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Spammer on my forum... won't go away
Posted by: earache
Date: May 07, 2009 10:30PM
I run a small forum for my scooter club. I've had my share of spammers over the years and have banned them without incident. Recently I've had the displeasure of dealing with a spammer who will not go away. He registered with the forum twice so far, posted some spam, got deleted, then tried to register again. This time I banned him and his IP via my forum. Then he came back on another IP and I had to ban a good chunk of UK IP addresses, 194.*

Well now he isn't too happy about that. For the last several days he has tried to access the forum sporadically from different IP's (194.*), probably 100+ times. I had hoped he'd be tired by now and go away, but I fear I'll have to take it to the next step and ban the IP addresses at my host's level. The last thing I need is to have him hack my forum.

So does anyone have any advice on how to handle this situation? I think the only other step to take is to have my host ban the IP's. Thanks.

Eric



earache
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Re: Spammer on my forum... won't go away
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: May 07, 2009 10:34PM
In the UK, huh?

Pay Voodoopenguin to track him down...
Then, as a favor, I could fly to the UK, kill the spammer for you in some grisly and public way, buy Voodoopenguin lunch, do a little sightseeing, and come on back.

HOPEFULLY someone else has a more practical idea.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Spammer on my forum... won't go away
Posted by: Black
Date: May 07, 2009 10:35PM
I don't get it. Why would a spammer become this focused on your forum?
This is just the garden variety russian/eastern european spammer posting messages with hyperlinks to drug sites and such?

What's the * ?




New forum user map 8/2015: [www.zeemaps.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/07/2009 10:36PM by Black.
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Re: Spammer on my forum... won't go away
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: May 07, 2009 10:39PM
Wild-card character in the IP block... "194 dot etcetera"



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Spammer on my forum... won't go away
Posted by: Black
Date: May 07, 2009 10:47PM
Quote
Paul F.
Wild-card character in the IP block... "194 dot etcetera"
Tx . . .




New forum user map 8/2015: [www.zeemaps.com]
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Re: Spammer on my forum... won't go away
Posted by: Seacrest
Date: May 07, 2009 10:53PM
require admin intervention for creating accounts?
captchas?





I am not Ryan Seacrest, and I do not approve this message.
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Re: Spammer on my forum... won't go away
Posted by: btfc
Date: May 07, 2009 10:58PM
Did he sign up with an email address?
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Re: Spammer on my forum... won't go away
Posted by: earache
Date: May 07, 2009 11:02PM
Yup. All the standard interventions in place. He's real, not a bot. I do suspect that some of his recent access attempts are scripted however. Some attempts have occurred so quickly that they look like a DOS attack.

Quote
Seacrest
require admin intervention for creating accounts?
captchas?



earache
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Re: Spammer on my forum... won't go away
Posted by: Black
Date: May 07, 2009 11:03PM
Quote
earache
Yup. All the standard interventions in place. He's real, not a bot. I do suspect that some of his recent access attempts are scripted however. Some attempts have occurred so quickly that they look like a DOS attack.

Quote
Seacrest
require admin intervention for creating accounts?
captchas?

So how does he join if you don't approve him?
How does he circumvent the captchas?




New forum user map 8/2015: [www.zeemaps.com]
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Re: Spammer on my forum... won't go away
Posted by: earache
Date: May 07, 2009 11:06PM
The first two successful signups had emails but were deleted when I trashed his account. It wasn't until the third signup that I realized I had a problem. All the emails used looked legit, but they were different... I suspect they're stolen.

Quote
btfc
Did he sign up with an email address?



earache
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Re: Spammer on my forum... won't go away
Posted by: Black
Date: May 07, 2009 11:11PM
Wouldn't it be as easy as dropping prospective users a note asking for a brief introduction before approving?




New forum user map 8/2015: [www.zeemaps.com]
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Re: Spammer on my forum... won't go away
Posted by: earache
Date: May 07, 2009 11:13PM
Quote
Black
Quote
earache
Yup. All the standard interventions in place. He's real, not a bot. I do suspect that some of his recent access attempts are scripted however. Some attempts have occurred so quickly that they look like a DOS attack.

Quote
Seacrest
require admin intervention for creating accounts?
captchas?

So how does he join if you don't approve him?
How does he circumvent the captchas?

He doesn't get into the forum, but he does trip the IP ban. I can see the web addresses he's trying to access and he appears to be probing the forum in an attempt to get in. I'm pretty sure the forum is locked down sufficiently, but I don't like someone trying to find a weakness. My site has been hacked 2 times in the last 5 years. Why? For what gain? I have no idea, but I'm not going to let it happen again if I can help it.



earache
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Re: Spammer on my forum... won't go away
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: May 07, 2009 11:16PM
It is fairly easy to use proxy servers. I expect that this is either a 20 to 25 year old that that just realized how "fun" computers are in the last year, or a 12 year old, who has not gotten that far in the "crackers manual" yet.

How many people sign up on a daily basis? I would reply to anybody signing up that you are having problems that that registrations are subject to a 72 hour waiting period for the near future without some secondary verification.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: Spammer on my forum... won't go away
Posted by: TheTominator
Date: May 07, 2009 11:18PM
I don't know of a good method to block new signups other than banning IP blocks, but you can try this site to help you recognize common spammer IPs or usernames.

[www.stopforumspam.com]

Depending on your forum software, there may be a plug-in available that would automatically check any new accounts or posts against the list of known spammer IPs. You could then stop the activity before it is posted.

I frequently have spammers sign up a new account on my forum (using SMF) and don't post anything, but I don't know for sure why they bother. They usually provide a website address in their profile, but I doubt that it would be productive enough. They may use the account to gain access to and harvest all of the email addresses of other forum users to spam them directly. This would only be for those users who opted to display their e-mail address instead of having it visible only to the forum administrator.
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Re: Spammer on my forum... won't go away
Posted by: earache
Date: May 07, 2009 11:25PM
Quote
TheTominator
I don't know of a good method to block new signups other than banning IP blocks, but you can try this site to help you recognize common spammer IPs or usernames.

[www.stopforumspam.com]

Thanks for the link. I did a quick check and sure enough several IP addresses I have for my spammer showed up on their list as being active spammer IP's. Surprise, surprise.



earache
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Re: Spammer on my forum... won't go away
Posted by: Acer
Date: May 08, 2009 11:35AM
Any out-of-place code, like php calls or other scripting markup mixed with the posts? He might be trying (or have plans) to hack into site in order to use it as a zombie or spam email relay, hence the interest in seeming small fry. I had a guestbook that would get hammered with attempts to inject code. I had filtering and blocks set up to stop it, but they kept trying anyway.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/08/2009 11:37AM by Acer.
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Re: Spammer on my forum... won't go away
Posted by: Speedy
Date: May 09, 2009 04:10AM
When did 'pete move to the UK?



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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