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Is this a spam attack?


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Three or four brand-new users are currently replying to old, in some cases years-old, threads adding just "Thanks" or other useless replies. My front page currently has dozens of these. What is going on? Is this some sort of automated spam attack (what would be the point)? Or are these legitimate new users? It seems suspicious that they all joined roughly Saturday at 2 pm.

Edit: So now it looks like they each made 12 posts and then stopped. I guess the board software has some rate limiting built in, which is great. Let's see if they manage to create any more new users and continue the attack.

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It sure does appear to be nefarious. I can see various reasons for it. None of them benign. The easiest would be a mini denial of service attack. This just renders lots of entries on the main screen of users therefore making the main screen semi-useless. You could also be testing to see if a users rights are automatically upgraded after a certain number of posts. This would require there to be a bug somewhere in the program that they could take advantage of. If David or Lois are paying attention I'm asking for permission to delete these users and others that might pop up as soon as we see them. Have a great weekend.

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15 hours ago, Mike Preston said:

It sure does appear to be nefarious. I can see various reasons for it. None of them benign. The easiest would be a mini denial of service attack. This just renders lots of entries on the main screen of users therefore making the main screen semi-useless. You could also be testing to see if a users rights are automatically upgraded after a certain number of posts. This would require there to be a bug somewhere in the program that they could take advantage of. If David or Lois are paying attention I'm asking for permission to delete these users and others that might pop up as soon as we see them. Have a great weekend.

Permission granted, Mike - please do, and we'll be sure to dig into the back end over the next few days. 

Thanks so much for being on top of this!

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Well, I guess it has been a long time since I looked at the moderator options.  Other than the ability to delete individual posts I can't really find any.  No big deal, though, since obviously I haven't made use of them recently.  So, while I can mark folks as spammer and delete individual messages, that's about all.  I think. :=)

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Mike - I just checked the spam settings, and tweaked a few.  Flagging a spammer will now hide all of their content, and block them from submitting any more.  You shouldn't need to delete individual posts if you flag the entire account.  Hopefully that will do the job for these types of posts.

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Sounds good. Now can we get the reputation numbers back? :) I know I can find them in the profiles but I'm lazy.

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