Spamblock needed

  • dropping all submissions containing certain non-latin ascii codes would save the forums, the readers and the mods a lot of annoyance from spammers.

    i'm quite pee'd off when my posts are held for moderation because of the recend spam attacks.

    note to spammers: this forums are for opera.

    nobody here can read your spam anyway.

    goto uc forums and offload your crap there, if you must.

    thanks, </rant>

  • Honestly, I don't know how they are getting in. We already blocked the IP address they are using.

  • The forum should limit the number of sign ups from the same IP address within a certain period of time.

  • The forum should limit the number of sign ups from the same IP address within a certain period of time.

    Or perhaps limiting from the same ISP's domain in a particular time period. A user manually changing his connection's dynamic IP (if his provider permits it) could avoid an IP-only time limit by simply altering his IP after one or several sign-ups.

  • It must be listed as dynamic, since they are still able to use it even though it is on the block list.

  • Yeah, spam is really popular lately, example is here: http://i.imgur.com/eMy18xW.png . The blurred out stuff is an advertisement link

  • Some observations regarding the most recent waves of spam:

    1. Most, if not all, first-post spam timestamps occur within 1-2 minutes of that user's listed 'Join' time
    2. Subsequent posts under both the same or different names used in a spam wave can occur in as little as 1-3 minutes apart
    3. A typical spam micro-burst starts with a new name and contains ~1-5 consecutive posts following the first appearance of that name, then further spams often occur under different names; sometimes a particular name in the wave will be reused later, sporadically, after its initial appearance or burst
    4. During a spam wave, changes in posting name typically appear most often after gaps of either 1-2, ~7 minutes, or much longer

    A thought: if spammers are using dynamic IP's or VPN's to get around forum IP blocking when registering new names, perhaps the best approach would be to employ 2-factor authentication for future user registration, with the authentication factor being via phone, cell phone, or eMail address. This would certainly increase the 'cycle time' and the associated user effort in creating new user accounts for spamming, and would more importantly provide additional options for better filtering of repeat offenders.

  • employ 2-factor authentication for future user registration, with the authentication factor being via phone, cell phone, or eMail address

    Yes. This should definitely be done. With sms/phone, you get a unique pin. With email, you get a unique registration link. Without one of those confirmations sent in, the account isn't fully activated and the user can't post. Lots of sites still do this. I've come to expect it.

    Also, for tidiness purposes, if the confirmation doesn't happen within 24 hours for example, the account is deleted.

    Also, for the English forums at least, we could limit the characters allowed in the subject of a thread, at least for the first N posts. A lot of spam posts contain Korean characters for example. Or, for threads with subjects like this, allow any user to tag the post as spam with 2 or 3 tags causing an auto-remove.

  • I was asking for SMS verification back in My Opera days, back then the forum spam wasn't anywhere this bad as it seems now (but then again spammers had My Opera Blogs to play with back then).

    If the post editing to add spam links later confuses the spam block, just take the edit feature away.

  • SMS doesn't work for PC/laptop only users. Nor would I tell them my phone info if I came here to ask a question about desktop Opera - I don't give out my info, I have a prepay plan and you're using my money when you text or call me. As long as they still accept email as well...

  • For SMS verification you don't need to send SMS, just give the site your phone number and they will send you a SMS with code and you enter the recieved verification code to website.

    Costs for the site a bit, but dealing with excessive amounts of spam is not cheap either (even if you have non-paid moderators deal with most of it).

  • I've been playing with a Tampermonkey script to hide all those spam posts (the annoying ones at least) in the "Opera for Windows" section. I'm limiting threads in the list to subjects that only contain printable ascii and hiding the rest.

    // ==UserScript==
    // @name         Block Spam on Opera Forums
    // @namespace    https://example.com/
    // @version      0.1
    // @description  try to take over the world!
    // @author       You
    // @match        https://forums.opera.com/category/11/opera-for-windows
    // @grant        none
    // ==/UserScript==
    
    (function() {
        'use strict';
            var titles = document.querySelectorAll("tr.Item > td.Discussion > h3 > a.Title");
            for (var i = 0; i < titles.length; ++i) {
                var subject = titles[i].textContent;
                if (!(/^[\x20-\x7E]*$/.test(subject))) {
                   // select ancestor tr.Item and hide it
                    titles[i].parentNode.parentNode.parentNode.style.display = "none";
                }
            }
    })();
    

    In the case that the page is all spam posts, the thread table will be empty and you'd just go on to the next page.

    A more advanced script could auto-flag those posts.

    But, something like this could be done (for the English section) server-side to automatically put the new thread up for moderation.

  • I posted (in the wrong forum) about this very thing and got a very snarky response from Leo.

  • // @match        https://forums.opera.com/category/11/opera-for-windows
    

    Make that:

    // @match        https://forums.opera.com/category/11/opera-for-windows*
  • Just to make it nicer, I switch the script to use forEach:

    // ==UserScript==
    // @name         Hide Spam Posts in 'Opera for Windows' Forum
    // @namespace    burnout426
    // @version      0.1
    // @description  try to take over the world!
    // @author       Michael A. Puls II
    // @match        https://forums.opera.com/category/11/opera-for-windows*
    // @grant        none
    // ==/UserScript==
    
    (function() {
        'use strict';
        document.querySelectorAll("tr.Item > td.Discussion > h3 > a.Title").forEach(function(title) {
            if (!(/^[\x20-\x7E]*$/.test(title.textContent))) {
                // Hide ancestor tr.Item
                title.parentNode.parentNode.parentNode.style.display = "none";
            }
        });
    })();
    

    Still been working really well at hiding all the spam posts.

  • In my opinion, the forum should:

    • Limit the number of joins in a day. At least from the same IP.
    • Implement a 'first post needs approval' policy
  • @leocg:

    +1.

    your 2nd proposal would also reduce the number of vapid threads with pointless complaints from n00bs about opera's alleged shortcomings etc and thus improve the overall signal/noise ratio and quality of the forum.

  • Ok, so how to we get the ball rolling on implementing something? Who's handling the forum code these days? Would they consider the "first post needs approval" policy? If not, what are they willing to implement?

  • Sigh! Given that there are roughly 4.7 quintillion character combinations in a 12-character user name, at 150 spams a day (which seems the spammer's current pace for a 'good' day) and averaging 2.5 spams per user-name before the name gets banned, it will take roughly at least 215 trillion years to exhaust all user-name character combinations by banning. Somehow, I have a feeling that the present mechanism of banning user-names for spam control isn't working --

  • Hold tight - we're working on a solution :knight:

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