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#1 2017-04-03 7:48 pm

spamkilla
Member
Registered: 2017-04-03
Posts: 3

Are these annoying lurkers, registration bots or dormant spammers?

Hi everyone,

It appears that the majority of the registrations on my MyBB forum may be registration bots. Can I add their information to the stopforumspam database and how do I do that without submitting them one by one through the form? I have around 50 questionable members on my forum and many have a very similar username - for example 4 members named

wTreehouse

eTreehouse

rTreehouse

and

yTreehouse

and none of them ever post a thing. When I IP Ban them they come back again with a different IP and a name like

uTreehouse

and when I ban them they return as

iTreehouse

Using your expert knowledge would you say these are lurkers, registration bots or spammers lying in wait? More importantly am I allowed to add them to your database and how do I do that without adding them one by one? Thank you!

Lilah

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#2 2017-04-03 8:19 pm

Old Dragon
Member
Registered: 2012-11-25
Posts: 176

Re: Are these annoying lurkers, registration bots or dormant spammers?

spamkilla wrote:

Can I add their information to the stopforumspam database ?

No, because....

spamkilla wrote:

none of them ever post a thing.

You can only add verified spammers to the database, they must actually spam your board. If they haven't posted they can't have spammed. They probably are bots but unless they post all you can do is delete them.


Spammers can all go feck themselves. With a cactus. A large one. With two branches.  Sideways
SEO = Spam Emitting Organisation

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#3 2017-04-03 8:28 pm

kpatz
Member
Registered: 2008-10-09
Posts: 1,168

Re: Are these annoying lurkers, registration bots or dormant spammers?

Does MyBB let you set up username rules (to restrict certain words/patterns in the username)?  Put Treehouse in there (or use a regex like [a-z]Treehouse$ if MyBB supports this) to block these from registering in the first place.

All bots are dumb but you seem to have a particularly dumb one, which should make it easy to block outright.


There are no smart spammers, because smart people don't spam.

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#4 2017-04-03 9:20 pm

spamkilla
Member
Registered: 2017-04-03
Posts: 3

Re: Are these annoying lurkers, registration bots or dormant spammers?

Old Dragon wrote:
spamkilla wrote:

Can I add their information to the stopforumspam database ?

No, because....

spamkilla wrote:

none of them ever post a thing.

You can only add verified spammers to the database, they must actually spam your board. If they haven't posted they can't have spammed. They probably are bots but unless they post all you can do is delete them.

Okay, thank you for answering. Using your expertise with this kind of thing what do you think they're up to? It makes absolutely no sense for people to send bots to my little board. And since they never spam (thank goodness) what's the point of registering?

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#5 2017-04-03 9:24 pm

spamkilla
Member
Registered: 2017-04-03
Posts: 3

Re: Are these annoying lurkers, registration bots or dormant spammers?

kpatz wrote:

Does MyBB let you set up username rules (to restrict certain words/patterns in the username)?  Put Treehouse in there (or use a regex like [a-z]Treehouse$ if MyBB supports this) to block these from registering in the first place.

All bots are dumb but you seem to have a particularly dumb one, which should make it easy to block outright.

Yes it does! I went into the ACP and used Disallowed Usernames *Treehouse* to block anyone from registering with that as part of their username. Thanks for the great idea!

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#6 2017-04-18 7:39 pm

StapleButter
Member
Registered: 2017-04-18
Posts: 7

Re: Are these annoying lurkers, registration bots or dormant spammers?

That sounds like a bot registering accounts. Or someone being bored and trying to be witty.


Anyway, I wouldn't block Treehouse from usernames, you never know when a legit user will come up with a name that contains Treehouse.

Last edited by StapleButter (2017-04-18 7:40 pm)

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#7 2017-04-18 7:47 pm

GarryRicketson
Moderator
From: Mexico
Registered: 2011-08-19
Posts: 1,198
Website

Re: Are these annoying lurkers, registration bots or dormant spammers?

What we do on another forum when it is a bot , is just ban the user name for a limited period of time, so the bot can't re-register with that user name,  after awhile it gives up and moves on to another site,  after the time period set in the ban, the user name can still be used later in the event a real person happens to use it.
That became necessary  because the list of banned user names became so full it could not hold any more

Last edited by GarryRicketson (2017-04-18 7:48 pm)

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#8 2017-04-18 10:38 pm

Alex Kemp
Moderator
From: Nottingham, England
Registered: 2009-12-02
Posts: 1,821
Website

Re: Are these annoying lurkers, registration bots or dormant spammers?

spamkilla wrote:

what do you think they're up to? It makes absolutely no sense...

Hi spamkilla, welcome to SFS.

1. Almost certainly someone running a bot...
2. ...badly.

Never forget the cock-up factor. And no, you can NOT report such events to SFS. No spam, no report. Naturally, delete/ban/whatever on your board - your board, your decisions. However, this site is for reporting spam. We are not interested in bots per se.

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#9 2017-04-19 12:18 pm

SledgeBrother1
Member
From: Italy
Registered: 2016-09-01
Posts: 23

Re: Are these annoying lurkers, registration bots or dormant spammers?

They sound like spambots. I remember a forum where there are millions of account with a common word in their username, posting the same spam in there. In doubt i would ban the accounts and let them contact an admin so the can prove to be humans.

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#10 2017-04-19 5:10 pm

chrishirst
Member
From: Blackpool UK
Registered: 2011-01-22
Posts: 29
Website

Re: Are these annoying lurkers, registration bots or dormant spammers?

StapleButter wrote:

Anyway, I wouldn't block Treehouse from usernames, you never know when a legit user will come up with a name that contains Treehouse.

And????

My forum SPECIFICALLY states in the T&C that 'key' word combination usernames are NOT allowed, so if I want to block "Treehouse", "Photoshop", "AEG", "Kitchen", CookerHood" etc. etc. et f***ing cetera from registering, ... ... ... I do.


And if "Photoshop A.E.G. Treehouse III" wants to register an account, he (or she) will have to get a little creative with their moniker.

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#11 2017-04-20 11:45 am

lisati
Member
From: Porirua, New Zealand
Registered: 2011-04-14
Posts: 337

Re: Are these annoying lurkers, registration bots or dormant spammers?

Since when do bots pay attention to Ts&Cs? Sometimes even real people click on "I accept the terms and conditions" without actually reading them......

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#12 2017-04-20 9:52 pm

Old Dragon
Member
Registered: 2012-11-25
Posts: 176

Re: Are these annoying lurkers, registration bots or dormant spammers?

Sometimes. lol

Last edited by Old Dragon (2017-04-20 9:52 pm)


Spammers can all go feck themselves. With a cactus. A large one. With two branches.  Sideways
SEO = Spam Emitting Organisation

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#13 2017-04-20 10:23 pm

GarryRicketson
Moderator
From: Mexico
Registered: 2011-08-19
Posts: 1,198
Website

Re: Are these annoying lurkers, registration bots or dormant spammers?

When the Ts&Cs is a huge long page or pages, of what appears to be legal "mumbo,jumbo", a language I do not speak or understand, 
This is exactly what I do,..

Sometimes even real people click on "I accept the terms and conditions" without actually reading them

When they are clear, short , and in either plain english or spanish, I usually take the time
to read them.

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#14 2017-04-21 12:56 pm

SledgeBrother1
Member
From: Italy
Registered: 2016-09-01
Posts: 23

Re: Are these annoying lurkers, registration bots or dormant spammers?

Sometimes even real people click on "I accept the terms and conditions" without actually reading them

Their fault, i usually don't because they're annoying. I will surely force some JavaScript trap so users will have to wait until they can continue.

Good way, good way..

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#15 2017-04-21 9:15 pm

chrishirst
Member
From: Blackpool UK
Registered: 2011-01-22
Posts: 29
Website

Re: Are these annoying lurkers, registration bots or dormant spammers?

The "T&Cs" are about five or seven lines (depending on screen size) that say;

Spammers, Marketers and so-called SEOers are NOT welcome here, so IF your intent is to "link drop", "promote you webiste" or tell us about your latest impotrant product, ....
... DON'T EVEN BOTHER filling in the following form
But if you manage to create an account using a conjoined "key" word user name that is not already blocked, your account WILL be deleted within 24 hours.
PLUS we do not allow post signatures at all.

The Indlish/Chinglish [mis-]spellings are deliberate.


Then the registration form follows it. Which has a single question and answer picked at random from a db list, a hidden field that should be empty when submitted, a javascript check box that bots should not trigger followed by a SFS check.

So if they get through that AND have used a genuine email (no Hotmail, Yahoo, Mail.ru, Yandex OR sharklasers.com etc. etc.) that can be 'verified', they are welcome to post.

Last edited by chrishirst (2017-04-21 9:16 pm)

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