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Spam Prevention
Topic Started: 16 Mar 2014, 12:11 PM (7,853 Views)
Elven Spellmaker
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== Cirno -- Opinionated Baka ==

As you may have noticed Zetaboard's protection from spam seems to be really poor lately. We have just taken action to block a large IP range which most of the spam posts are being made from.

We hope this will cut down the amount of kitchens, shoes and jewellery posts without banning real members.

Please let me know if there are any problems with this block.

Thanks. :)

--Jack
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Mark Chan
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Thank you! :)
I was running out of things to say for every piece of spam, lol.
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Zero Tolerance
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Tamer of beasts, Anything on Ocarina-ist and TON Secret Santa Organizer!
Thank you very much! :)
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Jubal
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Tree Hugger - Food is your right

So we can still talk about kitchens as much as we want in the off topic section, right?
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Harp Player
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Triple Ocarinist
My KOL clan forums had to do the same thing. It is a sad thing that part of a global community has to be blocked from being on the forums because of spammers.
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Jill theredhedgehog
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Kickin' it like all the cool hedgies do
Yay! Thanks for the info, Jack c:
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Wollemi Pine
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Triple-Double Ocarinist

Thanks Sam !

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Montschok
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Transverse Ocarinist
Just out of curiosity, who was blocked? China? Nigeria?
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Suki
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Haaaaaaaiiiiiii! ^_^

Jubal
16 Mar 2014, 04:58 PM
So we can still talk about kitchens as much as we want in the off topic section, right?
Tea anyone? :-P

Thanks, Jack.
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angiessa
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Cartoon'd ocarinist

Mmm...tea and Spam.
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FortyTwoBlades
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Plays With Sharp Things
So you mean no one wanted to talk about kitchens in Bristol on an ocarina forum? Who knew? :D
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(Kevin)
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Triple Ocarinist
The new measures don't appear to be very effective. Another 4 spam threads (kitchen and Nike shoes) in the active topics section again today :c
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Grimat
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Hi, I'm Mathew :)

I have an idea, why not have a javascript code that automatically deletes topics, and ban the spambot when the title contains "Nike air", "kitchen" or something?
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speckles
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Ive been hypnotized

Banning and deleting these things gives my life meaning.
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Wollemi Pine
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Triple-Double Ocarinist

It's alive !

Posted Image
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geotjakra
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EpiCai Ocarina Maker
when I log in today, it seems to not register the first time around, and the screen refreshed to ask to log in again, is this a possible chukko's egg stealing people's username and password?
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Elven Spellmaker
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== Cirno -- Opinionated Baka ==

Grimat
20 Mar 2014, 02:47 AM
I have an idea, why not have a javascript code that automatically deletes topics, and ban the spambot when the title contains "Nike air", "kitchen" or something?
I've thought about something similar, but writing JavaScript to do this sort of thing would be difficult because I don't want to end up banning members who mention kitchens for example in threads. (Reminds me of that bad YouTube caption of one of OD's videos where it translated her speech as "It's meant for a snack". I'll have to find that image at some point.)

Zetaboards have tried to offer a temporary solution as they say they cannot do much about this spam as unlike bots these spammers are actual people being paid a pittance to spam. This seems to make sense as some of them shove ocarina related things into their posts.
Their solution is a bit of a pain, and I'd have to talk with Sam and Stephen about doing it beforehand.

Basically we'd create a duplicate member group and put everyone into the new group. New members would stay in the old group and once they've made one post can join the rest of the group.
If we made it so they could only reply to the single topic in there and make their first post moderator queue, we'd eliminate all of the spam from ever showing.
It'd be a bit odd for new members, but the spam is rather annoying. (Although since the ban there has definitely been less (none since the 6+2 the day before)).

The IP ban will never hit them all, several of them were using random IP addresses, the ban is to stop the idiot ones all coming from the same range. I'm not sure how much the range spans geographically.

speckles
20 Mar 2014, 03:43 AM
Banning and deleting these things gives my life meaning.
But if we got rid of them that flying unicorn would emerge from a rainbow!

geotjakra
20 Mar 2014, 04:59 AM
when I log in today, it seems to not register the first time around, and the screen refreshed to ask to log in again, is this a possible chukko's egg stealing people's username and password?
Weird, although did it say anything upon the refresh or not?
Something I seemingly noticed recently is that Zetaboards doesn't use SSL for log-ins as far as I can tell, which means your password goes as plaintext to the server. >.>;
How insecure is that.
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Endalion
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Triple Ocarinist x 3
How about just switching on the admin approval for new accounts? It might help if the bot is not able to post instantly.
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Jack Campin
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Opener of Catfood Tins

Don't delete the spam messages. Simply add the originating IP and routing and registration info for both the poster and the site being advertised, then lock the thread to prevent the spammer deleting it. You can guarantee somebody on the forum lives within baseball-bat-swinging range.
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Suki
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Haaaaaaaiiiiiii! ^_^

Has anyone had any trouble with pop ups on TON? I have never had to deal with them in the past, but got one the other day and now again today...

Pop up ad?


Is that a pop up ad? I didn't dare press ok.
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Wollemi Pine
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Triple-Double Ocarinist

I've never seen it, but then again, I have popup windows disabled.
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Elven Spellmaker
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== Cirno -- Opinionated Baka ==

Perhaps Zetaboards have resorted to pop-up adverts to make revenue. We cannot control this, and as they won't give us a copy of the database we can't do anything about moving from Zetaboards.
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Montschok
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Transverse Ocarinist
All posts are accessible with http so it's not impossible.

Someone has already started working such a script : https://github.com/djm/zetaboards-backup

Also read this :
https://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=727865
https://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=1761395
Edited by Montschok, 20 Mar 2014, 11:56 PM.
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Stephen Bobchin
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Close the World, Open the Next

Please notice the dates on those (the phpbb topics are from 2009/2008) Zetaboards and phpBB have both dramatically changed from those days, so they might not work. One of our biggest problems is finding a way to preserve the users and content, which is why we wanted the database. Our backup plan is essentially to save the zb forums as an archive, and just link to them from a new site, but we haven't decided whether or not we will do that, or even if we will upgrade to a new site (I've been making the argument to do it for a long time now, and its only getting stronger)

Also, another IP range has been found, with only spammers using it, and that has been blocked as well (this range was all kitchen spam)
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Elven Spellmaker
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== Cirno -- Opinionated Baka ==

I'll try to poke around on the weekend and see if I can come up with some sort of script for this.

Hmm...
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BornToBeBanned


Testing something --Jack
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Elven Spellmaker
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== Cirno -- Opinionated Baka ==

I thought I'd like to update everyone, over the weekend I wrote a PHP script which runs on my VPS once every 5 minutes and scans the active topics for spam topics (it won't catch them all, but I'm willing to keep trying to make it better). If it finds a spam topic then it bans the member, trashes their topic, and then posts into our "Mod Log" warning us that spam has been detected as shown below. :)

SpamBuster's posts
Attached to this post:
Attachments: SpamScriptInAction.png (87.49 KB)
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Philip
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KypSyd

Good work

Hopefully it gets better

Archiving it all and moving would be a shame i think. Besides when we were down for a month this place became a ghost town. I couldnt imagine what archiving would do to numbers

Still though, if it continues it may be necessary

Is there a setup that would allow you guys to have to approve the first three posts by a user? Or even the first for that matter? Would seem like an awful lot of trouble for a bot to go through
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Elven Spellmaker
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== Cirno -- Opinionated Baka ==

Philip
24 Mar 2014, 11:14 AM
Is there a setup that would allow you guys to have to approve the first three posts by a user? Or even the first for that matter? Would seem like an awful lot of trouble for a bot to go through
The problem is is that Zetaboards are terrible at informing us that posts need approval. There is no way to get a list of them, they don't appear anywhere except on the sub-forum where they are or in the thread if it's a post (I swear they used to appear in the Report CP, but Zetaboards claim otherwise).

It makes approving the first post for real members a pain, unless we say the first post has to be in a single thread (like the welcome thread) which is very restricting.
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Reiko Souma
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Social Butterfly Ocarinist
Thank you, Jack. :)
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Wollemi Pine
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Triple-Double Ocarinist

Elven Spellmaker
24 Mar 2014, 10:18 AM
I thought I'd like to update everyone, over the weekend I wrote a PHP script which runs on my VPS once every 5 minutes and scans the active topics for spam topics (it won't catch them all, but I'm willing to keep trying to make it better). If it finds a spam topic then it bans the member, trashes their topic, and then posts into our "Mod Log" warning us that spam has been detected as shown below. :)

SpamBuster's posts
It looks like it is working. I noticed a new spam had appeared, and when I tried to report it, it got deleted before I could.
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Elven Spellmaker
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== Cirno -- Opinionated Baka ==

It seems to be working, three the first night, six during yesterday and three again last night, with only a two getting through rate (for reasons which I won't mention here in-case they're listening in).

Just keep reporting the topics that get through, bear in mind my script runs every five minutes which means they'll be around for a maximum of five minutes.
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Philip
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KypSyd

Awesome work Jack! Thank you!
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Samuel
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Double Ocarinist
Elven Spellmaker
25 Mar 2014, 10:53 AM
It seems to be working, three the first night, six during yesterday and three again last night, with only a two getting through rate (for reasons which I won't mention here in-case they're listening in).
Maybe don't mention the numbers either?
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Elven Spellmaker
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== Cirno -- Opinionated Baka ==

My server had a wobbly night it seems, sorry about that.

Script started back up. :)
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Robert Hickman
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Ocarina maker

I can't imagine it would be *that* difficult to write a script to scrape the content off this site and pit it into a DB. Running it would take a long time though and you would ideally need to freeze posting while it's running.
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Ootfifa
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plastic ocarinist
but seriously doe, whats with the kitchen?
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Jack Campin
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Opener of Catfood Tins

We could tell you but then Vance Miller would have to kill you.
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stealthheartocarina_z
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Transverse Ocarinist
What's spam?
I'm not talking about the meat
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Harp Player
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Triple Ocarinist
stealthheartocarina_z
15 Jul 2015, 12:28 AM
What's spam?
I'm not talking about the meat
Spam can take more than one form. The most common one is all of those emails you get advertising stuff you don't want being sold by people you never heard of.

Spam on a message board is the same sort of thing. A bot will create an account then post one or more messages advertising a product and normally has a link to a website (that may or may not be legitimate). In the past we have gotten a lot of messages for Nike shoes and Kitchen remodels on this site.
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stealthheartocarina_z
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Transverse Ocarinist
Thx.
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kissing
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tyrannical dictator

Making many irrelevant posts can also be considered "spamming"
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Pori
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A. Nony Mouse
Elven Spellmaker
20 Mar 2014, 01:40 PM
Basically we'd create a duplicate member group and put everyone into the new group. New members would stay in the old group and once they've made one post can join the rest of the group.
If we made it so they could only reply to the single topic in there and make their first post moderator queue, we'd eliminate all of the spam from ever showing.
It'd be a bit odd for new members, but the spam is rather annoying. (Although since the ban there has definitely been less (none since the 6+2 the day before)).
so...is this why i can't update my profile or add a new topic? :S
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Harp Player
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Triple Ocarinist
Pori
12 Oct 2015, 12:27 AM
so...is this why i can't update my profile or add a new topic? :S
Because you are new. Once you make a few more post you will be able to.
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Stephen Bobchin
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Close the World, Open the Next

Pori
12 Oct 2015, 12:27 AM
Elven Spellmaker
20 Mar 2014, 01:40 PM
Basically we'd create a duplicate member group and put everyone into the new group. New members would stay in the old group and once they've made one post can join the rest of the group.
If we made it so they could only reply to the single topic in there and make their first post moderator queue, we'd eliminate all of the spam from ever showing.
It'd be a bit odd for new members, but the spam is rather annoying. (Although since the ban there has definitely been less (none since the 6+2 the day before)).
so...is this why i can't update my profile or add a new topic? :S
Yes, once you make a few posts, all the restrictions go away. I honestly don't think we've had a spammer yet since the changes.
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