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Thread: Forum Spam

  1. #1
    Senior Member rolling's Avatar
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    Default Forum Spam

    I get quite a bit of spam emailed to me from threads I am subscribed to (for example this one).

    It would appear that the postings are from third world countries, where they can afford to pay people to cut and paste drivel into a web page, so automatic traps may not work. However, surely vbulletin has the ability to automatically lock inactive threads or require CAPTCHA from unproven members.

    Why doesn't Westhost implement something along these lines?
    Richard

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  2. #2
    Moderator wildjokerdesign's Avatar
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    Actually not only is CAPTCHA used on the forum but there is a challenge question now used for registration. On top of that all post go through spam filters. Believe me when I say this has made a massive difference in the spam. Unfortunately all these can be bypassed by real people and as you pointed out there are some places where they can afford to pay a lot of folks to sit and do just that.

    That being said it does seem as if something might be amiss because the thread you just posted the link to did not show up on my moderator radar. It should have been marked for moderation but did not seem to get caught. In fact the link you posted is not even the active forums. Look at the URL. The subdomain is wrong. Here is the "real" thread. http://forums.westhost.com/showthrea...-domains/page2.

    I'll go ahead and alert Adam about this and see if he can have the techs check it out. My guess by looking at the subdomain name is that this is perhaps a copy of the forums where the test new features and that it perhaps does not have the full garrison of protection on it.
    Shawn
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    Handy Links: wildjokerdesign.net | Plain Text Editors: EditPlus | Crimson

  3. #3

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    Thank you Shawn and Richard!

    Yes I will have our team look into doing everything we can to prevent spammers. As Shawn has mentioned we have made some recent changes to prevent spammers but we are always open to feedback and suggestions on how we can improve.

    Adam

  4. #4
    Moderator wildjokerdesign's Avatar
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    You know it is not uncommon to keep a backup or development copy of forums or other PHP programs on the server and I got to thinking of ways you could keep others out of the directory these are in. Two ways come to mind both using .htaccess.

    Mod_Access and Allow Deny is the first idea. You could deny access except for a specific IP if you know your own home machines IP. The second idea would be to use Mod_Authen and password protect the directory.

    http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.0/howto/auth.html
    Shawn
    Please remember your charity of choice: http://www.redcross.org

    Handy Links: wildjokerdesign.net | Plain Text Editors: EditPlus | Crimson

  5. #5
    Senior Member rolling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildjokerdesign View Post
    You could deny access except for a specific IP if you know your own home machines IP. ]
    That would certainly help stop spam from devforums (and I have used 'allow deny' to prevent access to certain programmes - simply telnet into the host and change the list of valid ips once at home). However some of the spam has come from threads on forums.westhost.com which have been inactive for 3 years.

    Either comments to old threads should be held for moderation, or the threads should be locked after (say) six months of inactivity.
    Richard

    I have jotted down some of my meddlings at http://www.rollingr.net/wordpress
    Click here for a full list of formatting codes for this forum

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