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About the Recent Spam/Adbot Attacks

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  • Well guys I just got a PM spam.

  • Sorry for the double post, but here's a pic of what was in my inbox.

  • Nick:

    Well guys I just got a PM spam.

    That is ridiculous. I can't believe they would go that far to get this spam out. Sorry that happened.

  • well, here's my two cents on this nonsensical nonsense.

    Maybe set one of those fancy letter thingys to whenever you want to post a new topic. It wouldn't be that much trouble and would cut down the number of bots i know i wouldn't mind if it meant getting rid of these *** things...

    as far as a simple answer, that is what i would do.

    when talkin' about a complicated answer, that's a whole new pot of baked beans. IMO.

    if I set up the system in the state it's currently in, i would have to define 2 circles. the outer circle and the inner circle. The inner circle would be essentially a safeguarded field that everyone could resume their normal business.

    by the time that the process would be finished, all the bots would be in the outside circle burning in hell as all of the administrators plinked them out of the sky as they would come along.

    STEP 1: Isolation- you need to isolate all of the bots from the inner circle. this step would have to be done ASAP. the way this would be carried out is if you set a parameter for a new forum post such as one of those letter boxes, or you need to have posted about five comments before you can post a thread. just something to that effect.

    STEP 2: Sterilization- if using the idea that you need to post 5 comments before you can post a thread, you would have to sterilize the inner circle before any bots could be formatted to the new method of posting. so as to keep the inside clean, or the bots would just start posting again, and get used to the new method, which would in turn make it even harder to get rid of the bots.

    STEP 3: Regulation- After the outer circle of bots is locked, and the inner circle is safe to post and live our happy little lives in the forums, you would have to further set up the method of topic posting so-as to ensure that no bot invades for at least a milenia ;D

    However, if i was to just define a guideline on how to make a battle plan, it would be to identify the differences between bots and people, then identify the ways to preserve the people's routine, while eliminating the bots in as many ways as possible.

    This is just a suggestion, and can be a risky one at that, especially when considering step two.

    if the plan was to be carried out, i'd take down the servers for a short period of time, or freeze the ability to create new threads temporarily, and explain on a page why that is.

  • Like already said, this is a complicated issue and for this to be fixed, we need all the help of the Community and the coding powers of the IT department at GameStop. So, here is a list of solutions and drawbacks to them.

    1. Level limit to post on forums (level 2 or 3) - This basically means you would have to make 2 comments (level 2) or 20 comments (level 3) in order to participate with the rest of the Community. The downside is that this new users are easily excluded from introducing themselves to the Community and that the bots might spread into other areas like news and blogs.

    2. ReCaptcha before posting/making a thread - This would be great but these would probably run off the same ReCaptcha system used when making an account. Seeing as the bots can get around these, then it would only make it a nuisance for regular users.

    3. New ReCaptchas - This is a great idea but at the same time, might throw off new users due to the complexity of the ReCaptcha. Gameinformer simply needs to implement one that is simple enough for people read but hard enough that you would need a very complex bot.

    4.Thread/Posting Limits - This might be a good solution seeing as you can only make and run so many bots at a time. Though, this can become troublesome for those turbo users that jump topic to topic in a matter of seconds.

    Well, I forgot some other solutions but this are the ones that come to the top of my mind.

    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.

  • Well, I do have some very good news.  While a solution for getting rid of these spammers for good is still being looked for, it has become immensely easier to clean up the mess they make for us mods.  Now when we hide all of  a user's posts, it seems to apply to blog posts as well (BYE BYE BLOG SPAM!) and even better it seems the issue with the forums giving placeholders to hidden threads has also been corrected, so now cleaning up after these bots is an easy one-and-done process.

  • Sorry for taking so long to post to this thread. We've been heads down addressing the spam. Now the mods just need to ban a spammer permanently. Y'all don't need to check the hide these posts from users anymore. Banning permanently will do all that for you.

    We still have a problem with the placeholders in forums but have a way to fix it now. Just need time to do it.

    Thanks for all the ideas and help with te spam. It's made a big difference.

  • Great to know Joey. :) Another victory for real users and another loss for bots in the gaming world! Now where is the champagne to celebrate? =P

    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.

  • Found our solution. Here is the article to read.

    news.cnet.com/.../outsmarted-captcha-security-not-much-of-a-gotcha

    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.

  • Oh great. Now they're attacking guides! I got an e-mail alerting me about my inFAMOUS 2 Trophy Guide, only to find at least 25 links to spam scattered throughout the page!

    In my opinion, we need a captcha system in place for guides. It's not going to be that much of an issue and at least there's less of a chance for this happening.

    Now I'm going to have to go through a ton of guides and delete the spam. :T

  • Saw that too. The write a post page linked from the profile page is the biggest target right now. So I added recaptcha to that page and it's in QA right now (getting tested).

  • Awesome. I'm glad things are getting taken care of.

    I do wish to know why we're being attacked though. =/

  • ive heard that there are things called bot viruses, but i think these only apply to mmorpg games -.-

  • people who created these thing thou are one of the reasons i play some games because i like to have the challenge. (most bots are anouying but i like some)

    (I do not use, i just like playing with them)

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