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Spam, spam, spam, spam 
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:58 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin
Joined: 09 May 2004
Posts: 284
Location: Wrexham
Hello all,

Hope you had a nice Christmas.

Just wanted to update you all on some recent forum shenanigans, specifically the temporary influx of spam we've recently had.

In January 2007 I installed some major modifications to the forum, such as a new CAPTCHA system, to prevent automated spammers from registering on the forum and filling it with spam. Although there were one or two minor spam attacks along the way, these measures were actually remarkably successful, with 188,600 spam registrations, about 120 every single day, being prevented since those modifications were installed.

Recently however, the spam bots appear to have become more sophisticated and more successful at getting past the safeguards currently in place. Unfortunately this issue also flared up at a time where quite a lot of stuff has been going on in my "real world" life and I was unfortunately not able to act as quickly as I would have liked, both in terms of removing the spam or implementing further preventative measures. Steve from Durham has been an absolute star, putting in a lot of time and effort to keep things as tidy as possible, and I am very grateful for everything Steve has done, and continues to do, to keep the forum a nice place to be.

A few days ago I switched on manual account activation (meaning I have to personally activate all new registrations) to prevent any new spammers from joining in the short term, as an interim measure until I could make some changes to the forum. I've also manually been through all the registrations from the last few months and deleted anything that could be resurrected as a source of spam.

Today I've made some further modifications to the registration process to make it more difficult for spam registrations to take place. Some spam registrations are actually made by humans, and only time will tell if they are deterred, but this latest change should (touch wood) thwart the bots. I've been keeping an eye on the logs today, and it's "so far so good". Unless I come across a good reason not to, I'll switch manual activation back off again within the next day, and hopefully that will be that.

Thank you all for making this forum a great place, and have a happy new year!


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Spam, spam, spam, spam 
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