Spambots

Jim Stitzel

I dabble a little in a lot of things — writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I write code full-time and words in the gaps in between.


So the last couple of weeks have seen a new influx of wicked spambot activity in our lovely community. These interlopers have been duly noted, and while they don't know it yet, they've already been marked for death. These bots are apparently more clever than their lesser brethren and have found ways to circumvent the traps laid for such creatures.

I know they annoy you as much as they do me. And I apologize for allowing them to squat in our territory for far longer than is their right. I have plans to rectify this situation this week, and to institute some new administrative tools designed to more easily and permanently evict these creatures of darkness and subpar canned meat products. My intention is to have those tools in place by the end of the week and to expunge these insects from our community for good and for certain. What's more, you the community citizen will have the ability to report the incursion of 'bots so that our admins can more quickly pounce on them and deconstruct their respective bits and bytes.

I'll let you know when these new tools become available, but in the meantime I beg your indulgence. There will soon be nowhere left for these cretins to hide.


Comments (11 so far!)

Robert Quick

Robert Quick

I know you were busy on multiple fronts and I knew you'd get around to it when you could. Thanks for exterminating these pests. I wish we could punish their makers but I know that's a fantasy.

  • #3533 Posted 1 year ago
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ethelthefrog

ethelthefrog

So far, every spam comment has contained <a href= so I'd suggest automatically marking those for quarantine. I've raised a couple of enhancement tickets on our github. I'm nose-deep in arranging a Scout camp for the weekend, so I am, as always, eternally grateful to you, Jim, for all the work you have done on the site in the last couple of years.

  • #3534 Posted 1 year ago
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Jim Stitzel

Jim Stitzel

It's always a pleasure. This community is like family to me, even if we are small at this point. Every enhancement I get to make to the site makes the experience here that much better. I'm going to start working on making our user moderation better and easier this afternoon.

  • #3535 Posted 1 year ago
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ethelthefrog

ethelthefrog

Thanks, Jim. I couldn't do it without you.

  • #3559 Posted 1 year ago
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rhubarb_j

rhubarb_j

When it comes to activity here on Ficlatte I may be as idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean, but I still appreciate the work you guys do - thanks!

  • #3560 Posted 1 year ago
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ethelthefrog

ethelthefrog

I've added the auto-quarantine code, so spam comments should now be marked automatically for what they are.

  • #3574 Posted 1 year ago
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HSAR

HSAR

Whoo!

  • #3602 Posted 1 year ago
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August Rode

August Rode

On September 23, 2019, I took a look at the author list for this site and was surprised to find that there are nearly 29,000 authors registered. That didn't seem right so I took a look at the accounts and I would estimate that thousands were registered this month alone. For example, there are a whole whack of accounts whose names start with "Airblade."

  • #4291 Posted 5 months ago
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ethelthefrog

ethelthefrog

Hmmm...

There's something weird going on here. Either I broke the captcha a couple of weeks ago or they've worked out how to defeat it. I'll have a look. Thanks for mentioning it.

  • #4292 Posted 5 months ago
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ethelthefrog

ethelthefrog

Looks like there was another bug in the new-user code that meant that a bot could fail the captcha but still generate a user account. I've fixed that now, but do give me a shout if you think we've got a different problem. Thanks for your vigilance.

  • #4295 Posted 5 months ago
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August Rode

August Rode

I noticed this morning that the number of accounts had been reduced by about 13,000 so that's a really good start. I suspect that the accounts could still use a significant purging though. Is there a "proper" place to report good old regular spam? User account "euritsenroma" is a spammer but I suspect a human one.

  • #4296 Posted 5 months ago
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