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Too many spammy applicants
  • Looks like spammers decided to use their blog comment creation robots to request accounts on our forum.

    If the number of spammy per day grows, it can get impractical to find and approve valid applicants.
    It may be necessary to only allow administrators to create user accounts on the forum.

    Any other suggestions to overcome this problem?

    See below a list with 44 account applicants from the last 2 days:
    --

    nicolaborchelt ([email protected]) 8:02AM
    Good day I am so grateful I found your weblog, I really found you by error, while I was browsing on Yahoo for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a fantastic post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/d
    Approve, Decline
    christeenflexer ([email protected]) 7:58AM
    Great article, I just given this onto a co-worker who was doing a little research on that. And he in fact purchased me lunch because I discovered it for him… :) .. So let me reword that: Thanks for the treat! But yeah Thankx for taking the time to talk a
    Approve, Decline
    jenabialecki ([email protected]) 7:55AM
    Trend is the guide in which something new coming out, mostly implying the growth of fashion in a specific field. 
    Therefore, fashion is the latest evolvement of the fashion industry. Basically, 
    the consumer decide which merchandise is hot by making our
    Approve, Decline
    luispizzulo ([email protected]) 7:53AM
    Good day I am so grateful I found your weblog, I really found you by error, while I was browsing on Yahoo for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a fantastic post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/d
    Approve, Decline
    isaurathurston ([email protected]) 7:49AM
    Great article, I just given this onto a co-worker who was doing a little research on that. And he in fact purchased me lunch because I discovered it for him… :) .. So let me reword that: Thanks for the treat! But yeah Thankx for taking the time to talk a
    Approve, Decline
    leonorabiello ([email protected]) 6:32AM
    This is my first time i go post. I collected so many interesting things in your site especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your posts, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work.Regards By academic
    Approve, Decline
    birgitperal ([email protected]) 6:28AM
    This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. Youve got a design here thats not too flashy, but makes a statement as big as
    Approve, Decline
    rashidaconely ([email protected]) 6:01AM
    OMG! It's like you understand my mind! You seem to know so much about this, just like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, besides that, this is great blog. A outstanding read. I'l
    Approve, Decline
    malliehousten ([email protected]) 5:56AM
    It is rare for me to discover something on the web that's as entertaining and intriguing as what you've got here. Your page is lovely, your graphics are outstanding, and what's more, you use source that are relevant to what you're talking about. You are de
    Approve, Decline
    karlygossage ([email protected]) 5:51AM
    I'm still learning from you, while I'm making my way to the top as well. I certainly enjoy reading all that is written on your blog.Keep the posts coming. I enjoyed it!
    Approve, Decline
    jillianpledger ([email protected]) 5:48AM
    Trend is the guide in which something new coming out, mostly implying the growth of fashion in a specific field. 
    Therefore, fashion is the latest evolvement of the fashion industry. Basically, 
    the consumer decide which merchandise is hot by making our
    Approve, Decline
    caroleelibel ([email protected]) 5:45AM
    It is rare for me to discover something on the web that's as entertaining and intriguing as what you've got here. Your page is lovely, your graphics are outstanding, and what's more, you use source that are relevant to what you're talking about. You are de
    Approve, Decline
    yasukokhounthav ([email protected]) 5:36AM
    Thnkx so much for this! I have not been this thrilled by a post for a long time! You have got it, whatever that means in blogging. Well, You are definitely someone that has something to say that people need to hear. Keep up the great work. Keep on inspirin
    Approve, Decline
    waierling ([email protected]) 5:03AM
    Hi! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog. Is it very hard to set up your own blog? I'm not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I'm thinking about setting up my own but I'm not sure where to begin. Do
    Approve, Decline
    nanetteverhagen ([email protected]) 5:02AM
    Greetings from Idaho! I'm bored to tears at work so I decided to browse your site on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the info you present here and can't wait to take a look when I get home. I'm shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my phone .
    Approve, Decline
    ellynabolafia ([email protected]) 4:57AM
    Trend is the guide in which something new coming out, mostly implying the growth of fashion in a specific field. 
    Therefore, fashion is the latest evolvement of the fashion industry. Basically, 
    the consumer decide which merchandise is hot by making our
    Approve, Decline
    mildredarzo ([email protected]) 4:53AM
    It is rare for me to discover something on the web that's as entertaining and intriguing as what you've got here. Your page is lovely, your graphics are outstanding, and what's more, you use source that are relevant to what you're talking about. You are de
    Approve, Decline
    luisedge ([email protected]) 4:39AM
    This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. Youve got a design here thats not too flashy, but makes a statement as big as
    Approve, Decline
    eleanorastader ([email protected]) 4:39AM
    This website is awesome. I constantly come across something new & different right here. Thank you for that data.
    Approve, Decline
    shamekahebert ([email protected]) 4:29AM
    It is rare for me to discover something on the web that's as entertaining and intriguing as what you've got here. Your page is lovely, your graphics are outstanding, and what's more, you use source that are relevant to what you're talking about. You are de
    Approve, Decline
    amiraardito ([email protected]) 4:22AM
    Thnkx so much for this! I have not been this thrilled by a post for a long time! You have got it, whatever that means in blogging. Well, You are definitely someone that has something to say that people need to hear. Keep up the great work. Keep on inspirin
    Approve, Decline
    catarinagraef ([email protected]) 4:21AM
    I'm still learning from you, while I'm making my way to the top as well. I certainly enjoy reading all that is written on your blog.Keep the posts coming. I enjoyed it!
    Approve, Decline
    arlenesylvian ([email protected]) 4:15AM
    I'm still learning from you, while I'm making my way to the top as well. I certainly enjoy reading all that is written on your blog.Keep the posts coming. I enjoyed it!
    Approve, Decline
    joettavillalta ([email protected]) 4:15AM
    Great article, I just given this onto a co-worker who was doing a little research on that. And he in fact purchased me lunch because I discovered it for him… :) .. So let me reword that: Thanks for the treat! But yeah Thankx for taking the time to talk a
    Approve, Decline
    josefaasbell ([email protected]) 4:02AM
    I'm still learning from you, while I'm making my way to the top as well. I certainly enjoy reading all that is written on your blog.Keep the posts coming. I enjoyed it!
    Approve, Decline
    dawnepulley ([email protected]) 3:51AM
    Resources like the one you talked about right here shall be very helpful to me! I'll post a link to this web page on my blog. I am sure my guests will find that very useful.
    Approve, Decline
    crystakirkham ([email protected]) 3:00AM
    OMG! It's like you understand my mind! You seem to know so much about this, just like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, besides that, this is great blog. A outstanding read. I'l
    Approve, Decline
    janeeborella ([email protected]) 2:51AM
    This website is awesome. I constantly come across something new & different right here. Thank you for that data.
    Approve, Decline
    kacieheins ([email protected]) 2:50AM
    Resources like the one you talked about right here shall be very helpful to me! I'll post a link to this web page on my blog. I am sure my guests will find that very useful.
    Approve, Decline
    korigodeaux ([email protected]) 2:39AM
    OMG! It's like you understand my mind! You seem to know so much about this, just like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, besides that, this is great blog. A outstanding read. I'l
    Approve, Decline
    lupebhairo ([email protected]) August 22
    Usually, fashion, considered as fads, is extremely changeable. Then, what is actually the fashion trend? 
    In fact, your closet, for example, can answer it. When it comes to the fashion industry, it's a continuously changing world. Even though some 
    trend
    Approve, Decline
    maysoderberg ([email protected]) August 22
    Awesome site you've got here. Looks like you really know your stuff. I'm glad I found this in my searches.I realy liked your angle that you have on the topic. Certainly wasn't planning on this at the time I begun browsing for tips. Your ideas were totally
    Approve, Decline
    alisonjiang ([email protected]) August 22
    This is my first time i go post. I collected so many interesting things in your site especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your posts, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work.Regards By academic
    Approve, Decline
    jennelljohnting ([email protected]) August 22
    Awesome site you've got here. Looks like you really know your stuff. I'm glad I found this in my searches.I realy liked your angle that you have on the topic. Certainly wasn't planning on this at the time I begun browsing for tips. Your ideas were totally
    Approve, Decline
    alfrediacarwin ([email protected]) August 22
    Awesome site you've got here. Looks like you really know your stuff. I'm glad I found this in my searches.I realy liked your angle that you have on the topic. Certainly wasn't planning on this at the time I begun browsing for tips. Your ideas were totally
    Approve, Decline
    rosiocarolina ([email protected]) August 22
    Awesome site you've got here. Looks like you really know your stuff. I'm glad I found this in my searches.I realy liked your angle that you have on the topic. Certainly wasn't planning on this at the time I begun browsing for tips. Your ideas were totally
    Approve, Decline
    valeriasutt ([email protected]) August 22
    Great article, I just given this onto a co-worker who was doing a little research on that. And he in fact purchased me lunch because I discovered it for him… :) .. So let me reword that: Thanks for the treat! But yeah Thankx for taking the time to talk a
    Approve, Decline
    marvellaolive ([email protected]) August 22
    This is my first time i go post. I collected so many interesting things in your site especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your posts, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work.Regards By academic
    Approve, Decline
    jacquelynalvire ([email protected]) August 22
    This is my first time i go post. I collected so many interesting things in your site especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your posts, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work.Regards By academic
    Approve, Decline
    karrybussiere ([email protected]) August 22
    Thnkx so much for this! I have not been this thrilled by a post for a long time! You have got it, whatever that means in blogging. Well, You are definitely someone that has something to say that people need to hear. Keep up the great work. Keep on inspirin
    Approve, Decline
    lanorarovner ([email protected]) August 22
    Usually, fashion, considered as fads, is extremely changeable. Then, what is actually the fashion trend? 
    In fact, your closet, for example, can answer it. When it comes to the fashion industry, it's a continuously changing world. Even though some 
    trend
    Approve, Decline
    tomikahancher ([email protected]) August 22
    This website is awesome. I constantly come across something new & different right here. Thank you for that data.
    Approve, Decline
    BMetz ([email protected]) August 22

    cloulkscogego1976 ([email protected]) 2:29AM
    Trees are the most valuable part of your home landscape.Р’В  Trees provide several benefits including cooling our homes, providing beauty and privacy.Р’В  It's important to make the right choice when hiring a tree company to care for your trees.Р’В  Most of us have heard stories of improper care damaging trees in our neighborhoods. OneР’В  way to provide your trees with the best care is to hire a Certified Arborist.Р’В  Arborists are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture.Р’В  Certified Arborists must meet several requirements in order to obtain certification.Р’В  These include adequate experience, passing a rigorous test of arboricultural knowledge, agreeing to a code of ethics and maintaining certification through continuing education.Р’В  To find a Certified Arborist in your area check the web sites for the International Society of Arboriculture or the Tree Care Industry Association.Р’В  Both provide information for finding Certified Arborists in your area. If a tree company advertises that a certified arborist manages or is employed by the company the arborist certification number must be included in the advertisement.Р’В  B [...lots of text follow...]
    Approve, Decline

     
  • 26 Comments sorted by
  • I don't know if it is going to make it easier, but if the requirements were to be changed to force an applicant to mention something from inside the OSE project with proper spelling, that might further help narrow down and eliminate the automatic applications.

    Like requiring them to list which project they are most interested in, and then (if the forum software allows), they go on probation, and aren't allowed to post anything directly until it is approved by moderator.  If their initial posts are the slightest bit spammy, immediately ban that account?

    Either that, or possibly redo the recaptcha to make it harder?
     
  • one of the many problems of being a higher profile forum, I see alot of blog comment sections changing to discus. googling shows that there are spam ip and email blocklists. several of the above already show up on the list of stopforumspam .com , which I am a bit concerned about since their domain reg uses a domain ownership proxy.
     
  • Vote Up0Vote Down
    mjnmjn
     
    September 2011
    I declined 116 applications this morning, and approved one.  The good news is that the bot applications are formulaic and easily recognized.  The bad news is that the tool doesn't have a "select all" button, so I had to click 116 check boxes.

    - Mark

     
  • Vote Up0Vote Down
    spikespike
     
    September 2011
    either set up so that the first option, on the list of places is AA spam, this country is blocked and it stops most of the bots, second is either with a word capture (i find them incredibly hard to use) or a simple worded question eg what do plants not need to live sunlight, water, nutrients waste engine oil.
    a real person will just copy and paste the worst answer but a computer usually cannot comprehend it
     
  • Vote Up0Vote Down
    mjnmjn
     
    September 2011
    So far, we continue to apply a manual solution.  Personally, I think that an intelligent filter could be made to work, but I don't think the forum software that this is based on has such a mechanism.

    - Mark
     
  • Vote Up0Vote Down
    Beluga
     
    November 2011
    Maybe try this for the forum:
    http://vanillaforums.org/addon/593/vanilla-antispam

    This thread mentions a small fix:
    http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/12613/vanilla-anti-spam-plugin-feedback

    And this for all Drupal needs:
    http://drupal.org/project/spambot

    The Stop Forum Spam database is really good.
     
  • Vote Up0Vote Down
    MetzMetz
     
    November 2011
    I see one of my emails on that list, it didnt get approved so I tried another
     
  • After implementing some changes, the number of illegitimate forum users showing up on the pending applicants list is close to zero (about 1 every 3 months).


    I think this improvement can be attributed to the fact that new users are now asked to confirm their email address by clicking on a unique link sent to their email address.
    Most spammers won't provide a valid email address AND take the time to click on that link.

    However, there's still a minor problem waiting to be fixed: New users who haven't yet clicked on the confirmation link are assigned to the "Email Confirmation Pending" role, which means they are not allowed to log in (if they try to log in, they'll see an error message similar to "Permission denied").

    So, the difference between a "pending" (and possibly illegitimate) user and a confirmed user is that the former cannot log in, but both show up on the list of users and both take up database records.
    Since we receive at least 10 new illegitimate users each day, we'll have around 3700 new invalid users per year, which adds up to the burden of forum administration.

    Ideally, there should be a time-out after which all new users who have not clicked on their respective unique links should be expunged from the forum database table.

    If you think you can create a Vanilla forum plugin to do this, please let us know.
     
  • If is no problem - no point to discus  ;)

    openID - definitly helped in this case - but when it will be more common - I bet my balls- they quickly update spambota  (I'm afraid).
    So, if it's happens just remind me my promise  ;) 

     
  • Sensor,

    OpenID hasn't helped in this situation: anyone (including spammers or spam bots) can create a traditional (non-OpenID based) account on our forum.
    OpenID would be able to help only if it were the only means to get an account.

    In fact, at least 10 new illegitimate, non-OpenID accounts are created every day on this forum: the user chooses a login and password, and a new account is automatically created - it's as easy as that.

    However, these new illegitimate accounts only show up on the list of pending applicants AFTER the user has clicked on the email confirmation link that is sent to all new accounts, but most of the spammers never click on the link.

    It means we still have a problem: the piling-up of illegitimate users that never clicked on their confirmation links. Every year, we'll have about 3700 new invalid user accounts.

     
  • that's mean for me that on market is stuff that is able to do it. However isn't perfect (yet)   ;)
    I think we should switch to PM with involving others who are responsibiity for IT on this server.  ?
     
  • Expunging users is usually called pruning and this feature has been requested on the Vanilla forums as a search will reveal.
    I'm quite surprised that "Most spammers won't provide a valid email address AND take the time to click on that link", because at least with phpBB, spambots definitely know how to click that link just as easily as they know how to automatically create new gmail-accounts. Sounds like Vanilla is having it easy compared to phpBB! Might be due to difference in popularity. With phpBB, SFS is a must to keep admins sane.
     
  • Hello,
    What about reCAPTCHA, seems to solve exactly this problem for free.


    Thanks
    JP.
     
  • No, reCAPTCHA is broken in two ways: 1) it is frustrating for the user 2) spambot OCR is advanced enough to solve it with a probability that pays off (I think 9-10% is enough).
     
  • Something new must have happened recently. We've had a bunch of new spammers (about 80) showing up on the list of pending applicants - which means they've clicke on the confirmation link sent to their emails.

    Here's a screenshot:
    image

    And here's a sample of what they write:

    epieferruss ([email protected]) August 26
    Usually, fashion, considered as fads, is extremely changeable. Then, what is actually the fashion trend? In fact, your closet, for example, can answer it. When it comes to the fashion industry, it's a continuously changing world. Even though some trends are considered as ridiculous. Trend is the guide in which something new coming out, mostly implying the growth of fashion in a specific field. Therefore, fashion is the latest evolvement of the fashion industry. Basically, 'WE', the consumer decide which merchandise is hot by making our minds what to purchase, including the hair style, the clothes, the jewelry, etc.

    CleoXwm ([email protected]) August 26
    {I want to {see new threads|follow the discussion|be part here|see new additions|access all parts|contibute|say something|reply to a thread|reply to a user|message a user|contact a user|read everything}.

    RhondaB6 ([email protected]) August 25
    {I want to {see new threads|follow the discussion|be part here|see new additions|access all parts|contibute|say something|reply to a thread|reply to a user|message a user|contact a user|read everything}.

    HFaith ([email protected]) August 25
    {I want to {see new threads|follow the discussion|be part here|see new additions|access all parts|contibute|say something|reply to a thread|reply to a user|message a user|contact a user|read everything}.

     
    Attachments
    ose-forum-spam-accounts.png 115K
  • Spammers that spam phpBB have never had any problems clicking the confirmation link, so this is not special.
    Please install this: http://vanillaforums.org/addon/stopforumspam-plugin
     
  • Vote Up0Vote Down September 2012
    Thanks for the tip, Beluga. I've just installed it, let's see the results.
     
  • Vote Up0Vote Down September 2012
    We're still getting many spammers per day, since around august 30th, 2012
     
  • Vote Up0Vote Down
    Sensor
     
    September 2012
    I told you ages ago that you can ask me for help in this matter - but not in public  ;)
     
  • Vote Up0Vote Down September 2012
    @Beluga suggested me to decrease the thresholds in the stop-forum-spam plugin, which seems to have improved the situation.
     
  • Vote Up0Vote Down
    MattbbMattbb
     
    October 2012
    @elifarley, Thank you for reply.
     
  • Hi @Mattbb

    I've copied your message to a more appropriate forum category:

    Are you able to delete your message from this current forum discussion, so that we can keep the original topic?

    Thanks!
     
  • Vote Up0Vote Down
    XienixsXienixs
     
    December 2012
    I was just curious to the state that you are in at the moment? Still need new ideas? Or is the flow decreasing?..
     
  • Hi  @Xienixs,

    We're having only a few new spammers per day, which isn't terribly bad...
     
  • Wow... we now have more than a THOUSAND spam applicants!

    Here's something I will try to stop them:
    http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/21459/anti-spam-how-do-you-stop-application-spam
     

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