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Huge Number of Spam Applications

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Huge Number of Spam Applications
Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:41 am


Hi All

I have been out of town on a teaching assignment this week, but I have tried to keep up with administration of this board.

I am pretty sure that I reviewed the applications yesterday, but it could have been the day before. In any case, this morning there were 216 applications to review. Of those 3 were legitimate.

It continues to appear that the spam is originating from Russia.

If you applied for membership and have not received an email of confirmation, please let me know.

Jim
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission - not at all fancy, but fully functional
Bus Project pages: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog: http://beltguy.com/blog/
Email: jim@eaglesinternational.net Note: Email sent to the this address requesting technical advice will not receive a response
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Re: Huge Number of Spam Applications
Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:34 am


The spam is so bad that I can't use the normal administration tools. I have to go to the database level and then it is still a challenge.

To give you a feeling of the magnitude, since we created this forum (Oct. 2008), we have had 7073 registration applications. Of those, 651 appeared to be legitimate applications and were activated. But that really does not describe how bad the problem has become.

In the early days, the spam applications were perhaps 20-30% of the applications. Each application is assigned a user ID number when the application is submitted. On November 27, 2015 the user ID number was 3136. This morning the user ID number of the latest application was 7073! That translates to 3937 applications in 4 months - of which 18 appeared to be legitimate and were activated.

I suspect that other forums have the same problem, but it is sure frustrating!

Jim
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission - not at all fancy, but fully functional
Bus Project pages: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog: http://beltguy.com/blog/
Email: jim@eaglesinternational.net Note: Email sent to the this address requesting technical advice will not receive a response
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Re: Huge Number of Spam Applications
Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:02 pm


:D

Back in the USSR...

I had that problem on an Alfa Romeo forum some years ago.

Have or can you create filters like *.ru that would block everything from Russia? i had several hundred of them and they helped a lot;

If you go this route, it's wise to keep a log of what you've blocked so you don't keep adding the same ones over and over.
Stay Fine As A Porcupine!!!///Reste Trés Bien Comme Un Porc-Épic!!!
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Re: Huge Number of Spam Applications
Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:11 pm


Well Joe, indirectly you helped me ***temporarily**** solve the problem.

I took some time to research blocking both ISP addresses and Countries. There are pros and cons for both approaches but the prevailing "internet vote" is that neither is a workable "long term" solution. Indeed the approach requires some hard coding and that can be risky when the software is upgraded to a new version.

I decided to review what I had set up previously (voted best approach by the "internet vote" :roll: ). I had used a question and answer spambot countermeasure setting and it worked fine at first. For example I would ask: what are the 1st and 3rd letters of the word bubble. I set up 5 of those type questions that rotated. Turns out that the spam bots have gotten very sophisticated and solved the answers for the 5 questions and then the race was on.

I changed to one question that was a bit more obscure. For the past 24 hours I have not had one spam application! :D The bots will resolve that question in a few days, but changing the question is pretty easy and I will do that when we start getting hit again.

Jim
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission - not at all fancy, but fully functional
Bus Project pages: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog: http://beltguy.com/blog/
Email: jim@eaglesinternational.net Note: Email sent to the this address requesting technical advice will not receive a response
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Re: Huge Number of Spam Applications
Mon Apr 04, 2016 5:35 pm


TEST---I think I see the problem...
Stay Fine As A Porcupine!!!///Reste Trés Bien Comme Un Porc-Épic!!!
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Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:59 am


Re: Huge Number of Spam Applications
Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:12 pm


:D :D :D

OK, here's the question they can't answer...

How many letters are in hippopotamus?

The correct answer is zero.
Stay Fine As A Porcupine!!!///Reste Trés Bien Comme Un Porc-Épic!!!
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Re: Huge Number of Spam Applications
Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:56 am


I am bringing this to the top again as we just got hit with a ton of spam applications. I have a decent question and answer anti spambot system, but once in a while someone will crack it and then we get deluged with fake applications.

I tried to quickly sort out the obvious spam applications. It is possible that I deleted a legitimate application. If you registered within the past two days and I have not sent you an email stating that you have been activated, please let me know.

Jim
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission - not at all fancy, but fully functional
Bus Project pages: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog: http://beltguy.com/blog/
Email: jim@eaglesinternational.net Note: Email sent to the this address requesting technical advice will not receive a response
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beltguy
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Re: Huge Number of Spam Applications
Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:35 am


Well, things have been pretty quiet, but today (9/20/2017) we got hit with a huge number of spam applications.

I had to use a very quick vetting process and could have easily deleted one or more legitimate applications. If you submitted a registration in the past 36 hours and did not get an email confirming your activation, please drop me an email (see signature).

I did reset our spambot settings and that should help for a while.

Jim
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission - not at all fancy, but fully functional
Bus Project pages: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog: http://beltguy.com/blog/
Email: jim@eaglesinternational.net Note: Email sent to the this address requesting technical advice will not receive a response
User avatar
beltguy
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