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Spam Attack Today

Discussion in 'Community Announcements' started by Kevin Muldoon, Jun 24, 2014.

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  1. Rise Forums unfortunately was attacked by a spammer today. I'm currently on holiday with my family, so have not had internet access the last few days. And the connection I have today is coming and going. Just bad timing in that respect.

    There are two kinds of spam that a forum can receive:

    • Auto spam from spambot software that registers and publishes hundreds or thousands of posts within a short period of time
    • Manual spam from people who are only here to promote their websites etc
    Today, 186 spam messages were published by one member. Many thanks to @Kris , @Brian Jackson and @Boris Beo, for contacting me and letting me know about the issue. Much appreciated.

    Any forum that allows open registration has to face spam registrations. I tackle this by applying some anti-spam measures during the registration process. This catches several spam attempts per day. Sometimes more. For whatever reason, the spammer got through today.

    There are a few ways to handle this. I have suffered from spam on my other forums and have put in place stronger anti spam measures. Unfortunately, it isn't perfect. It frustrates genuine people who are trying to sign up. Inevitably, when you set up stronger anti-spam controls, the number of false positives increases. That means that legitimate members can be marked as spammers.

    As you can imagine, this can hurt the growth of a forum as it frustrates new members during the sign up process. Many people never go beyond the registration stage because of this. From an administrator's point of view, it can be a pain too, as it means responding to emails about sign up problems and then modifying accounts etc.

    Alternatively, I could manually approve all registrations. Or I could introduce a small payment for new members to register (say $5). This would discourage automatic spammers and manual spammers too.

    Changing the registration process does not affect current members as you have already signed up. However, it will affect you if spammers break through again and publish spam. It makes the forum unusable.

    I'll keep you all updated :)

    Boris Beo and Jay Mayu like this.
  2. It's unfortunate some people take advantage of these things. I too think applying a small fee ($0.99) during signup would turn off spammers. But it'll also send back the free users (who would be an asset to the forum too).

    Looking forward to the challenges as a member of RF.
  3. Yeah. I know that any sign up fee can put off some people of signing up. And there is the risk of good members not signing up because of it. However, if someone cannot pay a few dollars to sign up to the forum, they probably aren't too serious about their online ventures.

    Ideally, I won't have to introduce a sign up fee. At this point of the forum's life, I want to encourage growth, not discourage it. :)
  4. Maybe you could set a maximum number of threads per day for new menbers, something like 5 or 10? That will at least prevent continuously spamming new threads like yesterday.
    Brian Jackson and Boris Beo like this.
  5. That is one option. I think it could help stop a flood of spam from spam software and idiots who sign up here and think they can just publish loads of threads promoting their website.

    Another option is to now allow links to be posted on posts until they have posted a certain number of messages. This would probably not stop auto spamming software that was uploading posts automatically. It might discourage some bad members from spamming the forum (i.e. who had signed up manually). Though it may also encourage them to post crap posts until they reach the limit.

    For me, the best thing is to stop them at the registration point. This means that legitimate members get through and are not given a poor forum experience when they do.
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