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  • 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
    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.
    tillyfromparadise
    Senior Member
    Last edited by tillyfromparadise; 1 November 2013, 01:43 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      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.

      Comment


      • #4
        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
        Tony From West Oz
        Vice Chairperson of WARFA
        Last edited by Tony From West Oz; 1 November 2013, 06:22 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:
        '06 Musso Sports 4X4 Manual Crew Cab tray back.
        '04 Rexton 4X4 Automatic SUV
        '2014 Toyota Prius (on ULP) - Wife's car

        Previous Vehicles:
        '90 Mazda Capella. (2000 - 2003) My first Fatmobile. Converted to fun on veggie oil with a 2 tank setup.
        '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. Engine donor for W123 coupe. (body parted out and carcass sold for scrap.)
        '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel
        '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car)[sold]
        '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)[sold]
        '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab well body. [Head gasket blew!]
        '04 Rexton SUV 2.9L Turbodiesel same as Musso - Our Family car.
        '06 Musso sports Crew Cab Trayback - My hack (no air cond, no heater).

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

        Comment


        • #5
          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.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Spam Tsunami

            I see they are back in force!
            Currently signed in:



            tillyfromparadise
            Senior Member
            Last edited by tillyfromparadise; 1 November 2013, 07:44 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              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
              Toyota Landcruiser 1988 HJ61 Manual Wagon
              12H-T turbo Direct Injection.
              Twin Tank setup runs on 100% WVO after warm up. 30 plate FPHE with 80C output, 12mm fuel lines
              Start up and shut down electric fuel pump feeds IP direct.
              Front 4WDSytstems Lokka, Rear ARB airlokka for quick escapes up sandhills. Performance GTurbo with 600mm FMIC gives 450nm @ 1700rpm at 20psi boost.

              Comment


              • #8
                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:
                '06 Musso Sports 4X4 Manual Crew Cab tray back.
                '04 Rexton 4X4 Automatic SUV
                '2014 Toyota Prius (on ULP) - Wife's car

                Previous Vehicles:
                '90 Mazda Capella. (2000 - 2003) My first Fatmobile. Converted to fun on veggie oil with a 2 tank setup.
                '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. Engine donor for W123 coupe. (body parted out and carcass sold for scrap.)
                '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel
                '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car)[sold]
                '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)[sold]
                '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab well body. [Head gasket blew!]
                '04 Rexton SUV 2.9L Turbodiesel same as Musso - Our Family car.
                '06 Musso sports Crew Cab Trayback - My hack (no air cond, no heater).

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Spam Tsunami

                      Thanks Robert.

                      It really was like a tsunami, with each user banned seemingly replaced by more. One IP had 175 users associated with it!

                      Tim
                      Toyota Landcruiser 1988 HJ61 Manual Wagon
                      12H-T turbo Direct Injection.
                      Twin Tank setup runs on 100% WVO after warm up. 30 plate FPHE with 80C output, 12mm fuel lines
                      Start up and shut down electric fuel pump feeds IP direct.
                      Front 4WDSytstems Lokka, Rear ARB airlokka for quick escapes up sandhills. Performance GTurbo with 600mm FMIC gives 450nm @ 1700rpm at 20psi boost.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Spam Tsunami

                        It's hard to understand why these spammers go after this site so hard.
                        There would be about 3 million ahead of it in the traffic stakes so why go for something that so few people are going to see?
                        It would seem that the site name has perhaps got on the spammers hit list. IF that is the case, it could be an ongoing battle with this problem.

                        Whenever I see this, I wonder what sort of pathetic low lifes spend so much time and effort knowingly doing something they are fully aware people hate and don't want.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Spam Tsunami

                          Originally posted by peter1 View Post
                          It's hard to understand why these spammers go after this site so hard.
                          There would be about 3 million ahead of it in the traffic stakes so why go for something that so few people are going to see?
                          It would seem that the site name has perhaps got on the spammers hit list. IF that is the case, it could be an ongoing battle with this problem.

                          Whenever I see this, I wonder what sort of pathetic low lifes spend so much time and effort knowingly doing something they are fully aware people hate and don't want.
                          I agree Peter1. Why do they bother?

                          It may be that our forum title attracts attention, but I think it's just a reality of what is floating around 'out there' ready to strike when the guard is down. As Robert described above, there was a series of unfortunate events, triggered by the Syrian hack. One thing flowed into another and Robert needed to disentangle some old software that was doing a reasonable job of keeping spammers out. As SOON as this happened, the slime started oozing in. I suspect much of it is automated and they are very clever at building systems to continue to probe sites and vulnerabilities regardless of name, location or history. Pity their skills aren't put to a better use....
                          Toyota Landcruiser 1988 HJ61 Manual Wagon
                          12H-T turbo Direct Injection.
                          Twin Tank setup runs on 100% WVO after warm up. 30 plate FPHE with 80C output, 12mm fuel lines
                          Start up and shut down electric fuel pump feeds IP direct.
                          Front 4WDSytstems Lokka, Rear ARB airlokka for quick escapes up sandhills. Performance GTurbo with 600mm FMIC gives 450nm @ 1700rpm at 20psi boost.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Spam Tsunami

                            Hi,
                            Originally posted by Robert View Post
                            Well, boys & girls, this has been a fun ride.
                            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.
                            Has registration been turned back on?
                            I got an email yesterday from a person who tried to join but was denied membership.
                            I notice on the bottom of the forum it lists our latest member as having joined several weeks ago which suggests that registrations are still turned off.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Spam Tsunami

                              Hello tillyfromparadise.
                              This is my first post.
                              I have been attempting to register for the last week or so and I have just now been able to register!

                              Comment

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