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An Apology for All The Evil Spam

Posted: 30 May 2013 21:52
by Rebecca
Hey everyone

A lot of you have seen the incredible amount of spam hitting the forums in May. I just want to apologize personally and say that I am fixing it as fast as I can by:

1. Temporarily disabling new member registrations until I can install a smarter anti-spam system. Specifically I plan to automatically stop all known spam IP addresses from registering, based on an up-to-the-minute database of known offenders.

2. Bulk deleting all new member accounts which occurred during the spam onslaught - between 13-31 May (99.9% of accounts created were spam - we're talking thousands and thousands of junk users. For those 0.1% of genuine users I sincerely apologize and encourage you to sign up again once the attack is over.)

I'm enlisting the help of all my texperts to get a better anti-spam system in place as soon as poss so things can return to normal around here. Existing members should now be able to post as normal without the threat of the spammers returning.

Lastly, I'm deeply sorry for the time it took to react - the timing was terrible as it all went down while our family were busy moving house, leaving New Zealand, and setting up again in Europe. It was an intense time with a young baby and jet lag to deal with. With so many distractions I wasn't able to detect what was happening, and the moderators were unfortunately overwhelmed by the sheer volume of spam appearing in such a short time.

However... I'm confident that we're over the worst now and I'll be working tonight to get as much cleaned up as I can. Thanks for understanding and sticking around this place. Please keep posting and let's get the conversation back to where it was before this pointless spam attack took place....

Bye for now ;)

PS If you run a forum of your own and have any first hand experience / advice please feel free to post below your suggestions to help us get over this sooner.

Re: An Apology for All The Evil Spam

Posted: 31 May 2013 02:35
by Jacob46719
:D :D :D :D :D

Re: An Apology for All The Evil Spam

Posted: 31 May 2013 03:32
by DreamerMan99
Rebecca,

Thank You!
Btw, Congratulations!

[ Post made via iPhone ] Image

Re: An Apology for All The Evil Spam

Posted: 31 May 2013 03:35
by HAGART
A lot of sites have warped, distorted words you have to spell in order to register.
I always thought they were a hassle, but now I realize,
computer algorithms can't read those and I bet that is why they are in place. They verify you are human and keep spam bots out.

Maybe that's obvious and you already knew that, but it never hurts to suggest anyway.

Re: An Apology for All The Evil Spam

Posted: 31 May 2013 03:39
by DreamerMan99
You can try email verification and what HAGART said, harder codes.

[ Post made via iPhone ] Image

Re: An Apology for All The Evil Spam

Posted: 31 May 2013 04:35
by mia
Wonderful! That was truly bizarre. So happy to see things are ok now. :D

Re: An Apology for All The Evil Spam

Posted: 31 May 2013 10:41
by Teraku
Ah, great! Thanks!

As a web developer, I'd like to make a suggestion:

You could add an anti-spam question to the registration form which reads something like "Security Question: Is fire hot or cold?". Then, at the bottom of the page, add another question which reads "Security Question: What was the answer to the previous security question?".

Works every time.

Re: An Apology for All The Evil Spam

Posted: 01 Jun 2013 00:26
by Rebecca
Thanks for the suggestions! :D

Re: An Apology for All The Evil Spam

Posted: 01 Jun 2013 00:57
by taniaaust1
Thanks heaps for making this site pleasant again. Looks like you've made the right move.

Re: An Apology for All The Evil Spam

Posted: 03 Jun 2013 03:26
by Jack Reacher
Aww your leaving NZ... I personally can't stand the rat race in Auckland atm I would love to move somewhere else.

Anyway good to see the site is being cleared up, it was kinda scary to refresh the page and instantly see the spam topics shift to the next page, thats how fast it was, 24/7