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About the Recent Spam/Adbot Attacks

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  • If you guys need any help, I'm here. I have a very free schedule and I'm usually up when no one else is(Hooray for insomnia!) so I don't have a problem cleaning up the threads when they appear. Of course that would be making me a mod, and I know the person in charge of the "mods" account on here mentioned awhile ago about possibly trying to make me one when they needed a new mod, but...yeah.

    Is there anything we can do as regular users? Does reporting help at all? Should we go so far as to bump topics to remove the ads from the front page? I think it's obvious no one in the community is very pleased with the spamer and/or bots.

    It's really quite an eyesore...I'm surprised the forums are being attacked like this. I've never seen a video game forum get targeted for such massive spam attacks. Has anyone checked out any other forums to see if they're having the same problem? Because then that could pretty much confirm it's a bot, IIRC.

  • Thanks for the offer. Meagan used to be our community manager, then it was Annette, now it's me and Sanders. I'll see about giving you mod access, but can't do it today.

    These posts appear to be spam bots looking at their frequency and ip addresses (Bangladesh and Philippines). We've been trying to keep up with them, but there's bugs and usability issues on the site that slow us down. Soooo...we'll have to fix those, at least, if we're going to make head way.

  • Just remember that you have a HUGE database of users that love GI. If you need to organize an army to defeat these sinister attacks then sign us up!

  • I'm with Ryan and Nick. If there's ANYTHING we regular users can do to help, let us know. We all love this site, and hate to see it under attack from bots. Hopefully this'll get sorted out soon. Good luck you guys!

    ^She's reacting to my posts! 

     

    Check out some of my songs! https://www.youtube.com/user/MichaelCoversPony/videos

  • Some of these bots are being bounced off from the Philippines? ***... Here is a little fun fact brought to you by Wikipedia (it's a joke between a friend and I). The 'I love you' virus  has been one of the most notorious viruses in the world that ran for 10 years. Little did people know it came from a hacker in a Filipino internet cafe.

    Anyways, I think the biggest problem is probably the ReCaptchas at work. See if there is a way to switch them with colored ReCaptchas that also have distorted backgrounds such as shading and random blotches to disguise the text. Very few bots can get passed those.

    Finally, ever thought of making requirements to use the Forums? Not that same level 5 for blogs but maybe level 2? I am sure it could cut down on bots.

    Please do not feed the trolls. Violation of Internet Health Safety Code 115270-3B Subsection 2 Paragraph 1. Violators are punishable to up to 5 years in internet shame.

  • A level 2 restriction may work, but how many new (real) users will turned away because of it? I'm willing to bet GIO staff will see it acceptable in order to keep the forums from being destroyed. Its not hard to reach that level anyway. How long would it take to implement such a change? Its the best idea I've heard so far.

    If you need more mods just let me know! I'm willing to spend more time on the site :)

  • Thanks, Joey. I know one thing I'm very willing to do is go through an delete each of the spam threads. I know most people really don't want to because it's so time consuming, but it's no prob for me.

    Oh and everyone, don't forget, we have to look for people spamming blogs too.

    One thing I'm wondering is..if they're getting past the reCAPTCHA system to post on the forums...is user information at risk, such as Power Up card info?

  • @Nick~Good question. Not only power-up card's, what about subscription number's? OO

    I'm on here pretty often, so if you need someone to delete these stupid thing's you can count me in. Is there a way you could make limited mod account's? Set them up to only delete user post/bot account's or something? I'd love to be a mod, but if we could do limited account's for everyone say level 5 and higher? We could have an entire site banning bot post/account's on both the forum's and the blog section. :)

    Kill'em with kindness, it's a slow painful death.

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  • I wouldn't worry about that from these bots Nick, unless you're actually foolish enough to click on one of the links in their spam threads/blogs, cuz who knows what'll happen.  As has been stated earlier in this thread, our reCAPTCHA is apparently basic enough that there are some bots that can detect the characters and create accounts.  In order to get a hold of say your powerup info or your subscription number, they'd have to phish your account or find a way to hack into GI's database.  

    While the threat of phishing or hacking on the internet is always a constant threat that you should honestly always worry about in the back of your minds, I personally think that as long as no one actually clicks on these bots links (for all we know that's how they plan to phish your account, or get some kind of nasty adware, malware, or virus on your computer) then that kind of info shouldn't be compromised by these bots.

     

    Edit: That said, here's an idea that can maybe at least slow these bots down.  How about add a reCAPTCHA before you can post a new thread or blog?  Granted that will be annoying for us honest users, but if it slows down or even stops the bots it would be worth it.

  • If it slow's them down (or better yet stop's them) i think it would be worth the trouble.

    Kill'em with kindness, it's a slow painful death.

    Usage guidelines, Newcomer Cheat  Sheet, Site Feedback.

  • I thought clicking the link would be what would do it, but admittedly, I don't know much about website security. Hopefully no one has clicked those links..

    And doing a reCAPTCHA before posting a new thread or blog is a good idea. We could at least do it within a time limit. For example, if you've made more than two threads within 5-10 minutes, have them do a reCAPTCHA.

  • Well level 2 restriction is only 2 comments. So either they have bots spam news posts or we let them roam our forums. Also, I think the best idea would to have posting limits. Simply make it where you can only make so many threads every hour. Everybody here knows that there are far and few people to be making 6 threads an hour.

    As for the ReCaptcha before a new thread... Bots will simply get passed it. Most likely GIO will use the same ReCaptcha system so that wouldn't do us any good.

    Please do not feed the trolls. Violation of Internet Health Safety Code 115270-3B Subsection 2 Paragraph 1. Violators are punishable to up to 5 years in internet shame.

  • To everyone who's volunteering to be a mod:

    More mods wont help, the empty forum pages are almost as annoying as the spam.

    To Ownzior:

    If you made a thread limit, wouldn't they just make more accounts?

  • Glad to see the problem's at least being tackled head on.  It seems like a lot of websites have had this problem lately.

    PSN ID: UserMaatRe666


  • People aren't volunteering..we're just sick of the spam and want something done. And obviously neither the mods or admins can just snap their fingers and make everything go back to normal.

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