Author Topic: New spam prevention features  (Read 2768 times)

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PSMKay

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New spam prevention features
« on: Sep 19, 2010, 02:13 am »
With the growing popularity of SMNetwork in search engines such as Google, we are attracting increasing attention from the less savory parts of the internet - bots, spammers, etc.  I've been trying to keep up with the surge manually, deleting 3-5 suspicious accounts each week, but the attacks have become too frequent.  I've had to add in some automated tools to help catch the bad guys.

1. All new registrations are now compared against the Stop Forum Spam database, by username, email address and IP.  On rare occasion new members may find that I need to activate their account by hand - I'll normally do this within 24 hours once I'm sure you're a real person. (Sending a quick email to me at kscleaves at smnetwork dot org informing me of your humanity may speed things up a bit if you're stuck in activation limbo.)

2. Additionally, I've gone through and deleted 205 member accounts that verified positively against the Stop Forum Spam database.  I made quite sure to only delete members without any posts to their name.  If I accidentally deleted your account, I'm very sorry and I owe you a cookie.

3. Lastly, all visitors are checked against the similar Project Honeypot database of web truants, bots, harvesters and spammers.  If your computer (or someone on your network) has been behaving badly within the past couple of months, you may be greeted by a nasty grey and red screen saying that you have a virus.  If you're a real human being, don't worry, we don't mean to yell at you.  (Although we'd like to have a word with your system administrator...)  Just complete a basic math problem and you can go back to SMNetworking as normal.

I do apologize if any of these measures drive you totally batty or cause you to throw things at your monitor.  However, given that 6% of our member base was made up of robots and spammers until now, I think these changes are generally for the best and will help keep our tidy little community free of useless noise.

PSMKay

  • Site Founder
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1352
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • http://www.smnetwork.org
  • Affiliations: None.
  • Current Gig: SMNetwork *is* my production.
  • Experience: Former SM
Re: New spam prevention features
« Reply #1 on: Oct 21, 2010, 04:06 am »
Just thought I'd post a little update now that we've had the spam protection features in place since September 19, just about a month ago.

2471 malicious visitors have been blocked from even loading the SMNetwork site in the past month.  Included in this mess have been 72 confirmed email spammers, 22 forum spammers and one email address harvester.  Our results are shared with other websites around the world to help keep the riffraff out.

37 additional visits have triggered the warning page, but successfully passed the captcha to prove that they're real human beings.  Most of those instances were split evenly between three people - guys, I'm really sorry!  Bad, bad people had your IP address within the past 50 days - thank you for your patience!

7 spammers have made it as far as the registration page, but were caught at the velvet ropes and prevented from signing up.

I'm quite pleased with the results of this little experiment!

 

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