Temporary Banning of yahoo.co.uk
Posted: 18 June 2010 06:45 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Due to a huge influx of spam (several hundred false registrations daily), I’ve temporarily banned users with an email address from yahoo.co.uk.

If you’re trying to register with an email address from that domain you will not be able to. If you are a current member, you will not be able to login to post messages. (You can still read the site.) There are only about half a dozen legitimate members that use that domain and they are not regular posters, so I hope this isn’t too much of an inconvenience.

If past experience is any indication, the spammer will move on in a day or two, and I will be able to lift the ban.

I apologize for any trouble this may cause.

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Posted: 19 June 2010 04:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I hope it makes a difference, Dave. I note that the spammers cram all the sites they’re pushing into the Interests and Bio fields of their profiles. Would it be possible to disable those fields for new members, enabling them after a certain number of genuine posts have been made?

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Posted: 19 June 2010 05:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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No, it’s an all or nothing affair. I can disable them for everyone, or no one. (Actually, I’m not sure I can disable them. I can disable signatures—which I have. But I’m not certain about other fields.) And besides, that makes them easy to identify.

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Posted: 19 June 2010 04:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Is that what all these:

This is a really great site.

wahoo113

posts have been about?

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Posted: 19 June 2010 04:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Yes. ("Unable to receive your submission at this time")

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Posted: 20 June 2010 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Yes and no.

Typically, about 25 spammers make it through the CAPTCHA hurdle each day before I dutifully delete them. Maybe about one in 25 actually posts to the forums, as opposed to just sitting there in the list of members. (I suspect this latter is a strategy to improve search engine ranking.)

For the last few days, we’ve been getting about 350 spammers making it through CAPTCHA. (There is probably one actual spammer who has placed this site on his list for bots to attack. After banning yahoo.co.uk, this number has been reduced to about 75—still about three times the normal rate. Hence we’re seeing about 3-4 spam posts a day as opposed to the usual 1 per day.

This has happened before. Typically, the surge stops after about a week, and the rate returns to normal. The only thing different this time was the use of yahoo.co.uk instead of gmail. Since we have so few legitimate users from that domain, I could ban it. Gmail remains the preferred domain for spammers, but because of the number of legitimate users who use Google, I can’t ban it without strangling all traffic to the site. (Google remains startingly uninterested in the fact that spammers are abusing their service in this way. They’ve been of zero help, not even sending automated “thank you for your concern” emails in response to my attempts to alert them.)

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