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:29 am

i actually checked this morning, it appears that these boards to have several mods. ideally, an admin needs to go through and ban the ip for them, so they are less likely to reappear.

but yea, they are hella annoying.
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Re: Apparently it is spambot season

Postby Romanosuke » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:53 am

I noticed some spammers pretty late at night while I was at work a couple of nights in a row (not much do at my job working the graveyard shift besides surf the web). Here's what I did:

    1. Report the posts
    2. Open a Customer Support form and mention you noticed some possible spammers on the forums. Link their profiles.
    3. Wait for Mods to look into it and they are gone.

Got a reply back when the mods were awake and the spammers were gone shortly after. I keep an eye out occasionly for anyone with a name that look they slammed their head on the keyboard and check their posts to see if they are posting or spamming.
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Re: Apparently it is spambot season

Postby Janny » Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:32 am

Romanosuke wrote:Here's what I did:

    1. Report the posts
    2. Open a Customer Support form and mention you noticed some possible spammers on the forums. Link their profiles.
    3. Wait for Mods to look into it and they are gone.

Got a reply back when the mods were awake and the spammers were gone shortly after. I keep an eye out occasionly for anyone with a name that look they slammed their head on the keyboard and check their posts to see if they are posting or spamming.


Yeah, that's pretty much all you need to do. Linking to the profile in your email isn't required, but an email heads-up that a spammer has been reported is good, because we know to get to the boards and act on it faster.

The shoe-seller's been booted.

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Re: Apparently it is spambot season

Postby SteveMB » Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:46 pm

It's always spambot season. Spambots are considered "varmints" with no bag limit or other hunting restrictions.
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Re: Apparently it is spambot season

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:01 pm

SteveMB wrote:It's always spambot season. Spambots are considered "varmints" with no bag limit or other hunting restrictions.


:lol:

Romanosuke wrote:I noticed some spammers pretty late at night while I was at work a couple of nights in a row (not much do at my job working the graveyard shift besides surf the web). Here's what I did: {snip}


It's good that you do that, because I relied on someone else to report the obvious bots. Wouldn't want to spam the mods now would we :P

So far the only post I reported was a new user (with a sensible name) asking about iPhone features or whether we wanted to buy iPhones, in the Erfworld reactions thread.
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Re: Apparently it is spambot season

Postby Cmdr I. Heartly Noah » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:05 pm

Spammers are becoming an increasing problem on the wiki. We are able to undo their changes, which is a hassle, but we can't block their IPs or delete the new pages they start.
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Re: Apparently it is spambot season

Postby raphfrk » Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:41 am

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote:Spammers are becoming an increasing problem on the wiki. We are able to undo their changes, which is a hassle, but we can't block their IPs or delete the new pages they start.


I guess that they need a better question for the link verification.

One option would be something comic related. They could have a list of questions like

"During book 1, who was Chief Warlord of Jetstone?"

"Who is GK's croakamancer?"

and so on.
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Re: Apparently it is spambot season

Postby SteveMB » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:01 am

If it gets bad enough, it's possible to limit wiki editing to registered users (the main page is like that). That would be unfortunate, since wiki refinement works better with more people chipping away at it, but it's an option.
Is this a real holy war, or just a bunch of deluded boopholes croaking each other?
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Re: Apparently it is spambot season

Postby harknell » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:30 am

Wiki's are being hammered all over at this point. And basically it is a situation where limiting to registered is one of the few good options to implement. IP banning is practically useless, they never reuse an IP and they get spoofed easily.
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Re: Apparently it is spambot season

Postby Miment » Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:24 pm

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote:Spammers are becoming an increasing problem on the wiki. We are able to undo their changes, which is a hassle, but we can't block their IPs or delete the new pages they start.

SteveMB wrote:If it gets bad enough, it's possible to limit wiki editing to registered users (the main page is like that). That would be unfortunate, since wiki refinement works better with more people chipping away at it, but it's an option.
Looking over the wiki change log, I'd say a conservative estimate would be that registered users are responsible for about 80% of legit edits, so perhaps forcing registration wouldn't have such a huge impact. Perhaps it would be possible to include reCAPTCHA instead of the math questions when an un-registered user changes a wiki page.

On a related note, could we get those math questions disabled for registered users?
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Re: Apparently it is spambot season

Postby Cmdr I. Heartly Noah » Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:05 pm

Well, right now 95% of the wiki spam is coming from the same IP. 5% is coming from one other IP. That may change, and they might just switch from IP to IP if we start banning.

There are a few helpful nonregistered wikiers, but some of them register later anyway.

Even if we start enforcing registration, the damage of the created pages is done. Those need to go away; someone needs to be able to delete or rename (not just redirect) pages.
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Re: Apparently it is spambot season

Postby Miment » Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:43 pm

Looking back, I see that 213.5.64.20 has been at it for two months now...

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote:...someone needs to be able to delete or rename (not just redirect) pages.


Agree. What we really need on the wiki is for some people to get admin. They should be able to:
Delete and rename pages/files
Temporarily ban edits by specific IPs
Protect pages/templates from edits by anonymous users

I'd like to propose the following people receive adminship:
Commander Noah
SteveMB
Wrecan
Jorgath
Miment, myself.

They've all active, and many months old. For my part, I've been doing anonymous edits of late, but I'll start logging in again. At the very least Commander should get admin.
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Re: Apparently it is spambot season

Postby The Black Hand » Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:42 pm

Welp, just found - and reported - a bunch of spambots.

Some of them are getting pretty sneaky - the spam links are in their signatures, not their posts.
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Re: Apparently it is spambot season

Postby Nihila » Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:48 am

The Black Hand wrote:Welp, just found - and reported - a bunch of spambots.

Some of them are getting pretty sneaky - the spam links are in their signatures, not their posts.
Yeah, I found one trying the same thing. In a new thread, totally off topic, in the Reactions forum :| . So, I'm thinking that a recent xkcd on the topic of spambots might be a good idea.
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Re: Apparently it is spambot season

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:12 am

Nihila wrote:
The Black Hand wrote:Welp, just found - and reported - a bunch of spambots.

Some of them are getting pretty sneaky - the spam links are in their signatures, not their posts.
Yeah, I found one trying the same thing. In a new thread, totally off topic, in the Reactions forum :| . So, I'm thinking that a recent xkcd on the topic of spambots might be a good idea.


It most definitely is not.

It's a long and angry rant that I linked to, but (some of) the basic points are this- relevance/on-topicness is waay too fuzzy to be universally quantifiable (what's an xkcd reference doing in this thread btw? what's a link to xkcdsucks here for, also?), the state-of-the-art of natural language processing is waay below the level required for some pretty basic kinds of text comprehension (just ask someone with an actual background in comp-ling), finally such systems exist (powered by humans rather than AI-s) and are circle-jerks of fail.

So you know, sometimes there's no escaping work. Just report the offending posts, and the mods will do the rest.

About reporting posts- there's a spambot right now called uv-something, it's got posts everywhere on the forums. I'm not reporting it. Too visible. No need. If I see a spam post that might go undetected/has gone undetected for some time, then I might report.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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