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iGuest

Hi Staff, (now who would that be? hands up)

I see this forum is being overrun by spam on a daily/hourly basis and I've viewed the actions of the moderators to see how it is being handled and I have to say... wow, the amount of time you must spend on removing it is astonishing and I'd have to commerate you for efforts as it really cuts into your productivity here.

At this stage I have put in place a few IP block filters (not recommended) but it should at least help reduce a lot of the known spammers I've seen on here and reduce your workload. Unfortunately, I have not yet thought about how to stop the spam coming from the Guest_* posters which seems to be happening a lot too.

Maybe we could look into something like http://forums.xisto.com/no_longer_exists/ and even ZB Block from http://www.spambotsecurity.com/ for measures to counter spam but that might be a big ask.

Spam is not all too bad though, without it I would not have found Xisto. I remember someone spamming it, maybe in a forum or a chat site and upon discovering Xisto, this sounded like the place I wanted to be, where I could share my knowledge and to motivate others to give more knowledge, plus it had very few members, which I felt was a tight community.


So back to the spam issue, any other ideas that could be done to prevent it? I have not seen what our registration looks like, so I may create a test user to see if there could be any changes there that would make it harder for spammers to register.

Cheers,


MC


velma

Me and Yordan usually ban spammers from the forum but the main problem is that the bots are bypassing the captcha form required to post at the Questions & Answers section.You might remember that OpaQue allowed guests to post at our forums a few years ago. By default, guests can create new topics at the Questions & Answers section but despite having a captcha, bots are coming through in hordes T_TOpaQue checked the settings a white back and didn't notice anything fishy.. He is currently busy working on another project so until he finishes that, I doubt he will have the time to do anything about the spam


iGuest

Hi velma,Most captcha have been broken now and is no longer a method to keep spam out. I will look at our registration and also at how guess are posting. I think adding a new field to be entered at registration and for the guests, whether it be a question they must answer that only humans should be able to answer should stop a lot more spam coming through.I know IPB has a spam monitoring service, but it's only available if the IPB license is kept up to date, which I think it's not but there are free alternatives to it like what I mentioned in the above post.What is Xisto's situation? It's quite dead here. Is it still Post to Host or has a lot of that shifted to other services that Xisto is now offering, which is killing this place?Let me know if the spam is reduced as well, as I've taken a few measures to stop it, just wish I could take more to prevent it totally so that work to improving this place can go ahead.Cheers,MC


yordan

Hi Staff, (now who would that be? hands up)

Hi, MC,
First of all, asta remains a post-to-host site, at least for the remaining few forummers. manuleka's hosting is suspended, so he needs to post a lot in order to unlock it. And Absa strongly needs his anatomy website to remain up and running.
Concerning spamming, the guest activity is not the worst one. The guest topics are flagged as "Unapproved" and are easily deleted.
The real problem comes from "real" users. A real user created his account five or ten days ago, and decided today to post 10 or 80 spams.
I asked OpaQue to give me access to a "ban IP" script, allowing me to ban a specific IP. In the meantime I ask him "please ban IP blahblah", works fine. Maybe we could create a topic with the IP's we see needing to be banned, and you stop them each time you see a new one appearing. The danger is that we could block user's proxy IP's, meaning blocking hundreds of users instead of one.

iGuest

What's some good anti-spam questions?For some reason I am having difficulty in just thinking what would be easy for new comers to answer. So far my only one is, What's the name of this site?Unfortunately, Guest posting does not have the questions and answer challenge so they will still continue to post spam.Cheers,MC


yordan

What about a word arithmetic logic question ? "If I tell you that two plus three equals twelve, is it true or false?"


iGuest

The question has a 50/50 chance of being correct, which can be fluked by the spambots. Answers should not be in the question.What sort of questions I would ask for are ones that have definite answers, may require a little research but nothing to far from what Xisto has the answer for. They also should not be mathematical, as bots can definitely answer it. We also need it to hopefully be understandable to those who's English is not their first language.Definite answers would mean that spammers would have to specifically program just for this site to get the right answer, which I doubt they would bother with. Human spammers however will have no problems and is just the way of life, we would have to deal with them ourselves.So if we reflect the question around Xisto, we may have better success, however, people trying to find out what Xisto is about may have trouble?So far a whole hour has passed and I haven't seen spam yet, either you guys are good at stopping it or prevention is starting to show itself working.Cheers,MC


iGuest

No new registrations today, what have I done?On 1 Feb, there was over 100 registrations, on 2 Feb around 60, 3 Feb... None.Well, I don't think it's that bad, it's only that one simple question but it seems to be stopping the spam from those bots. However, I still do expect spam to show up soon, because those who registered before the fix, are yet to be seen if we have not dealt with them already.Guest posts are still spamming, and really only 1 or 2 Guests posts I've seen have been legit. It's a pity someone can ruin our forums so other can not enjoy it.Is this the same findings you have?Cheers,MC


yordan

I tried creating an account, received the confirmation mail rather fast, so the whole thing works.I have a question : will standard users receive a mail when guest spamming unapproved replies arrive?If no mail is generated as long as the post is not approved, this will not prevent standard people from enjoying our forum, only moderators will have lots of work.


iGuest

I have a question : will standard users receive a mail when guest spamming unapproved replies arrive?


I really don't know the answer to this, they may or may not receive a reply but if they did, they would not be able to view the reply unless we approved it.

I will see if I can find a way to test this out and get back to you on it.

Cheers,


MC

yordan

I really don't know the answer to this, they may or may not receive a reply but if they did, they would not be able to view the reply unless we approved it.
I will see if I can find a way to test this out and get back to you on it.

Don't spend too much energy on this, it's really a secondary point, and I can easily test this point.

yordan

By the way, I don't see any spammer any more.What happened? No guest, no spams, did MC do something more?


iGuest

Hi Yordan,OpaQue changed the captcha we were using to another one. If those spam bots were only programmed for the one captcha they would probably be no good against a different one. This will be a temporary fix until they realise the change and improve their programs for it.Cheers,MC


velma

Hi Yordan,
OpaQue changed the captcha we were using to another one. If those spam bots were only programmed for the one captcha they would probably be no good against a different one. This will be a temporary fix until they realise the change and improve their programs for it.

Cheers,

MC


I am your eternal servant My Lord!!!

I am slightly miffed but really happy that all it took was one shoutbox session between you and Opa to get that changed. Me and Yordan have reminded Opa quite a few times about the shady captcha.

Now, we should all focus on getting the content rich forum back instead of the one liner forum it has become (No offense to manuleka but we all know that his posts are technically one liner spam ) .. If someone can clone, that would be fabulous too.. Since I clearly need at least 3 of me to complete my work and keep posting

iGuest

Focus on getting rich content back here is going to be the challenge, I could start writing stuff now but I've started another project so can't finish my write ups as quickly as I want to.Hopefully I'll finish my project quickly so I can get back to writing.As for manuleka, even though he's a one liner poster, he's still coming back. As far as I can tell, we only got 3 regular members excluding us and we really need to get the numbers back up and get the search engine ranking us high which OpaQue mentioned we got shafted by google.I also need to understand the packaging offered here, how the billing system works and anything else that maybe relevant in advertising Xisto, as right now. I don't know what Xisto does anymore.Have we got any hosted members here, that don't have suspended accounts? Just wondering what those figures would be. Also, would it benefit me if I visit the other sites of Xisto? Just wondering what their situation is like and if their numbers have dropped too.Cheers,MC


yordan

understand the packaging offered here, how the billing system works

The packaging seems simple : posts get mycents, and with these cents they can buy anything they want from the Xisto offer, cannot imagine something simpler. Everything you want for writing some words.

yordan

The spammers are back.
If you want to do some investigations, I undeleted THE today's post, it's here : http://forums.xisto.com/topic/56827-himym-season-8-episode-10-free/
'>http://forums.xisto.com/topic/56827-himym-season-8-episode-10-free/


velma

OpaQue mentioned we got shafted by google.

Trust me, shafted is an understatement

 

I also need to understand the packaging offered here, how the billing system works and anything else that maybe relevant in advertising Xisto, as right now. I don't know what Xisto does anymore.

 

Have we got any hosted members here, that don't have suspended accounts? Just wondering what those figures would be. Also, would it benefit me if I visit the other sites of Xisto? Just wondering what their situation is like and if their numbers have dropped too.

 


That's the point, the only reason everyone is making an exception in the case of Manuleka is because he is one of the last few members here. He is a good-hearted spammer

 

As for the Mycent system, Were you around when OpaQue first transformed the credit system? Prepare yourself for a very bumpy off topic ride

 

To start collecting Mycents :-

 

1. Sign up at forum with email address

2. Sign up at Xisto - Support.com/billing with SAME email address

3. Create at least 5-10 posts to get the ball rolling (But I think Shree removed this rule)

 

Once you earn 100 Mycent points (the red number) you get $1 in your Xisto - Support.com profile and receive an email confirming the same (You might have already gotten this MC)

 

You earn the amount you need for anything that xisto offers and buy through Xisto - Support.com/billing/cart.php (domain, hosting, web design...) .

After the order is received, I have to check and give the green/red signal to Xisto - Support for setup of the hosting account.

Maybe in the future, once we have a forum full of people again, I will get a chance to discuss hosting applications with you guys. The criteria are pretty much the same, people with warning get applications rejected.....

 

 

To start earning Mycents :-

 

Rules are pretty much the same (No spamming, flaming, plagiarizing and hack/warezspeak)

 

IMPORTANT MOD INFO

 

The task of checking member posts and awarding MyCent has been shifted from automatic(cron) to manual (me) . The new mycent script unlike the old one cannot deduct Mycent once deposited into your Xisto - Support account which means that if I were to run the script without checking your posts and you got a dollar, there is no way I could deduct the dollar {unless I directly remove it through the billing system but this doesn't look cool and could create holes / problems for all}

 

Luckily, OpaQue coded a work about for this, well two of them.

 

1. Deduct Mycent Before it is deposited

 

--- Pretty straight forward, if I or any other moderator sees a bad post authored by a MYCENT member, you HIDE/UNAPPROVE it and NOT DELETE it. When you unapprove a post, at the time of script's execution, it will exclude the bad post from being calculated. Unfortunately this principle does not hold true for when you delete the post. If you were to delete a bad post, at the time of the script's execution, the deleted post will be considered and the idiot will get credit he does not deserve.

 

2. Deduct MyCent After it has been deposited

 

"But Velma, you just said that Mycent cannot be deducted after it has been deposited"

 

-- Rest assured, Velma is neither high or bipolar . It is still true that you cannot deduct the $ from Xisto - Support.com but mistakes happen and one of us might approve / delete a post that should not be there. In this case, I would unapprove the post and run the script.

 

What it WONT do :- Remove the $ from your Xisto - Support account

What it WILL do :- Remove the amount from your Mycent counter

 

(if you earn 3 cents from an article and I unapprove it, and run the script , it will deduct the 3 cents, you can see the example http://forums.xisto.com/topic/56831-spam-topic-do-not-enter/
'>here
)

 

When I created the topic, I had 40.72 , after I ran the script, Mycents went up to 43.18 . With the second post, my total was 44.74 . When I unapproved the topic, all the responses were also automatically unapproved. Running the script after this resulted in the total of 40.70 (The difference is probably because of decimals)

 

Had I directly deleted the post instead of unapproving it, I would still have had 44.74 Mycent instead of 40.70 so the simplest thing is that mods need to simply HIDE bad posts submitted by MYCENT members and I will do the deletion once the script has been run

 

** Another tidbit **

 

This version of the MyCent script is quite a vigilante , it is very careful when awarding mycents and is brutal to old posts . If you edit an old post, it not only considers your addition / subtraction BUT will also calculate the ENTIRE POST. So if you earned a $1 for the post, the new system could calculate a number lower, say 80 cents and accordingly go ahead with work about 2 (deduct through your mycents)

 

{I lost quite a bit at KS trying this out }

 

Let me know if I confused you more than necessary or if you have more questions

 

The spammers are back.

If you want to do some investigations, I undeleted THE today's post, it's here : http://forums.xisto.com/topic/56827-himym-season-8-episode-10-free/
'>http://forums.xisto.com/no_longer_exists/


Either it is because of the time zones or my lack of time but I have not seen a horde of spammers for quite a while, I agree that there ARE spammers but not as bad as it used to be. But then again I could be wrong since I don't know whether either you or MC has deleted spam off the boards.

yordan

Either it is because of the time zones or my lack of time but I have not seen a horde of spammers for quite a while, I agree that there ARE spammers but not as bad as it used to be. But then again I could be wrong since I don't know whether either you or MC has deleted spam off the boards.

Effectively, the spammer I mentioned is one of the two ones I have seen.

By the way, I was able to see the current topic before logging, is this normal? Can guests really see this topic ? Or was this a bug somewhere from my own PC?

yordan

--- Pretty straight forward, if I or any other moderator sees a bad post authored by a MYCENT member, you HIDE/UNAPPROVE it and NOT DELETE it. When you unapprove a post, at the time of script's execution, it will exclude the bad post from being calculated. Unfortunately this principle does not hold true for when you delete the post. If you were to delete a bad post, at the time of the script's execution, the deleted post will be considered and the idiot will get credit he does not deserve.

Just a question. When will the post be deleted? I unapprove the post, and after the script is completed you delete the unapproved spamming posts?


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