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Thread: Clever spam bots

  1. #51
    Senior Member+ Theremingenieur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank B View Post

  2. #52
    Senior Member+ defragster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulStoffregen View Post
    I've banned user applockapk (217 spam posts) and added two netblocks from actcorp.in and one netblock from airtelbroadband.in to the permanent IP number block list.

    Originally Posted by defragster
    I have killed about 20 of these posts - and the BOT is running wild - it would be easier if there was a way to 'PAUSE' a spammer for review by PJRC? Is that something that can be done by a 'mortal'?
    Unfortunately, no.
    217 - Yikes! - that was a lot of email blasted out!

    Email :: 11/14/17 > Tuesday, between 6am to 2pm, pacific time

  3. #53
    Senior Member mortonkopf's Avatar
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    217 posts - Does that mean that the Bot is now a senior member?

  4. #54
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    Something to consider with moderator access is you *will* see spam that people have reported. It only disappears for ordinary user accounts. The messages still exist, but have been marked as moderated. Of course, you will be able to actually delete them, and when you do the screen for deleting the message has an option to permanent ban the user.

  5. #55
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    guess no one wanted the responsibility of being a mod :P

    edit: ahh just saw email only lol

  6. #56
    Administrator Robin's Avatar
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    Thank you to those who emailed about being moderators. You will be hearing from me soon.

  7. #57
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    wow too late here,
    if a moderator awaking at your times sleeping is needed, I probably can help?
    (GMT+0800 here)

    so from previous, the smart bot struggle to earn some posts before they actually spam some ads?

  8. #58
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    well if it can do 200+ posts in minutes, itll pass with words only threads before the spam begins at that point

  9. #59
    Senior Member+ defragster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonton81 View Post
    well if it can do 200+ posts in minutes, itll pass with words only threads before the spam begins at that point
    It went on for over 2 hours. I hacked back at about 2 dozen before posting on this thread - but until the account was disabled it just kept going - myself and others reported new posts as they showed up - wasting time and not necessarily stopping queued mail from dispatch . . .

    It would have been easier to block the user once up front - than to watch "What's New" and to go to the user homepage and destroy every user post, seeing that the user was visiting another thread already.

    Oddly it seemed to spend some measurable time on each post - way more than a few seconds before the post would appear with a 'refresh'.

  10. #60
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    This forum has a rate limit for posting. It also has limits for how quickly you can report posts, and lots of other stuff. Long ago we reduced many of these time limits from the vbulletin defaults, because they are annoying for legitimate users. That does mean a spam bot can post faster too, but we're not running without any limit at all (other than the server bandwidth). While it would reduce the rapid fire potential of spam bots, I'm not excited about increasing the required time limit between posts since it does affect ordinary people.

    Five people contacted us on Tuesday. All 5 will become moderators. So far we've never actually used the moderator group on this forum. Yesterday we made a list of features we want to make sure work. Robin is working to set this up (she does all the forum admin work - I pretty much never touch admin stuff except to post announcements), and test to make sure moderator accounts can really do all these actions.

    Please bear with us, while this takes longer than it seems like it should. The reality of PJRC is a tiny 4 person company, where things like this always come at a lower priority than lots of business critical stuff (which again, Robin does almost all). Today I can tell you she isn't touching the forum at all. Robin's currently doing inventory stuff to put together the next build of Teensy 3.5 & 3.6 boards. Here's a quick glimpse of how it looks, at least for the passive parts....

    Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #61
    Senior Member+ defragster's Avatar
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    Forgot about the 'fast post limiter' - that minimized the abuse. It was nice when that got dropped for 'Report Post' because chasing the spammers was painful enough and tough when being held up. The standard limit is good - I only see it when my browser fails and tries to double post. Would be helpful if the Jr Member posts had an option for extended limit.

    Good luck with the new batch of Teensys!

  12. #62
    Administrator Robin's Avatar
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    I've added 5 new moderators to help ban spammers and delete their posts. Our new moderators are:
    KurtE
    FrankB
    MichaelMeissner
    Theremingenieur
    defragster

    Thanks to those who contacted me to volunteer, and thanks to everyone for being patient while we come up with some ways to manage the spam while still keep the forum easily accessible to legitimate users.

  13. #63
    Senior Member+ defragster's Avatar
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    Cool time zone coverage US East and West and Europe.
    Looks like Moderators get 100 message storage as well.

    The last mega spammer on old threads took me to his profile 'view forum posts' page: https://forum.pjrc.com/search.php?searchid=2969278

    From there you can scan built up posts to confirm they are all SPAM at a glance before the Ban.

  14. #64
    Senior Member+ defragster's Avatar
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    How's the added support helping Robin?

    Per your email I've been doing this to obvious spam to delete and BAN at once and the posts I hit never show up again when I look at the forum:
    Click image for larger version. 

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  15. #65
    Senior Member+ Theremingenieur's Avatar
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    That's the procedure which Robin explained in her mail (as I understood it) in case there was no doubt that it was a spammer or spam bot.

    The other options (to hide a post only from public view for later moderation) were mentioned for other cases where we'd just moderate temporarily and let the final decision up to Robin.

  16. #66
    Administrator Robin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by defragster View Post
    How's the added support helping Robin?

    Per your email I've been doing this to obvious spam to delete and BAN at once and the posts I hit never show up again when I look at the forum:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    That is correct. That method will permanently delete all messages from the spammer and ban the user. The messages are gone, but the account remains in a banned status.

    And yes, having addition moderators is helpful.

  17. #67
    Senior Member+ defragster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theremingenieur View Post
    That's the procedure which Robin explained in her mail (as I understood it)

    ...
    - it was really a leading question so Robin could update us on our efforts - and to make sure that, like you, we all saw the same image on the boxes to check - though I didn't highlight.

  18. #68
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    nothing like spam bots spamming a conversation about spam bots lol

  19. #69
    Administrator Robin's Avatar
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    I just added 135 IP Addresses to the block list. Hopefully we'll see a reduction in the spammers.

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