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Thread: Spam Tsunami

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,654

    Spam Tsunami

    Well, boys & girls, this has been a fun ride.

    Behind the scenes, this forum has been hammered recently by waves of hacks and every nasty thing that crawls the web taking advantage in every crevice it can find. Luckily you guys have only seen a little bit of this.

    Anyway, since cleaning everything up and adding a few extra layers of security, 2 things happened:

    One was that my host moved the site to a new server to be away from the "noisy neighbours" who didn't take security seriously enough and in so doing managed to migrate some of the scripts from an old backup before I had cleaned out all the hacks, which resulted in the forum being hacked again. Fortunately the second time didn't cause visible damage because of the extra security I'd enabled, but I am still stuck mopping up the mess in the back-end.

    The second thing that happened was that a company that I had bought some software from that is integral to this forum decided to suddenly go out of business (and just after I'd paid a renewal too). There are presently thousands of their customers in similar situations. I have tried to remove this software, but it did not come out cleanly and now it has broken the forum's "plugin" system. Many extra bits rely on the plugin system, such as a number of anti-spam scripts, tricks and software that have been keeping this site mostly free from spam for quite some time. I am still trying to properly remove the broken bits of this old software so I can restore the plugin system. I've been working on it for about a week and many others trying to help me are also stumped. I will persist until I get it, but in the mean time, all the anti-spam stuff does not work.

    Today I discovered a problem that had been preventing new registrations, so I fixed it. Within hours, I was faced with nearly 14,000 "new registrations", most of them Russian and Polish. Already some of these have begun to post spam. Our tireless moderators have already gone to work cleaning this up, but without the tools they used to have this is a lot harder and slower than it used to be. Please - a pat on the back to the moderators.

    For the moment, I have simply disabled the entire user registration system, so no one new can register here any more - sorry. After I can get everything fixed up, I will turn it back on. In the mean time, please report any spam you see and we will be out with the mop & bucket as quick as we can.
    Robert.
    Site Admin.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    ลึก ประเทศอินเด&
    Posts
    1,919

    Re: Spam Tsunami

    Hi Robert,
    I had noticed that in the last few days there was a large number strangly named members listed as being signed in on the bottom of the page.
    At this moment the follownig people are signed into the forum:





    I wish you and the moderators working feverishly in the background to keep things smoothly chugging along every success.
    Last edited by tillyfromparadise; 1st November 2013 at 02:43 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,654

    Re: Spam Tsunami

    Thanks Tilly. I am hoping soon I can get all my spam smashing stuff back on again. One forgets what things were like without these measures - I guess this is a reminder.
    Robert.
    Site Admin.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    4,075

    Re: Spam Tsunami

    I would like to thank members who have identified SPAM posts on the forum.
    Being vigilant to SPAM and reporting it will assist the Moderation team in helping to keep the forum free of such SPAM in the future.

    A special thanks to Tilly who reported 3 SPAM posts today.

    Revision - 4 posts.

    Regards,
    Tony
    Last edited by Tony From West Oz; 1st November 2013 at 07:22 PM. Reason: update
    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles in stable:
    '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel single tank using 95% used cooking oil and 5% to 10% misfuel (where someone had filled diesel vehicle with petrol).
    '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab. Running on used cooking oil with 5% to 10% misfuel.
    Toyota Camry Hybrid - (Wife's Car)

    Previous Vehicles:
    '90 Mazda Capella. (2000 - 2003) My first Fatmobile. Converted to fun on veggie oil with a 2 tank setup. Died when supercharger stuck at max boost for weeks. Stretched head bolts.
    '80 Mercedes 300D. 2 tank conversion [Sold]
    '84 Mercedes 300D. 1 tank, no conversion. Replaced engine with rebuilt OM617A turbodiesel engine. Finally had good power. Donor for current Fatmobile coupe. (body parted out and carcass sold for scrap.)
    '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car)[sold]
    '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)[sold]



    Searching the Biofuels Forum using Google
    Adding images and/or documents to your posts


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,654

    Re: Spam Tsunami

    Thanks all for your patience and diligence. Hopefully I can get things back to normal soon. I have actually logged a support ticket with VBulletin (who make this forum software). I have annually paid for this support, so this will not be a problem. Sadly, it may take some time as unsurprisingly they have an extremely long queue of support tickets at the moment. I have almost exhausted all efforts to fix this myself, but I will not give up.
    Robert.
    Site Admin.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    ลึก ประเทศอินเด&
    Posts
    1,919

    Re: Spam Tsunami

    Last edited by tillyfromparadise; 1st November 2013 at 08:44 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    931

    Re: Spam Tsunami

    Thanks Tilly,

    It's such a pain. We can ban each of these 'members' but until they log out, they stay listed as online in the forum. Banning them stops them from posting, and from rejoining which is the aim of course. Sheesh, I've just found an IP address that has about 45 user names attached to it so will spend the next while going through each one and banning them.

    I'll also ban each of the ones you've posted above. Where's that red wine gone.....


    Tim

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    4,075

    Re: Spam Tsunami

    When I ban them, I find this message "All selected users are guests, therefore no punitive actions can be applied." on the actions page.

    Does this mean that they are guests, or is it just that they are still logged on?
    Can we actually ban them??

    Tony
    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles in stable:
    '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel single tank using 95% used cooking oil and 5% to 10% misfuel (where someone had filled diesel vehicle with petrol).
    '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab. Running on used cooking oil with 5% to 10% misfuel.
    Toyota Camry Hybrid - (Wife's Car)

    Previous Vehicles:
    '90 Mazda Capella. (2000 - 2003) My first Fatmobile. Converted to fun on veggie oil with a 2 tank setup. Died when supercharger stuck at max boost for weeks. Stretched head bolts.
    '80 Mercedes 300D. 2 tank conversion [Sold]
    '84 Mercedes 300D. 1 tank, no conversion. Replaced engine with rebuilt OM617A turbodiesel engine. Finally had good power. Donor for current Fatmobile coupe. (body parted out and carcass sold for scrap.)
    '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car)[sold]
    '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)[sold]



    Searching the Biofuels Forum using Google
    Adding images and/or documents to your posts


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,654

    Re: Spam Tsunami

    Nah, that's OK, it probably means that someone else (probably me) has already got to them. When a spammer is deleted as a spammer, a bunch of actions are applied at the same time, including banning the IP, deleting any posts/PMs etc. Any records of posts are set to "guest". Seeing that message probably means that someone else has set the spam actions on them already. Still working on a proper fix.... I think I've found some hidden hooks that are to blame, hope to have something back in order soon.
    Robert.
    Site Admin.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,654

    Re: Spam Tsunami

    Hooray!

    I've finally found the errant code and restored my plug-in system in here. This means that the anti-spam tools will now be available to moderators, so cleaning up the mess should begin to get easier. Also, I will now re-enable the user registration system which will allow new people to sign up again as the anti-spam measures will also be present at sign up. These tools are not 100% perfect, nor foolproof for real people who really want to try to get past and post spam, but they will eliminate the bulk of the automated ones and a share public database will prevent spammers reported from other forums also getting into this one.
    Robert.
    Site Admin.

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