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From "F C. Costero" <>
Subject Re: Response to spam on the user forum
Date Mon, 23 Apr 2012 16:23:28 GMT
Thanks for the input Rob. I will pass it on to the forum. Some of the
volunteers commented over the weekend that it was more like a denial
of service attack. At one point the forum did become unavailable but
Hagar contacted Infra and it was back on line promptly. A few spam
messages are still coming in, at a rate I would have called high
before last week, but things remain vastly better than the weekend.

> What you are seeing is odd.  A successful spammer does not work this
> way.  They want their posts to survive and persist, to have impact. To
> build up Google Pagerank they want posts on 400 different websites
> rather than 400 posts on one website.  It doesn't make sense to send
> 400 to one website, since that will obviously draw attention from
> moderators.  This sounds more like a denial of service attack than
> spam.
> But a few ideas that might work, based on my experience running forums:
> 1) Change the CAPTCHA used in your registration.  What you have right
> now is too easy.
> 2) Much forum spam is targeted at getting links to raise their search
> engine position. You can remove that incentive by ensuring that all
> links given by users are given the rel="nofollow" attribute.  Most
> major sites, like Wikipedia, online newspapers, etc., do this in order
> to reduce the incentive to add spam.   I have the impression that the
> spammers search the web for high Pagerank websites that do not cloak
> their URL's with nofollow.  These sites are targeted by spammers.   If
> we get off that list, then we'll get less spam.
> 3) Longer term, maybe there is some way we can run forum posts through
> Apache's SpamAssasin?  It would probably require some custom app dev
> with phpBB, but it could result in a very sophisticated anti-spam
> solution.
> -Rob
>> Francis

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