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Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby 77topaz » May 7th, 2018, 2:47 am

I think forcing users to "chat f2f" with admins would be excessive, and would just put off prospective real new users more than anything. This particular spammer always uses the same text in their posts - so a filter that blocks messages if they contain (part of) that text ought to do the trick (I've seen that used successfully to stop spam attacks on other phpBB forums).
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby calcyman » May 7th, 2018, 5:53 am

77topaz wrote:I think forcing users to "chat f2f" with admins would be excessive, and would just put off prospective real new users more than anything. This particular spammer always uses the same text in their posts - so a filter that blocks messages if they contain (part of) that text ought to do the trick (I've seen that used successfully to stop spam attacks on other phpBB forums).


and on Catagolue (excerpt from com.cp4space.catagolue.servlets.PostCommentServlet):

    if (content == null || content.contains("href") || content.length() <= 1 || content.contains(".js")) {

        // Rickroll the potential spammer:
        resp.sendRedirect("https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ");

    } else if (content.length() >= 5 && (content.substring(content.length() - 5).equals(".html"))) {

        resp.sendRedirect("https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ");

    } else {

            Date date = new Date();
            Entity comment = new Entity("Comment", threadKey);
            comment.setProperty("user", user);
            comment.setProperty("date", date);
            comment.setProperty("content", new Text(content));

            DatastoreService datastore = DatastoreServiceFactory.getDatastoreService();
            datastore.put(comment);

            resp.sendRedirect(req.getParameter("redirectLocation"));
    }
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby 77topaz » May 9th, 2018, 3:22 am

Another spammer: Retro244. If you pay attention, you'll notice these bots' usernames also tend to follow a set pattern.
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby Majestas32 » May 9th, 2018, 10:01 am

I think the best is that we auto ban all users with usernames following that pattern.

Also what is this 789-korean-gibberish spam trying to do exactly?
Please, stop spam searching Snowflakes.
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby cordership3 » May 9th, 2018, 12:21 pm

Trying to promote a sports betting site of the same name (it was a pain to remove the unicode that was screwing up Google Translate).
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby Majestas32 » May 9th, 2018, 2:19 pm

What sports betting site
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby 77topaz » May 19th, 2018, 8:29 am

Here's a new one. Somehow, it manages to go from advertising gold watches to discussing Tristan Tzara and dadaist poetry. Gotta love random content generation. :P
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby Apple Bottom » June 6th, 2018, 3:22 pm

And here's a robot reposting random snippets originally written by others in a variety of threads.
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby Majestas32 » June 6th, 2018, 3:32 pm

Jasinswift also posted spam about his "website" on the OCA forum
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby dvgrn » June 6th, 2018, 3:45 pm

Apple Bottom wrote:And here's a robot reposting random snippets originally written by others in a variety of threads.

Yikes, this is a relatively scary one. At least one of those posts was on-target enough that it didn't immediately make me suspicious (though it was also vague enough that I wasn't tempted to try to answer it).

All cleaned up for now. Here's hoping whoever-it-is gives up and goes elsewhere -- that bot managed almost a dozen posts in a few minutes, and that kind of thing from too many different sources could start to challenge our collective cleanup capacity.
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby 77topaz » June 6th, 2018, 7:41 pm

On other phpBB forums that have had spam problems, I've seen the following attempted solutions that could also be useful here:
  • Force new users to wait a certain time period before they're allowed to post
  • Moderate all new users' posts; new users will require a certain number of positively moderated posts before they're allowed to post unmoderatedly
  • Limit the number of posts by new users, or disallow them from creating new threads
  • Automatically block posts that contain certain terms (i.e. those commonly used by spammers)
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby 77topaz » June 6th, 2018, 11:50 pm

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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby Majestas32 » June 7th, 2018, 2:25 am

Limiting the number of posts by new users (like only 1 post in the first day) is good
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby Apple Bottom » June 7th, 2018, 8:32 am

dvgrn wrote:Yikes, this is a relatively scary one. At least one of those posts was on-target enough that it didn't immediately make me suspicious (though it was also vague enough that I wasn't tempted to try to answer it).

All cleaned up for now. Here's hoping whoever-it-is gives up and goes elsewhere -- that bot managed almost a dozen posts in a few minutes, and that kind of thing from too many different sources could start to challenge our collective cleanup capacity.


Thanks for mopping up after that one. (And I'm glad to hear I wasn't the only one who was tempted to reply --- when I read the post in the CACoin thread, I thought, hey, Calcyman's already answered that; it was only when I went back that I saw the new post was literally a repost of part of what'd been said earlier.)

Majestas32 wrote:Limiting the number of posts by new users (like only 1 post in the first day) is good


This would hurt genuine users while not keeping spambots out; spammers would likely just have the bots create more accounts and make posts with those instead. If anything it would create more work, as there'd be more spam users to ban.

77topaz wrote:On other phpBB forums that have had spam problems, I've seen the following attempted solutions that could also be useful here:
  • Force new users to wait a certain time period before they're allowed to post
  • Moderate all new users' posts; new users will require a certain number of positively moderated posts before they're allowed to post unmoderatedly
  • Limit the number of posts by new users, or disallow them from creating new threads
  • Automatically block posts that contain certain terms (i.e. those commonly used by spammers)


The former three are better solutions, I feel; for Wikipedia, semi-protection and autoconfirmation (basically, "is the account older than 4 (or whatever the exact number is these days) days?") has worked well. We should still take care to not throw out the baby with the bathwater, of course, and not scare new potential good contributors away. (And moderating all posts by new users might ultimately create more work for the admins than cleaning up after spammers does.)

Automatically holding posts containing certain keywords likely won't work. Forum spam isn't typically used to get people to click on the links it contains, it's used to try and fool search engines into thinking a site is genuine, by virtue of having other genuine sites link to it. In fact, spambots are actively trying to camoflage (as in the case of the aforementioned user), so as to blend in on the site and perhaps escape notice for that little bit longer. So -- long story short -- content blocking won't work, as spambots intentionally try to avoid using terms not already commonly found on the forum/site in question.

TL;DR --- as usual, it's probably best to leave decisions about policy (how should we fight spam?) and the most effective approaches (how can we fight spam?) to the admins. Doubly so if we don't have any spam problem to speak of at the moment. ;)
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby David » June 11th, 2018, 1:38 am

Would you have me trusted: David?
Call me "Dannyu NDos" in Forum. Call me "Park Shinhwan"(박신환) in Wiki.
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby Apple Bottom » June 11th, 2018, 3:09 am

David wrote:Would you have me trusted: David?


Done!
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby Majestas32 » June 11th, 2018, 6:16 am

We have traum322 in general discussion now
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby 77topaz » June 11th, 2018, 6:20 am

Yeah, the thread is this.
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby grabadora305 » June 11th, 2018, 12:55 pm

I think every edit will just have to be approved by the admins, that way readers won't see the spam edits.
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby grabadora305 » June 11th, 2018, 12:57 pm

I was told I have to come here to request the trusted flag?
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby Apple Bottom » June 11th, 2018, 2:00 pm

grabadora305 wrote:I was told I have to come here to request the trusted flag?


You do indeed, and you've got it now!
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby 77topaz » June 11th, 2018, 5:46 pm

grabadora305 wrote:I think every edit will just have to be approved by the admins, that way readers won't see the spam edits.


If every LifeWiki edit had to be approved by admins, it would just create a lot of not-really-necessary work for the admins in having to check all those edits... I think the current system with the "trusted" flags is better.
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby 77topaz » June 14th, 2018, 1:27 am

I suspect that this comment is from a spambot. It's a new user (written only five minutes after they registered) commenting on a thread that's been dead since 2012; the post does not contain any spam links in itself, and while the text is something that could theoretically have been written by a real person ("I understand what you bring it very meaningful and useful, thanks.", there you go, Majestas), it a) is written with rather poor grammar (often indicative of bots), b) doesn't contain any meaningful content at all (you can often see comments like this in unmoderated comment chains like those on Catagolue, in such quantities that indicate they must be spam), and c) the profile and signature of the user do contain links, which don't appear to be related to CA and so are probably spam.

Coincidentally (or maybe not), the comment directly above it from 2012 also looks like it was probably made by spambot, for many of the same reasons (though the text in it is of a more technical nature, it doesn't actually make any sense, and all of the other descriptions of the 2018 post also apply to the 2012 one).
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Re: Massive spam attacks on the wiki (and forums?)

Postby Apple Bottom » June 14th, 2018, 1:42 am

77topaz wrote:I suspect that this comment is from a spambot. It's a new user (written only five minutes after they registered) commenting on a thread that's been dead since 2012; the post does not contain any spam links in itself, and while the text is something that could theoretically have been written by a real person ("I understand what you bring it very meaningful and useful, thanks.", there you go, Majestas), it a) is written with rather poor grammar (often indicative of bots), b) doesn't contain any meaningful content at all (you can often see comments like this in unmoderated comment chains like those on Catagolue, in such quantities that indicate they must be spam), and c) the profile and signature of the user do contain links, which don't appear to be related to CA and so are probably spam.

Coincidentally (or maybe not), the comment directly above it from 2012 also looks like it was probably made by spambot, for many of the same reasons (though the text in it is of a more technical nature, it doesn't actually make any sense, and all of the other descriptions of the 2018 post also apply to the 2012 one).


Both of these do have spam links, BTW --- in their signatures rather than the bodies of their posts.
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