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Massive spam account purge

Started by DJ Omnimaga, February 16, 2016, 10:36:09 am

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DJ Omnimaga

I have done a massive scan of the CW userbase to detect spam accounts that have slipped by in the past, undetected. Many date back in Early 2015. There were some false positives (or at least, accounts that looked legit) that I re-approved afterwards, but anything suspicious (for example, e-mail addresses such as firzdiwznxiwrtls@yahoo.com which don't match the account name) is now requiring approval. So if you notice that our total member count suddenly decreases by 140, then it's because Streetwalrus just cleared the spam account queue.

Streetwalrus

Well damn.
* Streetwalrus wipes the list. :P

DJ Omnimaga

Yeah, if you notice, all of those look likee the newer accounts >.<. I just checked the user list again now and it looks much cleaner, although there still seems to be some undetected suspicious accounts.

We should do that once or twice a year, but if you do it, make sure to check the flagged accounts afterward, to ensure you are not about to delete a legit account. (especially older accounts. Basically don't just delete anything where only the IP is flagged as spam, because most people use dynamic IP addresses)

Jkolade936

Why might anyone make a spam account in the first place? It's not like it benefits anyone.
Does this qualify as a signature? 
The answer is "Sure."


Streetwalrus

It's just robots that crawl the internet and register accounts on forums to try and post advertisement. It's nasty but there isn't really a way to prevent them.

aeTIos

And they can do it FAAAST. I remember on omnimaga a few years ago one came through. He posted 144 replies to a topic he created in less than a minute. In the end I think they had to remove like 500 posts o.o
ceci n'est pas une signature

Streetwalrus

Do you mean the bot that created almost 200 topics in less than 10 minutes while the admins were asleep freezing all activity because it made the site unusable ? :P

Jkolade936

Wow. O.O That's bad. Well, I have a friend who's a ninja both on the computer and with his fancy, numerous weapons who could help with encryption.

And for some strange reason, when I try to view sites on Opera Mini Mobile, the best browser for my Nokia E63, sometimes it asks me to approve some sort of certificate thingy before I can view a topic or post a reply. What's up with that?
Does this qualify as a signature? 
The answer is "Sure."


Streetwalrus

Old browser not supporting modern encryption properly, that's unrelated to spambots.

Jkolade936

I've seen what spambots can do; One got into my mom's email and sent more than 50 asking for dates to different email accounts, all within the same minute!

So, where  would my ninja go to sign up for this stuff?
Does this qualify as a signature? 
The answer is "Sure."


DJ Omnimaga

It would be cool if everyone replied back to spam automatically, effectively DDoS'ing spam computers/servers :P

Juju

Eh. Spambot makers can do anything to inconvenience site admins if you have no protection in place effectively turning the whole site in ads in some cases, although StopForumSpam served us and Omnimaga well and blocked most of the spam.
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Streetwalrus

Actually I think spambots mostly use forums to get better referencing on google considering how many links they post.

DJ Omnimaga

Yeah, site ranking is the main reason. By posting many spam links or putting spam links in their signatures on as many forums as possible, many search engines will rank the advertised site higher.

Same with any site, kinda. For example, if CW members put http://codewalr.us in their forum signatures or profile URL on other forums and sites they frequent, then CW search ranking will go up. But spamming will sometimes cause the opposite, because some search engines detect spam (eg if the linked site is completely irrelevant, such as a Casino/muscle growth link on a programming/gaming site).

c4ooo


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