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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2004
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    Left coast, left wing, left field
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    Default What's up with all the spam?

    I was going to post this in Off Topic but decided maybe it would go better here. And apologies if this has already been discussed -- I looked, but not exhaustively.

    I can't believe how many spam messages of all sorts are coming through!! Do these "people" (I use the term loosely, realizing they may be bots or some such routines) actually complete all parts of the registration? From creating a new ID for Secret Santa each year, I recollect that there were several steps including email verification. I just don't get how it is possible.

    I know the Mods get rid of them as soon as they are aware, and they don't actually cause me any grief, but it IS annoying to think about people spending their time figuring out how to be sneaky and intrusive...
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?



  2. #2
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    Jun. 30, 2006
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    SF Bay Area, California
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    Default

    I was thinking the same thing. I just reported one that had a link embedded into the post like a premium member can do. These people are getting good.
    Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...SC/running.jpg



  3. #3
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    Dec. 21, 2005
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    Default

    I wonder how much power the Mods have to change the registration system— perhaps they could install some sort of horsey security questions as a condition for joining.
    My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

    Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2007
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    4,114

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by didgery View Post
    I wonder how much power the Mods have to change the registration system— perhaps they could install some sort of horsey security questions as a condition for joining.
    That's actually exactly what we've been planning to do!

    We're in the midst of planning a necessary software upgrade to the last version of vBulletin, the platform off of which the forums run, and that was one of the ideas we were planning to implement.

    Yes, all these obnoxious spammers go through the complete registration process, including email verification, etc., in order to post their garbage.

    We can also add additional layers of security where each new account has to be manually approved before someone can post, but due to the nature of the site, a lot of the genuine new users who join do so because they have a question they'd like to post right away. So we've been trying to avoid having to implement the approval system--we get about 30 real new users every day.

    For a while we were going through each new account and checking IP addresses, etc. to try to determine if accounts were bogus before they had a chance to hit us, but it was literally taking hours a day to perform that task and some would still get through. We may have to return to that strategy, however, depending upon how long it takes to get the new registration plan implemented.

    Sorry for the inconvenience! The curse of being popular...

    Mod 1



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 1999
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    Default

    I love the idea of horse related questions. There are many good new human detection tools.

    Believe it or not, one of the ways they get around these things is to use third world labor. There are whole sweatshops of people whose sole job it is to register spam users. Probably Chinese prison labor too.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...et-gaming-scam

    The other reason more spammers have been getting through everywhere is that their tools are getting more sophisticated, and many of them can break those annoying captcha-images with robots now. The horse questions will be much more secure, and also educational. At least our Chinese prison labor guests will have to learn something about horses.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  6. #6
    JoZ is online now Schoolmaster Premium Member
    Original Poster
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    Default

    Wow, I'm glad I'm already registered. It would be so embarrassing to be stumped by a horse-related registration question! Just make sure it's not something like "which is better, shod or barefoot?"
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
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    Default

    That's like when you log into you facebook account from another computer and they make you prove it's really you by identifying pics of your "friends" most of whom I have no idea who they are or what they look like!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2010
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    East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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    155

    Default

    I guess COTH site is officially on the radar now. You know you've hit the big time when you're spammed.
    Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
    You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed
    Le Petit Prince



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2009
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    Mission,B.C
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by didgery View Post
    I wonder how much power the Mods have to change the registration system— perhaps they could install some sort of horsey security questions as a condition for joining.
    good idea,but answers could easily be looked up in a horsey book.

    i reported one just yesterday,and its the same one i keep seeing come up..(whole long list of cell phone brands and prices etc)..and yes i do agree it is very annoying.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2010
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    Default

    Does it really help to report these or should we just let the mods find them? I always report them if no one has posted "Reported" but I wonder if that's just bogging things down or pointless.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 1999
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    Mendocino County, CA: Turkey Vulture HQ
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Foxtrot View Post
    I guess COTH site is officially on the radar now. You know you've hit the big time when you're spammed.
    No, they really crawl every single node on the internet. If there's a link to it from anywhere, the robots will find you and spam you.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 1999
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by my_doran View Post
    good idea,but answers could easily be looked up in a horsey book.

    i reported one just yesterday,and its the same one i keep seeing come up..(whole long list of cell phone brands and prices etc)..and yes i do agree it is very annoying.
    The point is that robots (and chinese prison labor) rarely have horse reference books at hand. And hey, if the initiative increases sales of horse reference books, that's a benefit too.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2011
    Posts
    414

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by poltroon View Post
    I love the idea of horse related questions. There are many good new human detection tools.

    Believe it or not, one of the ways they get around these things is to use third world labor. There are whole sweatshops of people whose sole job it is to register spam users. Probably Chinese prison labor too.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...et-gaming-scam

    The other reason more spammers have been getting through everywhere is that their tools are getting more sophisticated, and many of them can break those annoying captcha-images with robots now. The horse questions will be much more secure, and also educational. At least our Chinese prison labor guests will have to learn something about horses.
    I don't know if you have noticed or not, but most of the spam ads on here are for "cheap gucci" and other such things... And are in a strange, strange mix of Chinese and bad Engrish. Stop spamming us, China!
    And this is the story of your red right ankle.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2010
    Location
    S. Calif.
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    800

    Default

    I can't help wonder what the point is of these spam threads? Does anyone actually buy this stuff when they see these threads? Why do they even bother?



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2007
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Teacup View Post
    Does it really help to report these or should we just let the mods find them? I always report them if no one has posted "Reported" but I wonder if that's just bogging things down or pointless.
    It definitely helps us! It's no big deal if we receive multiple alerts on the same thread--I'll get more email notifications about it, but it doesn't really bog anything down.

    If someone's already noted in the thread that it's been reported, then yes, there's no additional benefit to reporting it again, but it's no biggie if we get redundant alerts.

    Also, at this point, we're planning to do very basic horse-related questions, so we don't inadvertantly block out any beginner riders, etc. Hopefully, it'll be enough of a hassle to stop at least some of them from completing the registration process.

    Thanks so much!
    Mod 1



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