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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:14 pm
by gaiaadmin
As you know we've been hit hard by spammers. I cannot seem to block these robots from signing up, but have done a lot of research and am going to try and cleanup and salvage the board!

As you might imagine, this is creating a nightmare for our moderators as well. Thanks to Rigil and Grauw for trying ot manage this now unmanageable issue.

Thanks to everyone for hanging in there with us, and please don't leave the board yet!!

Re: SPAM!! - Temporary Lockdown

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:55 am
by Rigil
Yes, it's definitely worth keeping this going. Good luck in blocking the spammers.


Re: SPAM!! - Temporary Lockdown

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:02 am
by gaiaadmin
Update! Spam is almost dead.
Here's what I've done so far:

  • Locked down the system to allow no new registrations for the time being
  • Installed AntiSpam ACP to prevent future spam
  • Reverted to the default PHPBB theme, which is required by ACP. Infact I believe the reason the antispam measures in place before, were not functioning because of the theme that I was using. So for now, everything is blue.
  • I've removed some 1800 users and posts 20000 posts from the system by pruning the newest registrations.
  • Created custom sql queries to delete orphaned topics and posts due to countless system overloads in the pruning process mentioned above
  • Manually removed hundreds more

Still to do:
  • Find and destroy the last remaining spam users.
  • Find and destroy the last remaining spam posts.
  • Reset post/topic counts as these are all out of whack now.
  • Test registrations to ensure they are spam proof
  • Reenable registrations

If you're interested, I'll post the queries I wrote to find orphaned posts in the off topic section.
Will keep you posted.


Re: SPAM!! - Temporary Lockdown

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:11 pm
by Grauw
Thanks for the update; I was already wondering what was going on exactly ;p. Sounds very good! Hopefully this will mean the end of the spam.

Rather unexpected that the theme caused the problems you’ve run into, you’d think there are many more themed forums out there that also need spam protection.

Let me know if you could use help with anything.

Re: SPAM!! - Temporary Lockdown

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:56 am
by gaiaadmin
This evening, I turned registrations on for 4 hours. During that time 40 spam users signed up and started posting. I've obviously set up the spam filters incorrectly.

Registrations are off again. But it should be safe to post for existing users. So please continue to use the board.

Sorry to any legit members who were deleted in the purge. You'll have to register again once registrations are reenabled in a couple of days.

Re: SPAM!! - New Registrations Off Line

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:14 pm
by Grauw
Ha, that’s a good way to test :).

By the way, I’m sure you know but want to mention it anyway ’cause it looks a bit odd, the topic count of the Gaia Music, Gaia Videos, Articles and Tutorials and Gaia Patches forums is off, and there are a lot of pages without content in them.

Also I notice that every page has a session ID (‘sid’) in the URL and it causes some weird behaviour like sometimes suddenly getting logged off and sessions not being remembered, especially with multiple tabs opened and using the back button. It also happened in the beginning and it might have returned.


PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:27 pm
by gaiaadmin
Thanks to everyone who has stuck with the board. Sorry we got hammered so hard with spam, and sorry if any of the spam imagery has scarred you for life!

We've been up and running spam free for 2 weeks now. It is my belief that the spam is dead and gone. Registrations are open and spam protection appears to be working. So.... carry on, talk about the GAIA!!


PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:07 pm
by Grauw
Where’s the ‘like’ button when you need it ;p.


PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:07 am
by Rigil
I think there might be a few spammers lurking in the board membership, but as soon as they post, we can zap them.