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View Full Version : Bit of a Spam Epidemic



buddhuu
09-29-2015, 05:02 AM
Apologies for the high level of spam currently being thrown at the forum.

You're doing a great job of reporting it. Please continue to do so as it helps us to track it down and get rid of it as quickly as possible.

If you see anything odd - particularly posts in Korean or any language other than English, please let us know. Another clue is that most (but not all) spam posts contain links.

Please don't reply to spam posts. It's also easier for us to spot them if those threads have zero replies. There's no point in replying anyway as the posts are made by software, not people.

Thanks again. Please keep those reports coming. :)

k0k0peli
09-29-2015, 05:09 AM
They are pretty obvious when I click on NEW POSTS and they seem mostly in the UU VIDEO DISCUSSION forum. Reporting them is a bit tedious because of the VB software's imposed delay on accepting reports. Maybe some proactive moderation would help?

EDIT (15 minutes later) -- Ah, I see you've killed off a zillion of the wee buggers. Excellent!

fretie
09-29-2015, 05:35 AM
Thanks for your speedy site cleanup! A knarly job and you do it well!

Mivo
09-30-2015, 04:26 PM
The maintenance update for the forum today (likely in response to the spam attack, so I'm posting this here) seems to have broken a lot of non-standard characters, like German umlauts. I noticed when I made a post with a German folk song title and the forum ate half the post that followed the umlaut. I also see broken apostrophes in some posts (probably where users used accents instead of the regular apostrophe). This may be a side effect of a spam solution that involves Korean letters?

kohanmike
09-30-2015, 09:20 PM
Seems the update didn't work so well, there are still a load of those posts in the video discussion section, started at 9:57p, continuing to 11:19p.

buddhuu
09-30-2015, 11:01 PM
The maintenance update for the forum today (likely in response to the spam attack, so I'm posting this here) seems to have broken a lot of non-standard characters, like German umlauts. I noticed when I made a post with a German folk song title and the forum ate half the post that followed the umlaut. I also see broken apostrophes in some posts (probably where users used accents instead of the regular apostrophe). This may be a side effect of a spam solution that involves Korean letters?

Thanks for the feedback, I'll make sure Rayan's aware of the issues.

Also, I'm sorry there's still a lot of junk getting onto the board. Even though we have mods in different timezones there are still periods where we're either asleep or tied up with day jobs so it may occasionally take a while before someone can take out the trash - but we'll clean up just as quickly as we can.

Thanks for your understanding, and all the spam reports.

Brian1
09-30-2015, 11:39 PM
I don't want to stick my nose in where it doesn't belong on this issue... But has the idea of not accepting new members automatically for a few days after spammer accounts have been banned been considered ? I can see how this could be an inconvenience for the new members (sorry potential members) as well as the moderator team... but the moderator team seems to be experiencing an inconvenience already...

I have no idea how many potential new members sign up every day or how many of them would need to be manually approved, but if the number is small that might be a quick fix to this issue until a better solution presents itself. (and the spammers might get tired of not being able to get new accounts.)

:2cents:2 cents (and over-priced advice)

No need to respond to this advice if this is not a desirable or a workable solution. I know the mod team is working hard and doesn't need the additional distraction of responding to me.

mm stan
10-01-2015, 12:01 AM
Thank you rick, you mods are the best

Chopped Liver
10-01-2015, 12:51 AM
I am a mod on another forum and it is not an easy job! You guys are doing a marvelous job and we appreciate it! (insert hug smiley here)!

TheBathBird
10-01-2015, 02:05 AM
I am a mod on another forum and it is not an easy job! You guys are doing a marvelous job and we appreciate it! (insert hug smiley here)!

Hear, hear! ^^^

Also, I know absolutely nothing about website/forum design, but twitter has a "block and report spam" button, which reports the spam (obviously) but also removes the irritating post from your timeline. No idea how difficult it is to implement things like that, but thought it might be worth mentioning.

Thanks again mods :)

buddhuu
10-01-2015, 02:28 AM
Thanks everyone.

We do have anti-spam measures in place, but the bots are getting cleverer.

Thanks for the input and suggestions. They'll all be considered.

hawaii 50
10-01-2015, 07:55 AM
Thanks for the hard work....no spam on the site right now..congrats...:)

kohanmike
10-02-2015, 09:21 PM
Another slew of spam, sent a the same time as yesterday about 10:20 to about 11:20. What time would that be in Korea?

Brian1
10-02-2015, 09:41 PM
Another slew of spam, sent a the same time as yesterday about 10:20 to about 11:20. What time would that be in Korea?

right now they are in their 3pm hour.

k0k0peli
10-02-2015, 11:31 PM
I just hit WHAT'S NEW and got twelve screensful of spam. Yikes!

Tootler
10-03-2015, 03:06 AM
I just hit WHAT'S NEW and got twelve screensful of spam. Yikes!

Just did the same and got two screensful and just two valid posts

Chopped Liver
10-03-2015, 03:12 AM
405 new posts. Most are spam. UGH!!!!

Mivo
10-03-2015, 03:30 AM
Special characters in subjects, signatures, and message bodies are still messed up, too. An example for the problem in a thread title would be here (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?54670-What%E2%80%99s-your-favorite-bridge-type). Using special characters, such as umlauts, will truncate new posts.

A possible fix for the spam might be a different captcha system (does the forum use one?). I find captchas really annoying from a user perspective (especially those that use distorted letters that melt into each other, which typically I have to reload twenty times before I get one I can actually figure out!), but I think they are effective against some bots, too. There are also those new HTML5-based ones where you have to move around pieces of a puzzle.

Chopped Liver
10-03-2015, 03:47 AM
Hm . . . maybe that is why the quotation marks in my siggy line changed to weird characters that I had to change back . . .

Mivo
10-03-2015, 03:50 AM
Hm . . . maybe that is why the quotation marks in my siggy line changed to weird characters that I had to change back . . .

Yep! There was forum maintenance a few days back, when something was changed (maybe something database related), which messed up some characters retroactively. Not sure what they did, but it's probably fixable, too. May be related to Unicode stuff.

k0k0peli
10-03-2015, 06:38 AM
Yesterday I went to edit my .sig which contained two special characters in the Turkish spelling of Cumbus. Oops. My .sig was truncated; much of it was lost as I don't keep a backup. I wonder if it can be retrieved via Archive.Org?

Meanwhile, we have another lower-level stream of spam, all totally unmusical one-liners (often mentioning sports teams) from first-timers. I report those as "mild spam". Just trying to be a good citizen, I am.

actadh
10-03-2015, 07:50 AM
Special characters in subjects, signatures, and message bodies are still messed up, too. An example for the problem in a thread title would be here (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?54670-What%E2%80%99s-your-favorite-bridge-type). Using special characters, such as umlauts, will truncate new posts.


I got tired of fixing the u umlaut and just put the e in Brueko in my signature. I also would have put those individual letters in quotation marks, but saw no future in that, either.

BTW, I am posting from my cell phone since my laptop has been acting wonky since all this spam. Anyone else experiencing issues on equipment?

pritch
10-03-2015, 10:41 AM
My sympathies to the mods who seem to have scored themselves an unrequested and repetitive cleaning job.

Farp
10-03-2015, 04:48 PM
I see we have a spammer in the Guitar Discussion board posting rugby or soccer threads. They're in English, at least.

k0k0peli
10-03-2015, 11:59 PM
Oh the sports spammer is minor. Now I hit WHAT'S NEW and see another seven pages of Korean spam. UU would seem an unlikely target for such. What have we done to deserve this?

The Big Kahuna
10-04-2015, 12:11 AM
Wouldn't be too hard to ban the entire Korean subnet/s