Author Topic: Spate of Spammers ... Member Approval mode now in force for new signups  (Read 11455 times)

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Offline saratogaWX

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Many SMF-based boards have been having a large number of bogus member signups (by bots, no-doubt), for the purpose of spam.  How they're getting by the strong Captcha required at registration is not known at this time.

I've added multiple IP address ranges to the Ban list and that's cut back the traffic quite a bit.  Meanwhile, we've switched the forum to 'Member Approval' mode.  This means that when a new member signs up, the administrator will have to approve before they are allowed to validate their email address and become active for posting.

Please excuse the additional delay in getting your account activated if you've just signed up with WXForum.net .. we're trying to keep this a SPAM-free forum and this is the method we need to use to ensure that happens.  Weather-Watch.com has instituted a similar change today.

Hopefully, the SMF folks will figure out a countermeasure to defeat the new signup bots shortly and we can return to member activation mode without our vette of the new signups.

Best regards,
Ken
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Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Spate of Spammers ... Member Approval mode now in force for new signups
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2008, 08:11:46 PM »
I've just installed a more robust CAPTCHA for the registration process .. hopefully that will thwart the spam-bot signups in the first place .. meanwhile, the new member vette remains in force.

Best regards,
Ken
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Offline sam2004gp

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Re: Spate of Spammers ... Member Approval mode now in force for new signups
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2008, 07:21:45 AM »
No problem, you got to do what you got to do.  If any "guest" is reading this and wants to be a member in "good standing",  then they will understand the measures you have had to enact.
SAM --->>> http://www.mountcrawfordweather.org
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Offline Anthony

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Re: Spate of Spammers ... Member Approval mode now in force for new signups
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2008, 08:17:57 AM »
I'm with you all the way Ken. You have to do what you have to do. As Sam said, any member in good faith will understand. As they say. There's one in every crowd or in some cases more that one.



Thanks,
Anthony
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Offline capeweather

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Re: Spate of Spammers ... Member Approval mode now in force for new signups
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2008, 10:22:07 AM »
It is a good way to filter out the garbage. Several other forums that I visit have also implemented this and I think it works out great.  :-)

Chris
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Offline JOE

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Re: Spate of Spammers ... Member Approval mode now in force for new signups
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2008, 12:21:38 PM »
Thanks for takin' care of us. And trying to keep the spammers out.
Joe
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Offline f86sabjf

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Re: Spate of Spammers ... Member Approval mode now in force for new signups
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2009, 07:29:23 AM »
Thanks Ken

 we appreciate the work your doing in the background
acu-rite #825

Offline killwilly

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Re: Spate of Spammers ... Member Approval mode now in force for new signups
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2009, 08:48:33 AM »
My thanks go to all the admin staff on this forum, they are brilliant.  =D>

Alan
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Offline Sigdigit

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Re: Spate of Spammers ... Member Approval mode now in force for new signups
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2009, 09:35:16 AM »
Are any of these spam idiots aware that there are people (like myself) who will go out of their way to NOT patronize their product/service just based on principal?  There must be a lot of lamos out there who actually click on their junk or they wouldn't bother spamming.  Keep up the good work Ken.  Death to the spam-bots.

Offline SlowModem

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Re: Spate of Spammers ... Member Approval mode now in force for new signups
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2009, 09:48:56 AM »
Are any of these spam idiots aware that there are people (like myself) who will go out of their way to NOT patronize their product/service just based on principal?  There must be a lot of lamos out there who actually click on their junk or they wouldn't bother spamming.  Keep up the good work Ken.  Death to the spam-bots.

 =D> =D> =D>     =D> =D> =D>
Greg Whitehead
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Offline racenet

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Re: Spate of Spammers ... Member Approval mode now in force for new signups
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2009, 10:02:00 AM »
Are any of these spam idiots aware that there are people (like myself) who will go out of their way to NOT patronize their product/service just based on principal?  There must be a lot of lamos out there who actually click on their junk or they wouldn't bother spamming.  Keep up the good work Ken.  Death to the spam-bots.

 =D> =D> =D>     =D> =D> =D>

NO,NO,NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That Spam is good spam.  =D>


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Offline sam2004gp

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Re: Spate of Spammers ... Member Approval mode now in force for new signups
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2009, 10:12:33 AM »
Yeah I like the "Spam in the can" too. :-)
SAM --->>> http://www.mountcrawfordweather.org
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Offline offroadjosh

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Re: Spate of Spammers ... Member Approval mode now in force for new signups
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2009, 10:34:26 AM »
Thanks=) nice to have forums with out any spam:)

Josh
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Offline W Thomas

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Re: Spate of Spammers ... Member Approval mode now in force for new signups
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2009, 11:22:06 PM »
Thanks for the Safeguards!!
The inedible spam is taking the electronic media world by storm any more!

Just think how fast our Windows machines could run it we didn't have to load them down with anti virus, malware, anti spam and other protection software!


     Best Regards
     Wayne

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Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Spate of Spammers ... Member Approval mode now in force for new signups
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2009, 01:02:18 PM »
A bump on this topic.

I've had the forum in Member Activate mode for a while now and little spammer activity has been detected.

My thanks to DanS in Thailand for his vigilance .. he pointed out 3 new IDs that appear to originate from the Philippines that had non-weather-related link(s) in their signature files along with strange phrasing in their postings.  Those IDs and posts have been deleted and an IP ban initiated for the subnets where the posters originated.

Please don't hesitate to report suspicious activity/postings  when you come across them .. we definitely like to keep this a spam-free zone!

Best regards,
Ken
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Offline SlowModem

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Re: Spate of Spammers ... Member Approval mode now in force for new signups
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2009, 01:32:00 PM »
Yes, Dan is always on the lookout, and he does catch spamalot.

So, by the power vested in me (of which I have very very little!),
DanS is hereby awarded the Golden Spam Award (the Holy Grail of  Spam)!



Remain vigilant, DanS and
Endeavor to Persevere!
Greg Whitehead
Ten Mile, TN USA

Offline wxkpt

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Re: Spate of Spammers ... Member Approval mode now in force for new signups
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2009, 02:05:41 PM »
Thanks again Ken and Dan for being the spam cops on here I do get a lot at my forums its funny how they do get past the capatcha code. Take a look at the newest member on here has less the 30 seconds of time....lol
Sign up, Post, Gone

Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Spate of Spammers ... Member Approval mode now in force for new signups
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2009, 02:30:37 PM »
I found that installing reCAPTCHA to replace the basic CAPTCHA in SMF pretty much stopped all the bot registrations.

What the spammers are doing now is to hire humans to do the registration for them .. the bots find the forums, try the registration and pop-up a screen when a human needs to decode the complex CAPTCHA.. that one is hard to defend against (but not very common), so we just watch the forum for unusual posts with strange (non weather related) links and address it that way.

We have a lot of registrants who just want to browse the forum for possible answers (or ask one or two questions for advice).  About 200+ of our 1600 members stop by weekly to see what's new.  About 75 folks are checking in daily :)

Best regards,
Ken
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Offline Anthony

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Re: Spate of Spammers ... Member Approval mode now in force for new signups
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2009, 02:33:10 PM »
Wish my site would get 75 hits per day. I'd be in 7th heaven.



Thanks,
Anthony
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Offline SlowModem

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Re: Spate of Spammers ... Member Approval mode now in force for new signups
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2009, 03:58:18 PM »
Wish my site would get 75 hits per day. I'd be in 7th heaven.

Too many visitors and you'd start worrying about bandwidth.
Greg Whitehead
Ten Mile, TN USA