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  1. #1
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    Spambot Measures

    After a rather long calm I'm seeing a lot of spambots, so I'm looking into ways to prevent that. I just permabanned Ukraine, so that's one solution. Possibly a new form of CAPTCHA in the future. Somehow, these critters are even able to solve Outlaw Star questions which suggests they're not always so robotic.

    Lookin' into it.

  2. #2
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    Just logged in to clear out the spam but I see that you got to most of it before I could. There was only one post remaining for me to nuke when I arrived! Speedy speedy.
    "Out of the ground, raze all greenery with flame! Fire2!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Starwind55 View Post
    It deals with a demon virus that transforms people into freaky looking fuckers

  3. #3
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    Looks like we got some more rats. Banned Russia, so that'll keep some of them out. Just gotta do it step by step.

    Spambot Measures-people-rushing-aid-sinkhole-victims-gif

    C'mon toasters. Sponsor your country and join the queue!

  4. #4
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    Close to ten more spammers today. Even if I use stringent countermeasures they'll still keep coming so I've decided on something else. Now we're using something called CleanTalk. Believe it or not, it seems many of these spammer sign-ups have been humans. They're able to even solve anti-spam methods that feature questions about Outlaw Star, for example. But you've gotta fight fire with fire. So you have loads of these people registering on sites for spam networks. But services like CAPTCHA are still robots essentially. Fighting against humans with robots isn't so foolproof. So why not fight humans with humans instead? CleanTalk is cloud-based and is made up networks of agents who flag spam.

    Basically the antithesis of these human spammers. While I'm trialling this I've disabled the annoying things our genuine members had to bother with, such as questions and answers and CAPTCHA. Of course, this all comes down to how accurate CleanTalk is, and my concern is that one day it may end up banning a genuine registrant. So, here's hoping this turns out well.

  5. #5
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    Sounds like a decent countermeasure, and perhaps one of the only choices as long as actual humans are targeting you. I suppose only time will tell if this solution does more harm than good.
    "Out of the ground, raze all greenery with flame! Fire2!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Starwind55 View Post
    It deals with a demon virus that transforms people into freaky looking fuckers

  6. #6
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    So far so good.

    Spambot Measures-2jsocgg-jpg

  7. #7
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    So after a couple of weeks I left CleanTalk. 99% of the time it worked extremely well, but that 1% involved preventing members from posting. I know from experience how much of a pain in the ass it is to write a good post and then see it disappear for no apparent reason. I'm not using CleanTalk because even that small a number of false positives isn't good enough for this forum. Most of the problem could have been prevented by just applying it to registrations, but nope, for some reason it has to perform antispam on everything. So, no more CleanTalk.

    I've returned to more old-fashioned methods. Now registrations are moderated. Less than twelve hours (often very soon) after registrations I'll (or Zemekis will) approve or deny. Even with that, spambot registrations still piled up in the moderation queue of course. Somehow spambots were able to solve all of my question/answer verification so now I've applied a second layer which is a bit more bulletproof. After all, a mere spambot couldn't know how to solve this:

    Spambot Measures-spamcheck-jpg


    Before I was being hammered by dozens of spambots an hour but there's been nothing since this.

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