Security of the Forum


#1

Ok so here are the bare bones.

Spam discussions keep coming up! So far we had roughly 4 in the past 2 weeks, we also just had one today. Is there anyway we can improve the security of the forums?

I know I’m just a casual forum-er but these things are really annoying.


#2

I agree with you @Trollhunterthethird We must upgrade the security of the forums maybe using captcha as an early preventive measure would help


#3

We do have a captcha when you create an account.


#4

@dfabulich But alas, it seems that Spam bots still manage to plague us! Is there anything that can be done? :frowning:


#5

We declare war on them… and present their heads to the Gods of the forum.


#6

I’m not sure anything can be done to stop spammers. Anyone can sign up for a Facebook account and apply for an account here. There’s no way to know if an account is legit or fake. On my own Web site, I actually approve comments before they post, but on a forum with this much activity, that’s not a realistic solution.

I check the forums 5-6 times a day just to see if spam is posted, and I’ve taken down a dozen posts in the last two weeks. I know the other mods are just as vigilant, so hopefully the spam is not too distracting.


#7

Would it be possible to implement a system whereby mods or admins have to ‘approve’ a discussion before it can be started? I’ve seen this done on other forums, to good effect. This could also stop unsuitable discussions that were too off topic, or other unsuitable discussions. However, it may not be worth the effort, if it would require a lot of effort to implement.


#8

@Redgrave If I was able to give Noble Peace Prizes you would of just won one.


#9

@Redgrave
That’s a lot of work for admins and mods though, especially considering the fact that this isn’t their day job.


#10

I’d think it’d be less trouble to just deal with things as they currently are. Approving every single discussion sounds tedious. It also discourages the creation of discussions and will undoubtedly mean there’s a lot of people double-posting and asking mods why their topics aren’t showing up.


#11

I agree with @FairyGodfeather and especially recoil at the mention of a Captcha. Those things are hideously inconvenient to deal with under the best circumstances, and I like that there haven’t been any instituted on here beyond the initial.

Really, five or so spam discussions over the last two weeks is an amazing rate for any forum, and so far it seems like the community and the moderators have been doing a wonderful job hunting them down when they do pop up. I even made a joke while replying to one that I hadn’t seen any on these forums, if that is worth something.

So no. If we were facing even greater stress I would say alternative and more restrictive strategies would be worth considering. However, we aren’t anywhere near there yet, so I think the current strategy is sustainable.


#12

Maybe we could do that weird spell out letter thing to prove you’re not a robot?


#13

@trollhunterthethird Those things make me want to gouge out my eyes with a copy of Das Kapital. 15 minutes of “I typed it exactly how it was, you bloody stupid machine! I will not be restrained by a fecking piece of software! DIE WELT ALS MEINEN WILLE!” tends to prove irksome.


#14

Spam happens unfortunately. Unless you want to entirely cut off the forum from external servers and turn it into an intranet, it’s going to continue to happen. It’s just one of the tedious byproducts of having a busy forum. Within each half-hour to an hour (just when I’m off work or on break at work) when refreshing the “All Discussions”, I count a solid 10-20+ new posts. Therefore, just with a 3 hour span (as an example), that’s around 60-120+ posts to weed through alone and approve, that’s some massive tedium for admins/mods to do on–what essentially is their spare time. Bear that in mind when considering the fact spam posts don’t always create their own threads, they often post in already established threads, so again–that’s a lot of tedium to go through and individually approve… and that’s just after a passing three hour span of time. So, really, the best method to deal with spam on a forum board with a significant amount of legit user traffic is just to deal with them as they come.


#15

Oh Good God, I agree with @Drazen wholeheartedly, and I included them under the broad definition of Captcha above.

@trollhunterthethird I’m more than open to suggestions, but I wholeheartedly disagree with plans like that.

@Apillis Agreed; That’s more or less what I’m leaning towards now in terms of my opinion.


#16

@trollhunterthethird a captcha test? The forum already utilises one of those, and although I’m sure it works very well, a few bugs get through.

@2Ton thanks, but I’m afraid I have to agree with @Cataphrak on this one- it is a lot of work, and the staff here do have lives, as well as other jobs, families and so on… I’m sure that this ranks a bit lower on their list of important things than other… well, important things!

A new idea- why not have new members to the forum unable to post anything until they PM one of the mods/admins with a request to access the forums. It could keep out bots, although I’m not sure if ‘banned’ members can use the messaging system. Email is another alternative, although slightly long-winded and complicated, and, again, probably too effort-consuming. @Turtler is probably correct in stating that this forum is doing very well, and, at least in my opinion, we do manage bots/spam very well.


#17

Ha! I agree with @Drazen too. No captcha. Please, no!

I think the system works fine enough as it currently is. There’s not too much spam. The moderators do a great job. Any spam that does get through is quickly cleaned up. I think the worst I saw was maybe five-ten spam messages for a few hours but they were easily ignored until the mods could delete them. I’d rather put up with the inconvenience of the occassional spam message than having to deal with jumping through hoops to post.


#18

Okay guys I get it - Every one hate captcha.


#19

Did you see how many banhammer @jasonstevanhill has just did


#20

On a related note…new spam post just emerged.