|Joined: 09 May 2004|
Well, I've spent most of the day today installing some new anti-spam measures, in response to the increasing number of spam attacks. Most of these attacks have been spotted and removed swiftly, and thanks must go especially to Steve and Humble Jim (amongst others) for being right on the ball in notifying me of issues as they have arisen.
I've heavily modified the forum code today, and the following policy changes have been made:
1) Users can only post links in posts once they have made 10 posts in total. This is to stop automatic spam registrations that post links to dodgy websites in auto-posted messages. Hopefully this measure will stop the spammers whilst only causing a minor inconvenience to genuine new users.
EDIT 23/9/07 - For the time being, this restriction has been relaxed. Only 3 posts are now necessary before posting links.
2) Certain fields within user profiles have been removed from use. This is to stop spambot registrations that auto-populate the signup form with every field. From now on, spambots will be spotted and denied, as they will be attempting to submit registration information that has been disabled.
3) Location, Occupation, Interests and Signature fields within user profiles cannot now be completed during registration, but can be updated in user profiles as soon as accounts are activated.
4) The Website field within user profiles can now only be filled in after a user has made 10 posts. This is to stop spam registrations that use this field to promote dodgy porn/Viagra sites etc.
Behind the scenes, I will now get an instant email notification to alert me of anything dodgy happening from the list above.
As part of the mods, I have also deleted a couple of hundred inactive users that have built up since May 2004, just to keep things tidy. I've also updated the forum software to the latest version. This may have caused the forum to temporarily show some errors earlier today, and some users may have had to re-login as a result. Apologies if this affected you.
I don't expect that these changes will prevent every spam attack, but most should be stopped in their tracks. I've got a couple more tricks up my sleeve - the system is "set to stun" at the moment whilst I get to understand how effective it is.
Please direct any discussion to the duplicate thread in "The Lounge".