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[ SPAM ] - Spam Hammer Implemented! No More Zombies.


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Hello 43oher's,

We've implemented Dangerous Prototypes' Spam Hammer - a spam blocking mod. It had proved itself to be very powerful in the dp forums as well as the phpbb3 forums. The install went well and the databases look fine, so no problems there. This is on a test run - so there will be a report here in this thread in two weeks. Thanks to DP for developing the mod.

 

FAQ:

This forum is protected by phpBB3 spam hammer. Here's how our simple anti-spam measures work.

 

These restrictions only apply to new users. They are removed automatically after your account meets certain criteria. Normal users will never be effected by these restrictions.

 

Spam poured in after our recent move to a phpBB forum. Captchas, registration questions, and other measures only stopped the stupidest scripts and annoyed everyone. Instead, we stopped spammers from getting what they want - new members can't post links. This method that has stopped 100% of spam so far, and it is totally transparent to most people.

 

How does it work?

New user accounts are slightly restricted to deny spammers a place to put a link.

 

These restrictions only apply to new users. They are removed automatically after your account meets certain criteria. Normal users will never be effected by these restrictions.

 

1. New users receive an error if they use off-site links in posts or signatures. New users can still link to 43oh.com, and a select set of white-list sites like Google Code, distributors, etc.

2. New users receive an error if they use certain forbidden words in posts or signatures. The error reports the trigger word to help you find and remove it.

3. New users receive an error if they enter non-English characters (like Cyrillic).

4. New users can't save a personal profile. Spammers like to put a URL in the personal profile.

5. Accounts that don't post within 24 hours of registration are automatically disabled and then purged. We get 100s of zombie spam registrations every day, an automated process cleans them out.

 

Who is a new user?

The above restrictions only apply to new users. We are constantly tweaking the definition of a new user to stop spam while not annoying real people. These restrictions currently apply to users who:

*Have less than 1 post

*Registered in the last 24 hours

The restrictions are automatically removed once an account meets these criteria.

 

Warning!! Extreme honey-pot mode in use!!

Users with 0 posts will be automatically deleted for certain common spam behaviors:

*Entering a profile

*Entering a signature with external links

*Entering more than 20 links in the first post

 

Need Help?

Contact admin AT 43oh . com

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I can see that some of the settings won't help. Some of the spammers enter one normal looking hello post, then spam posts after it. Maybe set that they need 5 posts, and registered within the last 3 days?

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I think the spam hammer will take away the low hanging fruit from the spammers.

 

If they persist then BH will have to break out a new posse of moderators.

 

We are here standing at the ready.

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I can see that some of the settings won't help. Some of the spammers enter one normal looking hello post, then spam posts after it. Maybe set that they need 5 posts, and registered within the last 3 days?

 

Frotunately, it will not go through. The Spam Hammer has sleeper settings. See this:

What is this about? We ban links based on age and posts, but imagine a spammer script that:

 

Registers a bunch of accounts on one day

Comes back after the minimum account age

Posts the minimum account posts until the filter is off

Then blasts the forum full of spam

 

All that could happen before you have a chance to see and delete the initial posts.

 

The sleeper agent check stops this. If the new user has not posted an initial post within the minimum account age windows, then posting, signatures, and profiles are disabled and an error is displayed.

 

Private messages remain active (with filters enabled) so the user can contact an admin.

 

Most of our members join and post right away, so this is transparent to almost everyone.

 

You will notice that the first thing that spammers do after registering is fill their profiles. That is not possible now.

Also the number of members shown below has dropped from 2000 to

 

The filter may have to be tweaked as time goes by. Some spammers will come through. But it will be significantly reduced.

 

Anyway, it has begun:

Users pruned and posts deleted

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