Forum: Biostar under spam attack - restrictions added to post content and title
6
gravatar for Istvan Albert
4.3 years ago by
Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k
University Park, USA
Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k wrote:

Edit: New users can create one top level post ever four hours. Post titles must only contain plain text characters and the post content must be in English. 

Edit: Posts by new users are disabled until we figure out how to deal with the spammers.

We've had a substantial spam attack today - thanks to all moderators keeping the site clean.

In response we have turned on mandatory email verification on all accounts. During log-in you will be asked to verify the email that is on your account. 

Please send an email to admin@biostars.org if you are having problems and/or need to change your email address.

biostar forum • 1.5k views
ADD COMMENTlink modified 4.3 years ago • written 4.3 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k
3

Thanks for saving Biostars from the spam deluge ;-)

ADD REPLYlink modified 4.3 years ago • written 4.3 years ago by Ashutosh Pandey11k

Thank you Istvan but it doesn't seem to work. I've just banned a dozen of new accounts during the last minutes...

ADD REPLYlink written 4.3 years ago by Pierre Lindenbaum123k

Same here. I suspended a few accounts too. Hopefully we won't be attacked any further. 

ADD REPLYlink written 4.3 years ago by Ashutosh Pandey11k

well if someone actually goes through with email validation then they will be able to to post. But typically that is much higher price and they won't continue doing it for too long. Let's keep watching what is going on.

ADD REPLYlink written 4.3 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k

ok - looks like the problem is more substantial - I will keep investigating.

ADD REPLYlink written 4.3 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k

In addition to deleting spam posts, I have tried to ban spam accounts in the past, but I seem unable to do it. Would be willing to help here, if there is interest.

ADD REPLYlink written 4.3 years ago by Alex Reynolds29k

thanks Alex, banning has become a more potent tool and irreversible tool, unlike delete it destroys all posts and rewrites user autobiography. I was worried of adding that as moderator action as a single compromised account could do a lot of damage. The course of action that I am trying to follow is to increase to cost of spamming - either some sort of approval process for new users or a captcha for them.

ADD REPLYlink written 4.3 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k

How about first post by a new user must be approved by moderator before it is displayed?

ADD REPLYlink modified 4.3 years ago • written 4.3 years ago by PoGibas4.8k

yes that would be a good way to go about it - I will try to add this into the new version (that keeps slipping but should come out this summer).

ADD REPLYlink written 4.3 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k

forbid the n​on English title and contex

ADD REPLYlink written 4.3 years ago by Zhilong Jia1.5k

Originally I did not like this idea as I am concerned that it can backfire in various ways - but then after considering other options this is what I implemented as a stopgap measure - it was the easiest to implement right away. Thanks for the suggestion.

ADD REPLYlink written 4.3 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k

Hi Istvan, they're back again: I've deleted a dozen of spammers in the last hours.

ADD REPLYlink written 2.1 years ago by Pierre Lindenbaum123k
2

I'll be our for a few hours but I'll see what we can do later this evening.

Thanks for the hard work, these spammers seem to be defeating the captchas' which means they have to put in some effort and hopefully getting banned will make it clear that is not worth it.

ADD REPLYlink written 2.1 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 81k
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