Forum hacked!

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This post has 15 Replies | 1 Follower

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David Kirk Davis | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Apr 2 2018 9:02 PM

Why are there 50 spam posts and no moderator stopping it?

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Forum MVP
Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 2 2018 9:17 PM

Thread => Wow 7 Pages! includes a reply by Bob Pritchett

Bob Pritchett:

We chose this forum software almost a decade ago... a primary motivator was the ability to use existing Logos.com user accounts, which wasn't something we could do with all the third-party platforms. (As well as a bias towards source-available solutions for .NET, since we use that for all our web coding. We didn't want to have to integrate a new tech stack just for the forums. A lot of forum software was built on PHP in the past, but we don't really use PHP.)

 

As I understand it, the platform doesn't get much attention. In the short term we keep looking for ways to keep the spam out without creating too big a burden to posting. It's a continual balancing act.

 

In the future we plan to move to the Faithlife platform, but the forum support there isn't robust enough. Once it is, we'll have not only integrated account, but much easier image support, integration with other parts of the Faithlife system, etc.

 

I'm sorry for the frustration.

Thankful Faithlife is "looking for ways to keep the spam out without creating too big a burden to posting. It's a continual balancing act."

Concur with seeing pages of SPAM for awhile today. Thankful for Faithlife clean-up.

Keep Smiling Smile

Posts 1084
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 2 2018 9:26 PM

It hasn't been hacked. It is being spammed by bots.

One limitation FL has is that, with its global customer base, it can't block IP addresses, one common way of dealing with spam.

It could, however, put a limit on how many new threads a new user can start after registration, though at this point I don't know how much even that would help.

 Logos Now Subscriber -- 22/2/2018

Posts 233
Charles | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 2 2018 11:11 PM

All the forums that I'm aware of and participate in have the same problem with spammers.  Most on line forums use vBulletin software which does have tools for stopping spam.  However, even with moderators and administrators overseeing forums, spam will get through.  There are various ways to stop it but none of them are 100% effective.

It's best to just focus on the subject matter of this forum and ignore the spam.  Let the folks at Faithlife deal with it.

In Christ,

Charles

2017 27" iMac 5K, Mojave, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, iOS 12.0, Catalina beta, iPadOS Beta  

Posts 4882
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 3 2018 2:34 AM

When it comes to Spam, there is nothing to see so i just move on to the next post. There are lots of posts I simply don’t get time to read so I have to peruse the title and forum and détermine what I will read or ignore. i find the spam posts easy to identify and move past quickly. It’s the genuine posts by users with vague titles and those i’d go close to calling click bait that I find waste more of my time than does the ocassional spam attack because I have no idea of what the post is about. If one day FL can reduce  the amount of SPAM that gets through then that’s great.  But till then I’ll just keep moving past it. 

But that’s just my perspective.

Posts 877
Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 3 2018 4:01 AM

Disciple of Christ (doc):

When it comes to Spam, there is nothing to see so i just move on to the next post. There are lots of posts I simply don’t get time to read so I have to peruse the title and forum and détermine what I will read or ignore. i find the spam posts easy to identify and move past quickly. It’s the genuine posts by users with vague titles and those i’d go close to calling click bait that I find waste more of my time than does the ocassional spam attack because I have no idea of what the post is about. If one day FL can reduce  the amount of SPAM that gets through then that’s great.  But till then I’ll just keep moving past it. 

But that’s just my perspective.

I agree.  However, I believe many get post updates as emails, which means they'll be getting dozens of useless emails.

Posts 6228
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 3 2018 4:51 AM

David Kirk Davis:

Why are there 50 spam posts and no moderator stopping it?

Moderators sleep too 😴 💤 🛏 

Posts 2829
Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 3 2018 5:12 AM

Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :):
Thankful Faithlife is "looking for ways to keep the spam out without creating too big a burden to posting. It's a continual balancing act."

They can't be looking very hard. How about:

- flood control, forcing users to wait for a short interval between making posts to the forum. Even a minute wouldn't impact users but would slow down bots;

- using a confirmation email to complete registration of a new account;

- implying one of the newer CAPCTHA images that defeat the OCR techniques used by spam bots but are easy for users to verify and image when they post;

- employing a posting limit of new posts, not replies, on users per hour, say, 10?

Many more effective techniques have been posted by others how to eliminate spam on these forums (which then it would be like many other forums that have NO SPAM), but that would infringe on new users' rights and flexibility, which FL is against. So given that, even these 4 techniques would help considerably, without infringing on the rights of new users who want to jump in and post and then buy some software, right? 

Posts 2829
Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 3 2018 5:22 AM

Keep this in mind too - the way these spam bots work, they surf the web looking for wikis, blogs, forums and any other web forms to submit spam links to. They have logic built in to avoid all the obvious counter measures that would otherwise prevent them from registering or posting. AND, the fun part, as they find fertile ground where their posts are being successfully added, they ramp up the volume of posts. This is done because they are trying to beef up the quantity to help their search engine results - companies do a lot to try and influence search result (and places like Google try to fight it) as it means a ton of business for them. So - the long and short of this is, we will look back on this era as "the good old days", when spam posting quantities really wasn't so bad.

Posts 165
Nick Highland | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 3 2018 8:15 AM

I would think that there must be ways to deal with this in the time between merging software with the new Faithlife software Bob mentioned.  Requiring a purchase before posting on any forum except for a "New Users" forum would help with a lot of it.  Or even just using CAPTCHAs.  Post limits per minute per IP might reduce it in a minimal way, as sometimes there are a handful of posts every minute.  Surely there's a bandaid that will resolve some of this issue.

Posts 2248
Jan Krohn | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 3 2018 8:47 AM

All that has been suggested before...

Past IT Consultant. Past Mission Worker. Entrepreneur. Future Seminary Student.
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Posts 8893
fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 3 2018 9:21 AM

Paul Caneparo:
I believe many get post updates as emails, which means they'll be getting dozens of useless emails.

Dozens?? I had well over 700 when I opened the computer today. By now it must be somewhere around 900.

Charles:
It's best to just focus on the subject matter of this forum and ignore the spam.  Let the folks at Faithlife deal with it.

Perhaps you can tell me how to ignore 900 spam e-mails in less than one day, and how Faithlife is going to deal with them when they are already on my computer?

"The Christian way of life isn't so much an assignment to be performed, as a gift to be received."  Wilfrid Stinissen

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Posts 3937
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 3 2018 7:05 PM

what about a strict captcha when people sign up for new accounts, and/or when people go to post under a certain post count?

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Posts 233
Charles | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 3 2018 8:51 PM

Reset your options not to receive email when something is posted to these forums.  Your choice of course but in the many forums that I participate in I find it much more convenient for me to just scan the forum several times a day.  Also, I believe you can choose to receive email only on those threads that you select.

In Christ,

Charles

2017 27" iMac 5K, Mojave, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, iOS 12.0, Catalina beta, iPadOS Beta  

Posts 5247
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 4 2018 2:38 AM

They have worked on this for years I remember a few years back after one spam attack I tried to respond to three different threads and suddenly on the third I was flagged as a possible spammer. Setting up the appropriate and effective counter measures can be done but it takes time and fine tuning to get it worked out. I don’t know the exact answer, but I feel it in the end should focus on new users mostly although I suppose it could lead to hacking accounts to gain access but I am not sure if that is a real threat. 

-dan

Posts 17877
Forum MVP
Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 5 2018 10:20 AM

Dan Francis:
Setting up the appropriate and effective counter measures can be done but it takes time and fine tuning to get it worked out.

Thankful for Faithlife forum modification yesterday => https://community.logos.com/forums/p/166126/973183.aspx#973183

Keep Smiling Smile

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