Bot on the loose?

Something not look right? Please explain in detail.

Bot on the loose?

Postby Lukmar » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:09 am

I suspect that the following users are bots, based on the contents of their posts peppered all over the forums.

qrst462 http://www.erfworld.com/forum/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=4746

abcd983 http://www.erfworld.com/forum/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=4748

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Re: Bot on the loose?

Postby Miment » Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:34 am

Not just on the forums. There's bots loose on the Wiki too.

http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/ ... g/newusers
(Jan 25, Fidofore, Grailasc, , Paloans, Nerfaye, Eaclasc, Vantcri)

Just today, three known bot accounts were set up. I banned them, their IPs, and deleted the spam. Then we got three more suspicious accounts created. I've preemptively banned them for 1 day. If it's not too hard, could be get a proper captcha in place for user creation? The simple math problem is a little too simple.

Edit: Got another one in the time it took me to write this :/
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Re: Bot on the loose?

Postby SteveMB » Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:14 am

We've been getting bots on the forum every few days -- so far, I've been able to manually ban them and delete their posts, but it gets increasingly difficult to keep up.
Is this a real holy war, or just a bunch of deluded boopholes croaking each other?
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Re: Bot on the loose?

Postby Beeskee » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:08 pm

One filter I successfully used was asking new users to type in something into a field. (Not the captcha things but a custom question) There are a bunch of guides on the phpbb forums.
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Re: Bot on the loose?

Postby Lukmar » Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:43 am

Do you wish for user reports when bots are spotted?
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Re: Bot on the loose?

Postby SteveMB » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:20 pm

Lukmar wrote:Do you wish for user reports when bots are spotted?

Yes -- click on the "!" icon to report a post to the Mods. Thanks.
Is this a real holy war, or just a bunch of deluded boopholes croaking each other?
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Re: Bot on the loose?

Postby charles » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:00 pm

Miment wrote:Not just on the forums. There's bots loose on the Wiki too.

http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/ ... g/newusers
(Jan 25, Fidofore, Grailasc, , Paloans, Nerfaye, Eaclasc, Vantcri)

Just today, three known bot accounts were set up. I banned them, their IPs, and deleted the spam. Then we got three more suspicious accounts created. I've preemptively banned them for 1 day. If it's not too hard, could be get a proper captcha in place for user creation? The simple math problem is a little too simple.

Edit: Got another one in the time it took me to write this :/

Quoted for truth!

http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/ ... entChanges

Yeah, some mob are launching a hell of an attack on the wiki at the moment. New users every 10-20 minutes and each one eventually creates a new page with spam.

I'm blanking the pages when I see them and Miment is blocking and banning like crazy but there's a spit load of 'em.

Any chance of getting some extra/better anti-spam tools installed and working?

http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:Combating_spam
Last edited by charles on Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bot on the loose?

Postby Miment » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:03 pm

Ok, the spam on the Wiki is out of control. We've had more "new users" in the last three days than the last three months, and every single one is a spambot. Something has to be done.

I think a Captcha for new edits containing outside links should do the trick. So far, nothing else seems necessary. A Captcha for user creation would be good too.
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Re: Bot on the loose?

Postby charles » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:36 pm

The worry I have is that some of these might actually be human spammers.

I still liked the suggestion that someone else made, that it should be a comic related question that only fans/readers would know.

doesn't need to be anything hard. Just something that a random spammer wouldn't get.

Examples:
What is the name of the comic series or world that this wiki references? ERFWORLD
Who do the "Titans of ark" look like (first name only)? ELVIS
What kind of weapon does Jillian Zamussles carry? SWORD
What is the creator Mr Balder's first name? ROB
What species/unit is shown in the image at the top left of this wiki? GOBWIN
What is Erfworld's special name for a dragon? DWAGON

EDIT:
They have made more users and more pages. We have cleared the pages but cannot hold them for long. The wiki suffers, spam... spam in the wiki. We cannot stop them. A bot lurks in the internet. We can not stop them... they are spaming.
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Re: Bot on the loose?

Postby charles » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:04 am

DAMMIT! They're starting to spam the existing pages now. They wiped out the main page and replaced it with spam.

ALL OUR WIKI IS BELONGING TO SPAMMERS!!!
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Re: Bot on the loose?

Postby Beeskee » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:44 am

Boop. :( You might want to put the whole thing on lockdown until you get more anti-bot protection implemented.

You might need to update both the wiki and forum software. (I haven't checked your version, if you already are using the latest, ignore this lol)


The custom question thing worked the best for me. It may cause trouble with non-native english readers not being able to register, but it should help with the bots. Locking things down for the time being may be a better move tho, the bots might be going through all their "e" sites at the moment so you're seeing more of them. If you can convince them to go away for a while it should calm down.
Last edited by Beeskee on Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bot on the loose?

Postby charles » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:52 am

Yeah, easy solution would be to disable edits by anonymous users and stop the creation of new accounts for the couple of days it should take to get some better anti-spam systems setup.

Its just a nightmare right now. They're absolutely relentless.

But callout:

This is Charles to any available Admins
We have Spammers in Erfwiki
Reporting multiple bots on site
Bots are spamming, repeat, bots are spamming.

(+10 internets if you get the reference)
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Re: Bot on the loose?

Postby Miment » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:49 pm

charles wrote:Yeah, easy solution would be to disable edits by anonymous users and stop the creation of new accounts for the couple of days it should take to get some better anti-spam systems setup.


Disabling edits by anonymous users is a bad idea. Mainly because the spam isn't coming from anonymous users, but is instead coming from bots registering accounts. I think most of our genuine editors are unregistered. Blocking new account creation till a better solution can be implemented is a good idea. Like I said though, we can keep permitting anonymous edits.

Miment wrote:I think a Captcha for new edits containing outside links should do the trick. So far, nothing else seems necessary. A Captcha for user creation would be good too.


Still the best solution IMO.
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Re: Bot on the loose?

Postby charles » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:01 pm

Yeah, I'm just worried that if they loose the ability to create accounts then they'll just start mass edits from IP addresses.

There was one account which spammed the main page over with the same stuff we've been seeing on the new pages, but he was still a user account.

EDIT: Any other admins heading for the wiki, just go straight to THIS PAGE and you'll see a list of user accounts and pages which need banned and deleted for spamming.
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Re: Bot on the loose?

Postby charles » Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:53 am

*sigh* The Erfwiki is little more than a spammers haven with Miment and others spending more time on deleting spam and blocking users or listing them than getting a real chance to keep the Wiki up to date.

Is there any chance of getting another user beyond Harknell with enough privledges/rights to alter higher administrative parts of the Wiki in case Harknell is unavailable in the future?

I'd recommend Miment but even if its Rob Balder because they don't want to give that level of authority out to an unknown fan then he could probably figure it out or be guided by someone with relative ease to just temporarily stop the creation of useraccounts or perform other necessary actions.

*meh* we will persevere
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Re: Bot on the loose?

Postby charles » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:46 pm

It looks like previously banned bots are somehow spamming???!!! :shock:
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