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 VERY IMPORTANT! New security feature (Signatures) View next topic
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Carvin Museum Webmaster & Forum Admin


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Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 10:25 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

OK, this really only affects newly registered users, but just so everyone knows the deal-io...

Recently, I have gotten inundated with "spam-bots". A spambot is an automated program that registers on the forum, automatically, solely to promote a porn site, gambling site, etc, by adding the offending site into the WWW field of a fake user's profile. The logic behind this is that if a site is mentioned on thousands of popular forums, it gets a higher Google rating, and maybe even some traffic from curious forum members. The fake user doesn't exist; the account is never activated, and the user never posts - it's just a program written to automatically register.

If you don't get it, look at the memberlist on the Carvin BBS (especially the past couple of months) - there are hundreds of these non-existent users registered there, and each one was done with a bot. You can spot them because they have 0 posts, and a WWW link. There are usually 3-5 in a row. On the CBBS, move you mouse over the WWW link, and you'll see the offending website address in your browser's status bar (at the bottom).

Sometimes, "human" spammers will register, just to put the offending link in their signature, then they make one post, and disappear. Had a few of those here, too.

I have been deleting 5-10 of these fake users a day, and it's getting to be a pain.

You know those wavy graphics with letters you have to enter on some sites? That's their purpose - to block spambots. Thing is, they don't work well on AOL. I know, I tried it here once. And I don't want to alienate AOL members.

So, I have come up with something better:

- When a new user registers, they do not have a WWW or Signature box in their profile. Not until they've made 5 posts. So, a new user must post 5 messages before they can add a website address or a signature. The bots cannot post, and a "human" spammer won't know that they can add a signature after 5 posts.

- When an automated bot tries to register, they are bounced out of the system, and an email is sent to me with their IP address, the offending site they were trying to promote and so on. I can then block the IP address permanently (as well as *ahem* do some other things, if I like).

In the amount of time it took to write this, 2 new spambots were blocked. It's really cool, if I do say so myself.

The reason I'm publicizing this is so that noobs will understand why they don't have a signature or a WWW spot, and so others can tell noobs this when they ask.

As always, thanks for the support.
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SlingBass
Just passing thru...


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Joined: 11 Apr 2006
Posts: 1365
Location: KC, MO

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 10:32 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

Interesting. Over my head stuff - but love reading simplified (for us dummies) versions such as your's Cool

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"I probably could have been yer daddy......but the dog beat me over the fence!" - Whitey Lewis
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mattd
Museum Supporter


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Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Posts: 617
Location: Nashville, TN

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 10:36 pm   Reply with quoteBack to top

cool. Cool never noticed the spam bots here before, didn't even think there was a problem here. but thanks for shutting it down.


oh, and you have my permission to take appropriate action towards those other sites. Wink
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Delta362
Amp repairs and homebrew builds


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Joined: 19 Feb 2005
Posts: 1827
Location: Erie, PA

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 6:45 am   Reply with quoteBack to top

Your hard earned tax dollars at work. Mr. Green Thanks for keeping this site so great, Kevio! Applause
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tms13pin
Too Much Free Time


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Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 1347
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 7:45 am   Reply with quoteBack to top

Very clever solution Kevio!

--Tom
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