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Thread: Dirty Spammers

  1. #1
    Senior Member purple99's Avatar
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    Default Dirty Spammers

    How badly is TalkClassical being hit?

    Attachment 286

    They're all over the internet at the moment owing to a technical breakthrough. A programme called XRumer has subverted CAPTCHA and can gain access to forums not running more sophisticated sign-up regimes:

    XRumer is a Windows program that posts forum spam with the aim of boosting search engine rankings. It has been claimed that the program is able to bypass techniques commonly used by many websites to deter automated spam, such as account registration, CAPTCHAs, and e-mail activation before posting. The program makes heavy use of a database of known open proxies in an attempt to make it more difficult for administrators to block posts.

    In addition, the software can avoid the suspicions of forum administrators by first registering to make a post in the form of a question which mentions the spam product ("Where can I get...?"), before registering another account to post a spam link which mentions the product. The side effect of these innocent-looking posts is that helpful forum visitors may Google for the product and themselves post a link to help out, thus bolstering the product's Google stats without falling afoul of forum posting policies.

    wiki
    So TalkClassical’s being hit by a blackhat, illegal, SEO technique, which makes life hell for forum admin and mods who must run round deleting the cr*p the robots post. I like TalkClassical and the people here and don't like seeing it/them abused by illegal spam.

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    Member kiwipolish's Avatar
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    Yeah, but it's up to the forum owners to implement methods to get rid of that. I have reported such a spam post over 24 hours ago, and it still hasn't been deleted.

    Also, many forums prevent new members from publishing hyperlinks until they have posted at least 10 messages. That would also help for this forum.

    Finally, if captcha has been cracked, there are many other ways to ensure that a new member is genuine:

    - a rotating question on top of (or instead of) captcha (i.e. "In what year was Mozart born?" - such a question would really help, since spammers mostly don't know who is Mozart)

    - more inventive captchas (i.e. "what is the color of the piano in the picture?")

    - an unusual call to action by email (i.e. go to page x and insert code y)

    - and, if all fails, a small donation (i.e. "donate $1 to the Red Cross and insert your receipt number here")

    So, I think it's not the ideas that are in short supply, but the willingness to implement them.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Zombo's Avatar
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    simply add a question to the registration process like "are you human" yes/no, where the default option is no.

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    Senior Member purple99's Avatar
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    Currently in the TalkClassical Strings section. I know fiddle players are a randy lot but...

    Attachment 287

    Excellent suggestions from kiwipolish and Zombo. There's further coding available which monitors the speed at which the application page is completed. If it happens more quickly than a human could manage, the application's rejected. Of course, the spammers will find a way round that given time, but it's holding firm atm. Why not install that, or a judicious combination of the suggestions made on this thread?

    I don't come here to read spam -- it's bad enough being asked to do student's music homework for them -- and with a small amount of effort the problem could be solved or severely mitigated.

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    Member kiwipolish's Avatar
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    48 hours after I reported the spam post, it is still here. This forum will die if it is not maintained properly.

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    Senior Member opus67's Avatar
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    But you could let the post die, instead, by not linking to it.
    Regards,
    Navneeth

    Want a piece of classical music identified? Post a link or upload a clip here. Someone might have an answer.


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    Member kiwipolish's Avatar
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    opus67, that post is in an interesting thread started by Simpson Microphones. The thread deserves a reply, but I am not replying as long as there is spam there. This forum needs better maintenance. I may be leaving it if it does not improve.

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    Senior Member opus67's Avatar
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    Oh. My apologies, then. Have you tried PMing either Moderator or Admin.?
    Regards,
    Navneeth

    Want a piece of classical music identified? Post a link or upload a clip here. Someone might have an answer.


    A quick and gentle introduction to audio formats and compression

    2009: It's the International Year of Astronomy
    http://www.astronomy2009.org/

  9. #9
    Member kiwipolish's Avatar
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    Well, I reported the offending post using the "Report post" link at the top right of every post in this forum.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    Probably you don't know, how many posts the moderators delete before you have seen them. We try to react as soon as possible. But for your own sake, report any spam you see, we cannot observe the forum 24 hours a day, and please don't link to spam. Thank you.

  11. #11
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    how dirty is it??? spam is delicious!!!

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    Member Alnitak's Avatar
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    Why not creating a thread called ‘The Spammer’s Thread’, beginning with these words:

    "Hello, new member of Talk Classical.

    If you are a spammer, this thread is for you. Feel free to post what you want here : it will make matters easier for the moderators.

    Thank you."


  13. #13
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Hey, I like that idea, Alnitak

    I can only echo what Daniel has said in a prior post and also add this:

    I routinely scavenge through the new members list everyday ... checking all their profiles and bios ... In the past month I've banned over 25 newbs based upon what I saw in their profiles (url's to porn, url's to sex sites, etc, etc). Those 25 newbs never even got a chance to make a post here ... ! You got to admit though, that the spam postings are very few in number in comparison to all the great meaningful postings that we have here.

    So, lots of activity IS happening all the time in the background, totally transparent to the regular members. We are trying our best to cover all the ground here, but as we are rapidly growing in popularity, we then can expect an increase in spam.

    You all could help us out greatly by using the red triangle button and reporting a spam post ... by doing that, all the staff immediately gets an email to our personal (private) email accounts. When I get those messages, I try to react as quick as possible.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Krummhorn; Nov-05-2008 at 01:05.
    Kh
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  14. #14
    Andante
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    Red triangle??????? I wondered what that was for lol

  15. #15
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Just as an update ...

    Since October 1, 2008, the staff has caught (and banned) close to 250 potential spammers, usually in the act of posting or for inserting promotional websites in their profiles, (which are severe violations of the forums terms of service), and this was done before they even became visible to the members here.

    Spammers will routinely "hit" forums that have a high rating ... btw, this forum is #1 on a google search of "classical music forum" - We can be proud of that, for sure.
    Last edited by Krummhorn; Nov-26-2008 at 21:06. Reason: erratum

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