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strange note on wiki pages

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strange note on wiki pages

Postby Batmanifestdestiny » April 14th, 2011, 5:34 pm

I've noticed that along the top of certain pages on LifeWiki, there is a message that says "IJWTS wow! Why can't I think of tihgns like that?"

When I tried to remove the message from the Infinite Glider Hotel page, I noticed that it wasn't on the edit page. Is this a clever spammer or some kind of residue from an April Fools joke?
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Re: strange note on wiki pages

Postby Sokwe » April 14th, 2011, 6:37 pm

Batmanifestdestiny wrote:I've noticed that along the top of certain pages on LifeWiki, there is a message that says "IJWTS wow! Why can't I think of tihgns like that?"

Unfortunately, this is simple vandalism. There are no external links, so I can only guess that the intent is malicious.

When I tried to remove the message from the Infinite Glider Hotel page, I noticed that it wasn't on the edit page.

In this case, the page itself wasn't edited, but a template that it used (namely, PatternDownload) was. I have corrected that particular page, but it would be too much work to revert all of these edits by hand.

@Nathaniel
Would it be possible for you to revert all of the edits for the last couple of days? It seems that they are all either vandalism or reverting vandalism.
-Matthias Merzenich
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Re: strange note on wiki pages

Postby 137ben » April 14th, 2011, 8:24 pm

Additionally, is there a way to determine who changed the template?
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Re: strange note on wiki pages

Postby Extrementhusiast » April 16th, 2011, 4:50 pm

Articles with only vandalism:
  • Seeds (though this might be just the raw beginnings, as the contents are actually somewhat on-topic)
  • Serviettes (contemplated for deletion)
  • Diamoeba
  • Day and Night
  • Vote 4/5
  • Hartmut Holzwart
  • "I m sure you ve already got something you could loan him 92" (contemplated for deletion)
  • "Cuervo y Sobrinos Watches - The Flamboyant History of this Latin Brand" (contemplated for deletion)
  • "Get me some deals then Heard something about some discount card xo 12" (contemplated for deletion)
  • Tame
  • "Replica Rado watches: Exquisite architecture and absorbing accuracy" (contemplated for deletion)
  • Block cellular automaton
  • "Wedding Hogan Shoes - Dance Your Special Night Away in Comfort" (contemplated for deletion)
  • "Hey Enough with the name dropping is some busy man But yeah lol 34" (contemplated for deletion)
  • Herparium (dubious)
  • 60P312

Articles that have mostly on-topic content but contain vandalism:
  • Cis-fuse with two tails

One last thing: Check all of the articles in the Speedy Deletion Category, and delete all of the ones that have strange titles. Additionally, we may need to impose some additional requirements for signups on the wiki, such as a signup on the forums, which would also require that users who are not logged in cannot edit pages.
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Re: strange note on wiki pages

Postby ssaamm » April 16th, 2011, 7:37 pm

hmm...

Is there some way to make it so edits and articles have to be approved to be made?
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Re: strange note on wiki pages

Postby H. V. McIntosh » April 16th, 2011, 8:56 pm

Extrementhusiast wrote:Articles with only vandalism:
  • .....
  • Herparium (dubious)
    .....

Additionally, we may need to impose some additional requirements for signups on the wiki, such as a signup on the forums, which would also require that users who are not logged in cannot edit pages.


Well, I wrote that herpariun article a couple of years ago, my first attempt at a contribution. The change log shows that the page format and classification was changed (for the better) and an addition or two was made (by me), but no changes since then, and certainly no recent vandalism. The page could certainly be elaborated, particularly with a fuller explanation of regular expressions, but the Wikipedia seems to have shown more interest in other directions. So you might want take that article off your list of pathologies.

With respect to the rest of the list, and with respect to activity over the past two weeks or so, I am enthusiastically in agreement that something needs to be done. On my own forums I show no mercy in zapping such activity, and I would willingly perform the same for LifeWiki, except that I have been intimidated by all their administrative machinery regarding edit wars, aggressive editation, neutral points of view, and so on ("Three reversions and you're banned", and suchlike).

Still, something has to be done, and somebody's got to do it.
-hvm
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Re: strange note on wiki pages

Postby Extrementhusiast » April 16th, 2011, 10:22 pm

@HVM: That's why I added "(dubious)" after the title.

A possible way to do this: Send a PM to every reasonable member of the forum containing a secret code to edit pages. If the code is entered wrong, the edit attempt is rejected.
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Re: strange note on wiki pages

Postby 137ben » April 17th, 2011, 12:08 pm

We could take after the OEIS, and require that each edit be approved. We really need to figure out WHO has been making the vandalism.
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Re: strange note on wiki pages

Postby Extrementhusiast » April 17th, 2011, 8:34 pm

@137ben: That's actually a great idea, as it is simpler, yet more secure than mine!

I'll see if I can list all of the users who have created unneeded pages or maliciously edited them. (This includes images.) What I have so far:

Registered users:
  • AdolfRyan3
  • AgathaByrd6
  • AngelaWaite7
  • AnneHannah5
  • AnnerFloyd3
  • ChinHanley2
  • ClaudHurd4
  • ClaudineHolley
  • ConradHeath8
  • ElizabethMartin
  • EmorySkaggs2
  • ErastusShannon
  • ErnestineTrent
  • EthylVo7
  • EuniceSumner6
  • Fdiecasting
  • Grace0810
  • HamptonNieto2
  • HarmanIvey3
  • HowellDelong2
  • IraSwenson9
  • JuanaBurkett5
  • Lansemengba1
  • LawsonGleason
  • Longge11
  • LorenzoPrescott
  • MaeCarlton4
  • MahlonBoone1
  • MalachiCamp4
  • MargeretBlankenship
  • MariaPrice
  • MinnieDavila9
  • PetronillaRankin
  • Sdyppoypgo
  • TylerLink5
  • Underwearck
  • Vovo351146 (2 offenses)
  • WalterMccoy4
  • Wangchao55
  • Wangchao58
  • Wangchao60
  • Wangchao65
  • Wangchao72
  • Wangchao73
  • Wangchao77
  • Wangchao78 (18 offenses)
  • Xianquwent

Unregistered users:
  • 38.109.45.220
  • 63.223.112.164
  • 63.223.112.254
  • 64.120.38.9 (4 offenses)
  • 64.120.38.62
  • 64.120.39.21 (2 offenses)
  • 64.120.39.46
  • 64.120.87.28 (2 offenses)
  • 64.120.116.42
  • 67.19.7.114
  • 68.68.110.76
  • 68.234.11.127
  • 69.147.248.153 (2 offenses)
  • 76.73.10.13
  • 76.73.25.21
  • 76.73.54.75 (2 offenses)
  • 87.216.219.52
  • 89.238.75.58
  • 96.9.148.248
  • 96.9.148.249
  • 96.20.189.217
  • 109.238.236.198
  • 113.4.132.213 (4 offenses)
  • 173.208.24.246
  • 173.208.40.36
  • 173.208.56.140
  • 173.208.70.163
  • 173.208.101.9 (2 offenses)
  • 173.234.30.123 (2 offenses)
  • 173.234.47.147
  • 173.234.92.106
  • 173.234.94.69
  • 173.234.121.40
  • 173.234.121.94 (2 offenses)
  • 173.234.122.130
  • 173.234.123.184
  • 173.234.127.65
  • 173.234.142.127 (2 offenses)
  • 173.234.143.41
  • 173.234.159.17
  • 173.234.177.80
  • 173.234.177.115 (2 offenses)
  • 173.234.186.25 (2 offenses)
  • 173.234.186.48
  • 173.234.210.35 (2 offenses)
  • 173.234.211.30
  • 173.234.245.28
  • 173.252.197.42
  • 198.163.212.15
  • 207.161.208.144
  • 208.100.27.131
  • 208.100.27.139
  • 208.100.27.171
  • 209.135.132.14
  • 216.108.225.194
  • 216.108.225.221
  • 216.108.225.222
  • 216.108.225.225

Disturbingly, a lot of the registered vandals are in the format of "WangchouXX", which may suggest a bot at hand there. Also, a lot of the IP addresses start with "173.234". What does that mean? Is that some sort of country code? There are a few other "clumps", as well. A lot of the pages have to do with watches.

In the image line of things, most, if not all of the users are registered as a first name, a last name, and a one-digit number, without spaces, which may suggest another bot. All of these users only submitted one image each.

Also, be sure to keep some of the unregistered users unblocked, as they have marked quite a few of the currently-speedy-delete pages with the SD marker.
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Re: strange note on wiki pages

Postby 137ben » April 17th, 2011, 9:37 pm

First things first: why the heck are unregistered users allowed to edit?!?

Second: wangchao might not be a bot, as it is only a few accounts (really, a bot would do way more damage than that). Still, it is pretty clearly one person persistently vandalizing the system.
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Re: strange note on wiki pages

Postby Sokwe » April 17th, 2011, 11:39 pm

137ben wrote:Is there a way to determine who changed the template?

The template was edited in part of a long string of vandalism that appears to be from the same source, but comes from varying IP addresses (likely through open proxies). I think it might be difficult to track down the computer from which the vandalism originated.

Extrementhusiast wrote:We may need to impose some additional requirements for signups on the wiki, such as a signup on the forums

I think that this would be too restrictive. We want the wiki to be as open as possible to editing while not inviting too much vandalism. Making the signup process too difficult may deter more casual editors from contributing.

ssaamm wrote:Is there some way to make it so edits and articles have to be approved to be made?

It would be far too much work for one person or a small group of people to approve every edit to the wiki (especially when many edits may be minor, such as correcting typos).

Extrementhusiast wrote:a lot of the IP addresses start with "173.234". What does that mean?

This indicates that these addresses are in the same block, and so are all owned by a single local internet registry, such as an internet service provider. This isn't necessarily the fault of the service provider, as many spammers operate covertly through other people's networks.

For now, I would suggest a moratorium on editing without an account, which would prevent much of the recent vandalism. I am not sure how to prevent the vandalism that has been made through actual accounts and has gotten through the simple anti link-spam measures currently in place; however, Wikipedia has done a lot to prevent vandalism, so if anyone is sufficiently interested, he or she may want to look through Wikipedia:Vandalism and Wikipedia counter-vandalism tools.

A final note on vandalism: Edits made to the wiki in good faith are not considered vandalism, even if they are misinformed or incorrect (essentially any edits actually about cellular automata would not be considered vandalism).
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Re: strange note on wiki pages

Postby Nathaniel » May 11th, 2011, 7:10 pm

In response to the influx of vandalism, I have made it so that anonymous users can no longer edit the Wiki. Anyone can still register and start editing right away, however (i.e., their changes don't need to be approved). This should have been done much sooner, but I kept putting off making any more changes to the wiki until the server move happened, but that's kept getting pushed back. I will try to clean things up as much as possible over the next day or two.

Edit: I have also started merging the hundreds of SPAM accounts on the LifeWiki into a single "Spam User" account, so that the list of registered users might actually be helpful in some way and not just a huge record of the fact that we get attacked by spam a lot. If I accidentally merge you (a legitimate user) with the "Spam User", my sincerest apologies and please let me know (it seems I accidentally merged the user "12Glider", and I almost did the same for 137ben)!
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