Author Topic: Avast Forum Spam  (Read 12774 times)

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hpguru

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Avast Forum Spam
« on: February 26, 2010, 02:55:30 PM »
What we should do to stop this forum spam?

Maybe Akismet?

http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?mod=544

Thanks.

Hermite15

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Re: Avast Forum Spam
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2010, 03:17:31 PM »
yeah I agree something should be done, it just doesn't stop, again every day  ::) One thing is it's too easy to register and start posting. VBulletin allows at least that new registered users can't login before a few days (registration validation) and then can't post before one week. In the meantime they're in read only mode.
 Probably not a good  idea for those wishing to post for the first time because their systems got infected. On the other hand they don't get help from the Avast team anyway, but from other users (using non-avast tools), and there are stickies that can be read as guest...

spg SCOTT

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Re: Avast Forum Spam
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2010, 03:21:52 PM »
IIRC, the blog uses that, so maybe...

The problem is though that this system will need someone who can monitor the forum more than is done now...

Sesame

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Re: Avast Forum Spam
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2010, 03:55:15 PM »
These kinds of restrictions shouldn't prevent someone who hasn't registered to the boards needs immediate help from writing down his/her problem.

Although I've suggested this once, is it possible to put another restriction which disables the ability of linking on the users whose post count is less than 20.

Optionally, since this is basically a support boards, I don't think overly decorative features are needed.

hpguru

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Re: Avast Forum Spam
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2010, 03:57:14 PM »
But then spammer link google.com etc...  ;D

Sesame

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Re: Avast Forum Spam
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2010, 04:06:33 PM »
But then spammer link google.com etc...  ;D
???  I meant there should be no links whether they are to microsoft or google sites.  We can use good old copy and paste.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Avast Forum Spam
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2010, 04:35:02 PM »
What we should do to stop this forum spam?
<snip>

Short answer use the Report to moderator link in the offending post, that is by far the quickest and easiest method.

Much longer answer.
This forum compared to many doesn't suffer as much spam and that which is there is dealt with quickly because of pro-active members using the report to moderator link.

There are measures to stop automated account registrations, whilst not perfect, they do make it a little more of a pain for the spammers if they have to register manually.

What we shouldn't do is make the registration process so tight and onerous as to deter avast users registering because they need help and they need it quickly.

So as for a three day wait to login and a week to post, when the whole point of registering is to get help quickly not something after a week. That is punishing legitimate users more than any spammers and the ratio of legit users to spammers should dictate any anti-spammer measures.

One possibility, having registered and email could be sent to the registered users email with a confirmation of receipt using a URL to activate the account allowing logon and posting once activated. Then we fall into the possible problem of non-receipt of the email because of some over active anti-spam (ironic) application at the users ISP, etc. and this we see/saw a lot of with avast 4.8 registration emails.

So it isn't a simple matter, for now keep using the report to moderator link and that limits the benefit any spammer is hoping for prolonged exposure/advertising.
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Sesame

  • Guest
Re: Avast Forum Spam
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2010, 05:09:37 PM »
I have already reported quite a lot of spam posts but what makes me think this is rather stupid is that spams always have links, obviously expecting those who visit the boards accidentally or out of curiosity, click them.  Really, it is not too hard to discern which is spam.  So, IMO, it would make it easier to keep the boards tidy if there is no links to be clicked.

PS I just came across to a spam without any link but I have no doubt that it is far less effective.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 05:20:40 PM by Rumpel »

Offline igor

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Re: Avast Forum Spam
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2010, 05:22:06 PM »
Some users may post (their first post) with a link, because they have a problem with a particular site (blocked as malicious, or a web shield problem), with a partciular tool (downloadable from that site), sending a link to some AV article/test... so I wouldn't really say that if the first post has a link, it's necessarily spam.

On the other hand, I can imagine that the first N posts of a user wouldn't allow clickable links (no idea if it can be technically done, I don't know anything about the forum software) - where N might be anything from 5 to infinity (included, as far as I'm concerned).
But I don't think it would stop the spammers in any way - they'd be happy that their link got into google search (when indexing the forum), no matter if clickable or not.

Sesame

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Re: Avast Forum Spam
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2010, 05:27:21 PM »
Some users may post (their first post) with a link, because they have a problem with a particular site (blocked as malicious, or a web shield problem), with a partciular tool (downloadable from that site), sending a link to some AV article/test... so I wouldn't really say that if the first post has a link, it's necessarily spam.

On the other hand, I can imagine that the first N posts of a user wouldn't allow clickable links (no idea if it can be technically done, I don't know anything about the forum software) - where N might be anything from 5 to infinity (included, as far as I'm concerned).
But I don't think it would stop the spammers in any way - they'd be happy that their link got into google search (when indexing the forum), no matter if clickable or not.
I see.  Personally, I think it would dramatically reduce the effectiveness of each spam but, if your decision is done after good consideration, I won't insist it.  After all, it's your company and you are the bunch of professionals.

Offline igor

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Re: Avast Forum Spam
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2010, 05:29:34 PM »
There's no decision here, I'm not the forum administrator ;)
Just my personal opinions.

Sesame

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Re: Avast Forum Spam
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2010, 05:34:34 PM »
There's no decision here, I'm not the forum administrator ;)
Just my personal opinions.
Oh, I see but, as long as I know, you are the only person who is privileged to do U-boat browsing these boards.  ;D
Well, then, let's see what chocolo or kc... (sorry, I cannot spell his forum name) decide.  ;)

Hermite15

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Re: Avast Forum Spam
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2010, 05:34:50 PM »
just as an example, XtremeSystems forums (more registered members - not much more - than Avast but much more traffic/posting ) use this method of 2/3 days account validation, and one week red only >>> end result, these forums get spammed once or twice a month, while Avast forums get spammed several times a day sometimes  ::) One should also take into account that spammers probably like to challenge security software related forums.

Sesame

  • Guest
Re: Avast Forum Spam
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2010, 05:38:52 PM »
just as an example, XtremeSystems forums (more registered members - not much more - than Avast but much more traffic/posting ) use this method of 2/3 days account validation, and one week red only >>> end result, these forums get spammed once or twice a month, while Avast forums get spammed several times a day sometimes  ::) One should also take into account that spammers probably like to challenge security software related forums.
Logos, we are not questioning the effectiveness in preventing spams here.  However, considering the nature of the support forum,personally, I don't think it is a reasonable solution.   :'(

spg SCOTT

  • Guest
Re: Avast Forum Spam
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2010, 05:39:08 PM »

I have seen on another forum a method of reducing the appeal of spamming:

Quote
All of these links are using rel="NOFOLLOW" to keep people from using them to improve search engine rankings, too, making us a less attractive spammer/SEO target.
.  

So basically it would be pointless...

I wonder if that can be achieved here, although I doubt it would do much...

-Scott-




I posted this a while ago, and it could be a good idea...although it may not stop people spamming, it could reduce the amount, and also reduce the effectiveness of those that do still...