Author Topic: Forum Spammers  (Read 10964 times)

EigenState

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Forum Spammers
« on: October 12, 2010, 11:00:18 pm »
Greetings,

We are being inundated with new registrants who apparently post nothing, yet have a series of links within their signatures to a wide variety of external websites.  Those links to external websites are at best a blatant marketing effort, and at worst re-directions to websites containing malicious code.  Thus, we are either the target of a concerted Spamming effort, or something even more sinister.   Prudence is advised!

Best regards,
ES

ElisabethB

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Re: Forum Spammers
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2010, 11:06:30 pm »
I know ES
I've alerted Alice.
As long as they don't post anything they are just an annoying cloud over our heads.
Don't answer them, don't even let them know you've noticed them
That is usually the best course of action with these kind of weirdoes !

EigenState

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Re: Forum Spammers
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2010, 11:16:25 pm »
Alerting Alice was good!

Speaking from my computer security persona, this is very likely to be an automated "attack" of some kind rather than just a collection of actual people.  The best way to approach such an effort is to alter the registration process to preclude machines being able to sign up.

Best regards,
ES


Hanny

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Re: Forum Spammers
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2010, 06:49:27 am »
If it's a very dodgy link in the sig, we can take it care of it. Indeed just let one of the mods know. :)

Geoff

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Re: Forum Spammers
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2010, 06:57:29 am »
I've noticed these spammers as well.

Some of them from the past few days are:

pestcontrolxyz
canonrebelcame
buycanon5d
electronicswarehouse
robinkagimumjpv

I have been waiting for one of them to post so I can report them to the mods but they don't seem interested in posting so this is probably an automated thing - not sure how they expect to get their message across as no one will read their signature links if they don't post.
  Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the prospect is staggering!- Arthur C. Clarke

Alice

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Re: Forum Spammers
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2010, 07:36:27 am »
Thanks folks, I have to leave the house soon but will take care of what I can!

JeanTate

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Re: Forum Spammers
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2010, 09:26:47 am »
IMO their accounts should be deleted, even before they post.

However, it's not as urgent a task as if they've already posted; mods, take your time.  :D

EigenState

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Re: Forum Spammers
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2010, 04:18:57 pm »
Greetings,

It is interesting to note that similar activity is taking place at other online fora.  It is also difficult to determine whether or not the links included within their signatures are malicious.  One would need to explore each link which is both time consuming and potentially dangerous.

Alice, later today I will drop you a PM with some techniques that might be useful in preventing bot registrations and identifying Spammers.

Best regards,
ES

Geoff

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Re: Forum Spammers
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2010, 05:50:46 pm »
Some background on forum spam: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forum_spam

Apparently they don't need to post anything, just having the spam links in the signature will allow the perpetrators to collect commission because of the way search engines work.  :(
  Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the prospect is staggering!- Arthur C. Clarke

garrett_cw

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Re: Forum Spammers
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2010, 09:58:08 pm »
Yes. it seems the idea is to place the URL on our forum and when the Google, etc., web crawlers index our site they get counts for having shown up here and other places. I think the best is if we can delete them ASAP. But since we are relying on volunteers with real jobs, no one with the ability has the time.
Curtis
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EigenState

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Re: Forum Spammers
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2010, 10:03:36 pm »
There are methods for preventing such registrations, especially if the registrations are automated.  I sent Alice a PM with one method and some additional ways of handling the problem.

Obviously, management needs to take action.

ElisabethB

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Re: Forum Spammers
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2010, 10:08:55 pm »
Hi EigenState
Maybe you could send this also to Arfon !

garrett_cw

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Re: Forum Spammers
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2010, 10:23:18 pm »
Yes especially since Alice is very busy this week. (Including, I think, she said 2 trips to London and back.)
Curtis
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EigenState

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Re: Forum Spammers
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2010, 10:28:01 pm »
Will do shortly.  But it would be rather nice if management ever came in without a notification.