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Taking votes on another thread that looks like spam

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 4:52 am
by MrAl

I didnt want to post in that thread, so i am asking here.
Who thinks the site with "Amazing Conversation" is spam?

If you posted that subject please resond now.


Once this is cleared up this thread will be removed.

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 5:44 am
by Dave Dixon
Looks like spam to me. Reminds me of the junk mail I used to receive via snail mail that had certain "personalized" things added. Haven't we seen a similar message on this forum recently?

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 5:52 am
by ku7485
Of course it's spam, the user's ICQ number who created that thread is fake and take a look at the users website. Take a look at the user's profile also, it says his interest is Advertisers!

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 5:53 am

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:53 am
by MrAl
Hi again,

Ok it's gone.
Amazing, since i posted this some three hours ago and just got
back here now, there have been two more additional spams.
I checked the registration process too, and i see it does require
a bitmap recognition, although it's not as secure a pattern as
some web sites have. For example, there is no font rotation
or variable height/width. It is possible to read that with a program
that converts scanned text pages into text files. Perhaps the
bitmap needs to be upgraded to make it harder to read with a program,
or else someone with a real bad sense of humor is doing these spams.

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 8:08 am
by jimandy
Since I was grandfathered in under the old system I don't know how the new system works. Some registration processes send an email to the registrant with a link they must click on to finalize the process. Do we have that? Would it help?

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 8:31 am

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:25 am
by GoingFastTurningLeft
I could use some extra money.

Where do I sign up? :grin:

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:44 am
by Newz2000
It will be interesting when, instead of creating posts they simply reply to existing posts. What moderator would delete an entire thread simply because of 1 spam among the many replies? Or, maybe the moderators can purge individual replies (if so, I can think of a dozen times that would have been useful in the past).

Man, that would be so vicious if bots started replying to old threads and sending them to the top of the list. Plus, think of all the notification e-mails that would start going out.

By the way, I don't think bots are inherently bad... it depends on what people do with them. I've written one for this forum that updates my signature with recent blog posts (although it chokes on the curly quotes in one of my recent posts so therefore will fail to update until I do some more blogging). Likewise, when I was job hunting I wrote a bot to go check the employment pages of some companies I wanted to work for and have it e-mail me interesting jobs.

I guess thats a bit off topic, but I like writing web-bots. Its an interesting challenge.

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:56 am
by jimandy
Man, that would be so vicious if bots started replying to old threads and sending them to the top of the list. Plus, think of all the notification e-mails that would start going out.
Oh Lord, the cat's out of the bag!
But I think, in a sense this is already happening when someone posts a reply with a link to their own blatently commercial web site.

And on something I know little about... if an analysis of the IP's of the rogue posters should show it to be a manageable number, couldn't those IP's be blocked? Of course it would be an after-the-fact task but maybe it would slow it down some.

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 5:04 pm
by bodgy
Most of the spammers IP's are private and do not resolve to a human address - hence my suspicion that they are using router IP masquerading.

Of the ones that do resolve, they are mainly from UAE, DE (germany) and Ukraine.

The problem with IP blocking is that if they are using IP masquarading then they can just change the public address, and would be a big problem for those of you that use AOL. There has been a couple of items from an AOL address, problem is AOL use an IP block allocation system - block that IP, you'd also block out all the innocent people with the same IP.

I think one thing, would be to have the first X number of posts of a new subscriber moderated - if it passes, it gets posted - if not, it is never seen by the forum.

Another would be to delete suspicious memberships as they enlist - something that requires a human rather than a script.


changed text from 10 posts to X number

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 5:25 pm
by Chris Smith
A less invasive way is to have all foreign host-ers from certain bad and blocked IP Sites,... have a US host, meaning before it gets posted it goes through one of our hosts clearance to then get posted. [approved]

Junk will not be forwarded to them for good reason, and bad IPs will be blocked, [especially if they are stupid] but all of them and the innocent persons on these sites are open to our host certifying them once, then they can post them personally and temporarily, and then over a short period of time opening their account for permanent status is opened and approved, based upon the fact that they are not bots or junk mail.

Think of it like an apprentice ship, prove your self and you home free after just a few clean posts.

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:01 pm
by ku7485
Almost all bots can be authenticated as bots. There are a couple of ways such as their algorithm and how they behave, or they way they are coded and programmed.

The administrators running this forum can use the mod for this forum which will stop the bots:

If they do use the mod and spam is coming, it is most likely the work of humans then. Maybe then the administrators can use this mod:
This should block posts containing words that relate to spam. This mod can also be useful to block posts that contain foul language that other users may find offensive. :grin:

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:25 pm

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:25 pm
by MrAl
Hello again,

I am starting to think that blocking the truely insistant bots
is like trying to prevent counterfeit money from entering the's very hard to do, but lucky some things work
very well and makes it much harder to do.

Another idea might be to ask a question that would be
hard for a bot to understand...
"What number comes after three?"
"What is one plus one?"
It's funny but it might work, unless we have an evil human out
there :)

I have a feeling that there is a phase lag, similar to counterfeiting,
where the bots learn how to beat the system after a certain time
period where the writers have time to study the new problem.
This would mean the system would have to do like the anti-counterfeiting
schemes: change the algorithm every so often, like every year or

Like Chris says, the 'humans' dont seem too bright but i wont say
why and give them any ideas, rather just say it's lucky for us.

Keep in mind anything you post here could be read by a prospective
spammer, so if you tell them anything that gives them an edge up.