Site announcements, suggestions, Q&A
#33741
Hi,

I would just like to ask admn's and mod's if any kind of action is being taken about these posts from the kitchen guys. It's been quite a while and it keeps appearing. It's starting to get annoying. These posts are automatically generated or created by real people? Have you contacted them? Can't we report this to some kind of web 'authority'?

Thanks guys.
#33743
Hi David,

unfortunately, there is lots being done about this, by me. I end up manually deleting these posts several times a day :(

Most likely, what you've seen is only a small fraction of the volume of spam we get :(

There is no authority you could report this to. There is nothing that can be done, other than maybe beefing up some of the anti-spam measures in PHP Bulletin with an upgrade (James?).

Unfortunately, there are millions of monkeys in China and the like who sit there all day long solving captchas for a quarter cent each… :(

Michi.
#33746
Hi Guys, I'm really sorry about this, the ball is in my court to solve this issue...

The plan is to upgrade the registration process to make it more difficult for automated bots to register.

Another issue is that if there are already loads of accounts that have been created then they can be lying dormant. So I will go through the database looking for some sort of similarity between all these accounts and manually delete each one.

We have been actively working on this for quite a while now, and most of this spam and the work that has been done to defeat it goes unseen.

Some has been popping out recently due to both Michi and I being travelling of late.

Deleting this spam as it appears in an unacceptable solution anyway, and the solution is to stop it being possible in the first place.

I apologise for the delay in doing this, I have just returned to Germany after a 3 month trip in Thailand, so I haven't been online or in front of a computer as much as I would have hoped.

I hope to solve this in the next week anyway, and will keep you posted.

In the mean time it really helps us if you 'report' posts like this. There is a little icon with an explanation mark on it, that notifies moderators of spam.

Thanks for your continued patience

James
#33747
I have also tried contacting the relevent websites, in the hope of reasoning with the spammers and also contacted the hosts of the spammers based on their ip addresses.

We have also repeatedly blocked spammers ip ranges, but sadly they can use proxies to bypass this it seems...

I'm going to install another modification to make auto-registration by their programs more difficult (even though we already have 2/3 of these installed)
#33748
hey, guys. thanks for your work. Of course we can notice the short lifetime of these posts, so moderators and admns work is noticed. I was just wondering, 'cause yesterday I sent a message to one of the sites asking them to stop, witch was probably already been done, I thought, and probably will have no effect. I really don't get a thing on these technical matters, so. Thanks again
#33762
this used to be largely my job, now michi does the bulk of it.

during the time michi was away i deleted around 30 spam messages over several days but could not log in every day so noticed some being reported by users which is good to see. what you see is really just the few that got away, compared to many that are deleted daily.

as for recognising characteristics of spam accounts, i periodically go through a page of new accounts and check them against databases of spammers reported on anti-spam sites, deleting any that are flagged. i also delete some based on some common characteristics and behaviour.

spam is an industry especially big in asia and eastern europe. the spammers use robots but also manually help the robots to get past any security measures we put up. so upgrading captchas or registration questions may deter a few who rely on bots alone, but for the most part the spammers will very quickly overcome them. also, they often create many regular looking accounts which they will not use until months later, so often we just can't do anything to pre-empt it.
#33766
We are averaging 50-60 of these messages per week, each one sent be a separate new user. Unfortunately, it's a lot of work staying on top of this. For every one of these messages that is seen by the average forum user, there are probably five more that aren't seen because James, bubudi, and I are blowing away those accounts regularly.

As bubudi explained, there isn't much we can do in terms of putting up a defence. Regrettably, Google has just come up with an algorithm that is better than humans at solving captchas, which will not make our life any easier :(

Michi.