I decided to place this here - as I need your assistance. We've got a spam problem.

KGIII

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I've noticed an uptick in people trying to spam the site. They're trying to do so without being detected. To not assist them in their spamming goals, I'm not going to go into too many details - other than to say you don't see like 99% of the spam. (You're welcome!) We have pretty good defenses against spam, but it's an arms race where spammers are always looking for new and interesting ways to get their links into our forum.

One of the ways they do this is making a comment, probably not really on topic - or not well thought out, and then waiting. They'll come back later and edit their comment - adding a link to a third party site that's presumably paying them to do so or that they're affiliated with. It may even be a link to a site that has a malicious payload.

The same is true for another way they're trying to spam. They'll make enough inane comments, comments that seem out of place while still being sorta topical, only to edit their post later - or to include the link in it after they've made x-number of posts to bypass our automated filter. What this type of spammer will do is they'll include the link and use the text coloring feature to make the link not appear blue - it will appear the color regular text appears in. These aren't easy to spot - but there's a slight font change for links, so you can spot them.

What I'd like of you...

I'd like you to be vigilant. I'd like you to add a layer of cynicism and scrutiny to your regular forum habits. If you see a new user pop up and make a bunch of inane two line comments, check them more thoroughly and revisit links where you know they've posted. I can't possibly catch them all and I'm the one who is here the most often/longest on many days. So, I need your help...

Comments would be stuff like:

"Thanks for this! I didn't know that was possible."

In the member introductions: "Nice to see you joined. I hope you like the weather!" (And make similar remarks to other member introduction posts.)

"Yeah, I had the same thing happen to me."

They may even include a link to try to look like they're on topic. The last one I spam-cleaned included a generic link to a deep Dell.com page, and was even upvoted for their 'contribution' - and upvoted by a long-standing member that's usually diligent. (Yes, we mods/admins can see edits and deleted posts.)

Why? Well, the biggest reason to not want spam on the Linux.org forums would actually be the bad impact it can have on your search engine results. We want people to find the content and join. Right now, Linux.org is #1 for the keyword "Linux" all over the place. If we allow spam to stick around, the search engines will basically assume we're in a 'bad neighborhood' and move the site down in search result positioning - perhaps even de-listing the site entirely.

So, please, if you see someone doing this sort of stuff, keep an eye on them. The report button is useful if you do see spam, but you can PM me or even just ping me to the thread. (A report is seen by any mod/admin online at the time, and is usually dealt with swiftly.)

I'm a bit sorry for the novella, but we could use your assistance and I wanted to make sure you'd know what to look for. Be a little cynical, a little suspicious, and do a little double-checking as time allows. It should also be noted that I alone made the decision to post this request - so that's another reason I didn't feel comfortable posting it in the announcements sub-forum, though that might be a more suitable place to post it. I'd rather get the information out to you now than wait for confirmation from the rest of the crew.

Thanks!
 


ML_113

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As for me I had problem with posts genre 'Windows good, Linux bad ...'
I once just look at one of them (without signing on, let alone answer it) and got hacked.
Luckily I had backups.
 
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KGIII

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Huh... I wonder if that's coincidental. There are no malicious payloads or anything associated with the site. Nobody can even see your IP address except moderators or admins and none of us has time or motivation to hack anyone.
 
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KGIII

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KGIII

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Huh... I thought the font was slightly different for URLs.

I was wrong.

I'm not sure why it stood out then.
 

Condobloke

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Italic.....?
 
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KGIII

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No... Look carefully at my post with the <-- in it, and mouse over that text so that you can see it's a link.

I thought links had a slightly different font (not italicized) but like Arial or Helvetica, but I was mistaken.
 

wizardfromoz

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David I have sought the best of both worlds and copied your OP to Site Announcements.

https://www.linux.org/threads/i-dec...our-assistance-weve-got-a-spam-problem.40199/

I have locked it and pinned it, and advised Members to make a comment or ask questions here.

I can't possibly catch them all and I'm the one who is here the most often/longest on many days.

I spend about 50 - 60 hours per week here, that's long enough for me, but I sleep longer than you do, LOL.

Cheers

Wizard
 
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KGIII

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I spend about 50 - 60 hours per week here

I figure I'm here 10 to 12 hours a day - but... It's not like I'm here constantly during that time. I read and type rapidly. So, in theory, you could technically be here more hours than I am. I flip back and forth, as I have a ton of other things I do online.

I'm busy most mornings, so I show up at 10:00 or 12:00 and make my last check of the site around 22:00.

But, with further reflection, you could be here for longer than that. I could be mistaken. I flip away a lot. When I first get here, I clear everything from the queue to my messages, and then skim all the unread threads. After that, I'm in and out. I try to check back no less than once an hour, even if I have to do it on mobile. I call it 'my shift', as in, 'my shift is just starting.'
 

DexTheDog

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I've noticed an uptick in people trying to spam the site. They're trying to do so without being detected. To not assist them in their spamming goals, I'm not going to go into too many details - other than to say you don't see like 99% of the spam. (You're welcome!) We have pretty good defenses against spam, but it's an arms race where spammers are always looking for new and interesting ways to get their links into our forum.

One of the ways they do this is making a comment, probably not really on topic - or not well thought out, and then waiting. They'll come back later and edit their comment - adding a link to a third party site that's presumably paying them to do so or that they're affiliated with. It may even be a link to a site that has a malicious payload.

The same is true for another way they're trying to spam. They'll make enough inane comments, comments that seem out of place while still being sorta topical, only to edit their post later - or to include the link in it after they've made x-number of posts to bypass our automated filter. What this type of spammer will do is they'll include the link and use the text coloring feature to make the link not appear blue - it will appear the color regular text appears in. These aren't easy to spot - but there's a slight font change for links, so you can spot them.

What I'd like of you...

I'd like you to be vigilant. I'd like you to add a layer of cynicism and scrutiny to your regular forum habits. If you see a new user pop up and make a bunch of inane two line comments, check them more thoroughly and revisit links where you know they've posted. I can't possibly catch them all and I'm the one who is here the most often/longest on many days. So, I need your help...

Comments would be stuff like:

"Thanks for this! I didn't know that was possible."

In the member introductions: "Nice to see you joined. I hope you like the weather!" (And make similar remarks to other member introduction posts.)

"Yeah, I had the same thing happen to me."

They may even include a link to try to look like they're on topic. The last one I spam-cleaned included a generic link to a deep Dell.com page, and was even upvoted for their 'contribution' - and upvoted by a long-standing member that's usually diligent. (Yes, we mods/admins can see edits and deleted posts.)

Why? Well, the biggest reason to not want spam on the Linux.org forums would actually be the bad impact it can have on your search engine results. We want people to find the content and join. Right now, Linux.org is #1 for the keyword "Linux" all over the place. If we allow spam to stick around, the search engines will basically assume we're in a 'bad neighborhood' and move the site down in search result positioning - perhaps even de-listing the site entirely.

So, please, if you see someone doing this sort of stuff, keep an eye on them. The report button is useful if you do see spam, but you can PM me or even just ping me to the thread. (A report is seen by any mod/admin online at the time, and is usually dealt with swiftly.)

I'm a bit sorry for the novella, but we could use your assistance and I wanted to make sure you'd know what to look for. Be a little cynical, a little suspicious, and do a little double-checking as time allows. It should also be noted that I alone made the decision to post this request - so that's another reason I didn't feel comfortable posting it in the announcements sub-forum, though that might be a more suitable place to post it. I'd rather get the information out to you now than wait for confirmation from the rest of the crew.

Thanks!
Would adding a reason for edit text box help like the one for deleting a comment?
 
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KGIII

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Would adding a reason for edit text box help like the one for deleting a comment?

They'd likely just say things like they fixed a typo - or leave the field blank. The folks getting through the system are real humans, or really advanced bots and I lean towards the former. The bots get weeded out pretty quickly.

The phone company ticked me off, so I got satellite. Man, the lag is weird.
 

SlowCoder

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I'm busy most mornings, so I show up at 10:00 or 12:00 and make my last check of the site around 22:00.
Thanks for the "office hours" so I can hit you in the off-hours. ;) But seriously maybe advertising when you're (not) there isn't such a good idea.

I know ... I'm new; please don't boot me. But I think that point needed to be made.
 
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KGIII

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Meh... We overlap a bit and there's a third moderator who is available.

That and the spammers don't actually do any reading. They don't waste time with that. They're a bit more clever, but they're definitely time-conscious.
 

wizardfromoz

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It's a valid apprehension @SlowCoder but we have 24 hours a day covered.

Wiz
 

f33dm3bits

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I spend about 50 - 60 hours per week here, that's long enough for me, but I sleep longer than you do, LOL.
That's more than how many hours I work a week at my job.
 

darry1966

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I've noticed an uptick in people trying to spam the site. They're trying to do so without being detected. To not assist them in their spamming goals, I'm not going to go into too many details - other than to say you don't see like 99% of the spam. (You're welcome!) We have pretty good defenses against spam, but it's an arms race where spammers are always looking for new and interesting ways to get their links into our forum.

One of the ways they do this is making a comment, probably not really on topic - or not well thought out, and then waiting. They'll come back later and edit their comment - adding a link to a third party site that's presumably paying them to do so or that they're affiliated with. It may even be a link to a site that has a malicious payload.

The same is true for another way they're trying to spam. They'll make enough inane comments, comments that seem out of place while still being sorta topical, only to edit their post later - or to include the link in it after they've made x-number of posts to bypass our automated filter. What this type of spammer will do is they'll include the link and use the text coloring feature to make the link not appear blue - it will appear the color regular text appears in. These aren't easy to spot - but there's a slight font change for links, so you can spot them.

What I'd like of you...

I'd like you to be vigilant. I'd like you to add a layer of cynicism and scrutiny to your regular forum habits. If you see a new user pop up and make a bunch of inane two line comments, check them more thoroughly and revisit links where you know they've posted. I can't possibly catch them all and I'm the one who is here the most often/longest on many days. So, I need your help...

Comments would be stuff like:

"Thanks for this! I didn't know that was possible."

In the member introductions: "Nice to see you joined. I hope you like the weather!" (And make similar remarks to other member introduction posts.)

"Yeah, I had the same thing happen to me."

They may even include a link to try to look like they're on topic. The last one I spam-cleaned included a generic link to a deep Dell.com page, and was even upvoted for their 'contribution' - and upvoted by a long-standing member that's usually diligent. (Yes, we mods/admins can see edits and deleted posts.)

Why? Well, the biggest reason to not want spam on the Linux.org forums would actually be the bad impact it can have on your search engine results. We want people to find the content and join. Right now, Linux.org is #1 for the keyword "Linux" all over the place. If we allow spam to stick around, the search engines will basically assume we're in a 'bad neighborhood' and move the site down in search result positioning - perhaps even de-listing the site entirely.

So, please, if you see someone doing this sort of stuff, keep an eye on them. The report button is useful if you do see spam, but you can PM me or even just ping me to the thread. (A report is seen by any mod/admin online at the time, and is usually dealt with swiftly.)

I'm a bit sorry for the novella, but we could use your assistance and I wanted to make sure you'd know what to look for. Be a little cynical, a little suspicious, and do a little double-checking as time allows. It should also be noted that I alone made the decision to post this request - so that's another reason I didn't feel comfortable posting it in the announcements sub-forum, though that might be a more suitable place to post it. I'd rather get the information out to you now than wait for confirmation from the rest of the crew.

Thanks!
No problem with novella, unfortunately other forums are experiencing same unwanted contributions.
 

Brickwizard

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I switch on most days around 0700 and go off around 22-30 GMT [UTC / zulu, whichever you prefer] and have given the occasional nudge to the odd post in the past, but where do you draw the line, advertising in the message text can be hard to spot, but what about advertising in avatars, is that acceptable? As it seems, we get quite a few with newer members. [if I spot a new name I always run the cursor over it, mainly to see where they are from and what age to relate it to the question]
 
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