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Suggestion on how to block spammers
#1
I used to be the Super Moderator of BikePortland.org (before the forums were taken down due to difficulties in maintaining them (the updates and the cost)).  One trick we used to keep spammers out (and it worked every time) was by having a special "New Members" forum with a sticky "READ ME" post directed at new members.

In the "READ ME" post, we told people who were applying to join that they would have to send an email with a specific title ("K'Tesh Sent Me") to the forum's owner before they would be activated.  Only a spammer who would actually read the "READ ME" post, and follow the instructions would slip through.  Since they don't read into the files, their applications wouldn't make it through to the owner, and would be deleted, spam unposted, unread, and unlamented.  The owner had a special filter on his email that would ensure that the legit members would be sent to a folder in his email that he would read and activate.

Of course this slowed down the membership application (perhaps by a few days), but if any Super Moderator could activate an account, this would reduce the workload for any one person.

I post this because I just found a Russian spammer actively posting on the forum, and I couldn't do anything to stop him other than to report him and tell him to "отвали" (Get Lost).
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NAR #100544

"The Guide says there is an art to flying", said Ford, "or rather a knack." 
"The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."

Launching is Optional... Landing? That Depends on Trees.

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#2
Our system has a built in checks for controlling spambots and alike from creating accounts in the first place, the system is called a realtime black list. If you remember when you joined you needed to follow a link in an email that allowed you to self activate your account, we don't activate them for you.

It is clear we have to improve our method for monitoring your reports.
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#3
Following a link in an email is something easily automated by a spammer bot. Sending an email with a specific subject according to directions, not so easily done.

(All that the respond-to-this-email-by-following-this-link thing really does is it verifies the email address exists and is accessible to* someone who actually wants to be here. Not that they aren't a bot.)

* not necessarily owned by!
Rich Holmes
Camillus, NY
Secretary / newsletter editor
Syracuse Rocket Club

http://richsrockets.wordpress.com
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#4
I probably shouldn't but I will get into some detail. When someone a bot or otherwise attempts to create an account, the website compares that info against a subscription based 3rd party provider who collects info of known spammers, these are called "Real time Blackhole" lists of bots and other wise. If there is a match the process stops dead in its tracks. Those fields are..
"username" (fairly Effective)
"name" (not always effective)
IP address (Highly Effective)
If no match is found then and only then does the site send an email to verify and make sure an actual human do something.
The software this forum uses to do that catches 100+ spam bots EVERY DAY!

There is NO 100% fool proof method we have had 2 spammers in 5 months using this totally automated system.
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#5
Thanks for the replies! Smile
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NAR #100544

"The Guide says there is an art to flying", said Ford, "or rather a knack." 
"The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."

Launching is Optional... Landing? That Depends on Trees.

Reply
#6
I probably have raised the noise floor more than the spammers. Smile So far, I haven't noticed any here.
Member of MDRA, NAR and NARHAMS;
Level-2 certified but mostly fly G and under;
Volunteer compiler of manufacturer's news for ROCKETS Magazine.
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#7
At Zero Dark Thirty today , we had a Russian spammer posting something like 10 messages in rapid succession. Had I had the power to, I would have nuked him myself, but unfortunately, the Mod's were offline then.
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NAR #100544

"The Guide says there is an art to flying", said Ford, "or rather a knack." 
"The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."

Launching is Optional... Landing? That Depends on Trees.

Reply
#8
(11-13-2015, 04:33 PM)K Wrote: At Zero Dark Thirty today , we had a Russian spammer posting something like 10 messages in rapid succession.  Had I had the power to, I would have nuked him myself, but unfortunately, the Mod's were offline then.

Hitting the report button is important.
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#9
(11-13-2015, 04:43 PM)rcenteradmin Wrote:
(11-13-2015, 04:33 PM)K Wrote: At Zero Dark Thirty today , we had a Russian spammer posting something like 10 messages in rapid succession.  Had I had the power to, I would have nuked him myself, but unfortunately, the Mod's were offline then.

Hitting the report button is important.

I did...  First thing I did after verifying that it wasn't some non-English speaking member trying to do a legit reply to the thread.
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NAR #100544

"The Guide says there is an art to flying", said Ford, "or rather a knack." 
"The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."

Launching is Optional... Landing? That Depends on Trees.

Reply
#10
(11-13-2015, 04:47 PM)K Wrote:
(11-13-2015, 04:43 PM)rcenteradmin Wrote:
(11-13-2015, 04:33 PM)K Wrote: At Zero Dark Thirty today , we had a Russian spammer posting something like 10 messages in rapid succession.  Had I had the power to, I would have nuked him myself, but unfortunately, the Mod's were offline then.

Hitting the report button is important.

I did...  First thing I did after verifying that it wasn't some non-English speaking member trying to do a legit reply to the thread.

Same here. I also hit the report button on all posts by the bot in threads I visited.

NAR# 98194
Level 1: CTI I-216, 3,043'
Level 2: CTI K-740, 5,999'

Personal altitude record: 12,400' CTI L395
2014 total impulse: 9,018.2 Ns (76% M)
2015 total impulse: 7,171.7 Ns (40% M)
2016 total impulse: 18,664.2 Ns (91% N)
2017 total impulse: 8,281.1 Ns (80% M)
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