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#1 2017-05-22 3:08 am

UsernameOptional
Banned
Registered: 2010-03-19
Posts: 3

To Submit or Not - Again.

Hello Everyone -
I was cruising around trying to see if there was a thread that addressed my issue when I tripped up on the thread, To submit or not to submit... .  After reading the first few posts of that thread, I now have TWO issues.

Originial issue for which I was seeking an answer:   A known spammer (found the IP listed here on SFS) has used our website name/address in his email addy...example:  ourwebsite. com @ somespammerplace .com.   If I submit this spammer to SFS, will that cause problems for our website?  (But this may quickly become a moot issue)......

Next issue - I spotted the following in post #2 of the above mentioned thread by Alex Kemp in reply to the OP, kpatz, "You know he's a spammer; I know he's a spammer; he knows he's a spammer. But you cannot submit him to the DB - no spam links."

I've never come to the SFS forum just for casual reading.  I don't remember what all I read when I first registered here in 2010 (rules and such, etc), so I can't say that I recall this stipulation.  Or if I even saw it.

I've not been logged in here at SFS for quite some time as spam on our site decreased drastically as did spammer registrations, and because I had so many other things going, I stopped logging in just to submit one or two spammers every so often.  But in the last few days, we are suddenly being bombarded with registrations by spammers. 

Now... the majority of them are being stopped at the door so-to-speak - their registrations being flagged as requiring manual approval, so only one or two have successfully flown under the radar.  But NONE of them have posted anything on our board so far.

In the past, I submitted spammers to SFS because:
    1.  They posted spam somewhere on our board (not all contained links but most did), or
    2.  I found them listed here in SFS's database and submitted the username, email or IP they registered with on our board, or
    3.  Found spammer activity by googling their username and/or email addy

Today, I added the usernames, email addresses and IPs of about 20 spammers - none of which actually got to our board, but were identified as such because they were already listed here at SFS, or because I was able to track down spammer activity by googling their usernames and/or email addresses.

Should I not have added ANY those yay-whoos to the database??

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#2 2017-05-22 4:12 am

Papa Parrot
Moderator
From: Mexico
Registered: 2011-08-19
Posts: 1,656
Website

Re: To Submit or Not - Again.

But NONE of them have posted anything on our board so far.

I do not understand why people just can not grasp this:
If no spam is posted, there is nothing to report.
If no spam is posted, there is nothing to report. 

This could and probably will get your API key removed,

UsernameOptional>>Today, I added the usernames, email addresses and IPs of about 20 spammers - none of which actually got to our board, but were identified as such because they were already listed here at SFS, or because I was able to track down spammer activity by googling their usernames and/or email addresses.

You have no business submitting any one that has not actually posted spam , on your forum. And even more so, you can not just go and start submitting everything/everyone that happens to come up in a "google search".
You can not be submitting  usernames, email addresses and IPs , of entities that have not even accessed your board.

(But this may quickly become a moot issue)......

Yes I think it will, Pedigree needs to remove all of your submissions, and the API key , all or most of you submissions,
based on what you admittedly have been doing , they are all "false" submissions.
Any way, thank you for telling us.

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#3 2017-05-22 4:18 am

Alex Kemp
Moderator
From: Nottingham, England
Registered: 2009-12-02
Posts: 1,959
Website

Re: To Submit or Not - Again.

Hi UsernameOptional

Your post worries me. Here's why:-

UsernameOptional wrote:

In the past, I submitted spammers to SFS because:
    1.  They posted spam somewhere on our board (not all contained links but most did), or
    2.  I found them listed here in SFS's database and submitted the username, email or IP they registered with on our board, or
    3.  Found spammer activity by googling their username and/or email addy

Today, I added the usernames, email addresses and IPs of about 20 spammers - none of which actually got to our board, but were identified as such because they were already listed here at SFS, or because I was able to track down spammer activity by googling their usernames and/or email addresses.

If you act quickly & remove those spammers you may be able to prevent us removing your ability to ever be registered with this site (and thus protecting yourself from spammers).

The rules are simple & have existed ever since SFS began. You can report a spammer to SFS if:-

  1. You run a forum/blog/etc..

  2. Someone spams it

  3. You have all 3 of Username, IP & email address

You write "not all contained links". If they did not include a link, explain how that is spam.
You write "I found them listed here in SFS's database and submitted the username, email or IP they registered with on our board". What part of  "they have spammed my board" don't you understand?
You write that you found "spammer activity by googling their username and/or email addy". What part of  "they have spammed my board" don't you understand?

Remove ALL of your spammers. We do not need any of them, thank you very much. If that is not done by the point that I wake up, then you will be banned from this site.

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#4 2017-05-22 4:20 am

Alex Kemp
Moderator
From: Nottingham, England
Registered: 2009-12-02
Posts: 1,959
Website

Re: To Submit or Not - Again.

Ah. I see that you got your post in before me, Garry.

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#5 2017-05-22 4:26 am

Papa Parrot
Moderator
From: Mexico
Registered: 2011-08-19
Posts: 1,656
Website

Re: To Submit or Not - Again.

But yours is more clear,.. I didn't think about that as a option, but yes that would be best if the OP simply removes
all of their submissions,
Thanks
P.S. In case the OP does not know how, use the "USER PANEL" > My SPAMMERS > select the "DELETE" buttons, and start deleting.
The delete button is the little red disk, with a - sign, on the far right side.
It looks like this: delete.png


============= edited   ===============
On the e-mail address,

website name/address in his email addy...example:  ourwebsite. com @ somespammerplace .com.

That leads to something else that is a requirement before submitting anything.
The e-mail address must be verified.  Usually this is done by using the "e-mail activation" option.
When some one registers to your board, or forum, they must activate the account by responding to a
"activation e-mail",  this functions to insure they received the  activation e-mail, and it verifies they used
a real e-mail address, where they received the activation e-mail.
If they received the e-mail at that e-mail address,  using "yourdomain.any@some-email-domain.any" and activate their account,then it is a acceptable e-mail address to use in the submission.
The e-mail address must be verified.
It should not cause any problem on , or for your board.
If the e-mail was never verified to start with, then it should neverhave been submitted.
Again:  nothing can be submitted if the e-mail address has not been verified.
The e-mail address must be verified.

Summary:
After deleting all you submissions, please do not make any more submissions  until you fully understand all of this.

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#6 2017-05-22 11:51 am

Maikuolan
Member
From: Perth, Western Australia
Registered: 2011-08-09
Posts: 725
Website

Re: To Submit or Not - Again.

As a side-note.. In the past, I've occasionally had spam posted to some of my (now defunct and no longer existent) honeypots, whereby the email address used was the same like this (my-honeypot-domain.tld@spammer-domain.tld). Even in cases where these email addresses were successfully verified, I usually just ditched these anyway and never bothered reporting them, due to the risk that it might be attempts by spammers to ascertain which domains are being used as honeypots (i.e., post spam to several hundred different domains for a day or two, then a short while later, check the SFS database to see which submissions exist in the database for *@spammer-domain.tld, and for any results that appear, blacklist said domains against future spam campaigns), and, if spammers were to figure out which domains I was using as honeypots, there's a good chance they'd cease to be valuable as honeypots, and so, I tried to avoid this happening.

Conversely, for normal, non-honeypot domains, this may actually be desirable at times, if there's a chance that by them mistakenly thinking that your domain is a honeypot (or a chance that they simply know that you report spammers to SFS, honeypot or otherwise), that they then actively start avoiding your domain, thus reducing the overall amount of spam seen by your domain. However, I'd still be somewhat apprehensive about them figuring out that you've submitted their details to SFS anyhow, if at all possible, due to the risk that they start hurling abuse at you, through email or otherwise, start harassing you, or otherwise cause some manner of problems for you and your website.

Ultimately, as long as all the requirements of submission aforementioned by Alex and Garry have been met, whether or not you choose to submit these types of spammers is up to you, and if you don't share my concerns about these types of submissions, then there's not much reason to refrain from submitting them to the database. However, personally, I prefer to err on the side of caution and thus avoid these particular types of submissions.

Again, though, and for not wanting to play down what Alex and Gary have already mentioned: In any case, all requirements of submission must be met prior to submitting anything to the database here. No spam = No submission. Former reports already existing in the database is NOT a substitute for the requirement that in order to submit something here, that something MUST actually posted spam!


phpMussel file upload protection (v1.5.0, 2018.08.01).
CIDRAM IP blocker (v1.7.0, 2018.07.28).
SFS Mass IP Checker (v0.1.3, 2016.09.10).
IPv4+IPv6 IP/CIDR Aggregator (v1.1.0, 2017.10.29).

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#7 2017-05-22 12:47 pm

Alex Kemp
Moderator
From: Nottingham, England
Registered: 2009-12-02
Posts: 1,959
Website

Re: To Submit or Not - Again.

Zero response from the OP, so he has been banned. I shall now ask pedigree to remove his API key + all Reports under that key.

Acting in the way that this fool has acted is about the worst that could be done:–

  1. It pollutes the database with wrongful reports

  2. It confirms uncommitted forum owners' worst fears - that the SFS DB entries may be untrustworthy

It is even possible that UsernameOptional is a spammer attempting to achieve #2. For the sake of those with open minds I'll point out the obvious:– it is a numbers game (just like life itself):–

The greatest percentage by far of all entries within the DB are acquired via honeypots (HPs). Most spammers operate via bots; as an example, the word that you will most often come across in connection with such bots is xrumer (now apparently at version 16.0.8). Although such bots are set into motion by humans, the action of the bot itself is perfectly automatic; it is therefore necessary to use automatic methods to harvest such bots for the SFS DB, which is the role of the HP. DB entries from HPs run into tens & hundreds of millions. By comparison human reports are in the thousands (a fraction of a percent). In the same way as the human body can stand contamination by biota and/or heavy metals, etc. if the numbers involved are low, so the SFS DB is effective if reports from fools such as UsernameOptional are kept as low as possible and scrubbed when found.

As a postscript, make note that my experience running a forum was that xrumer added my site to it's bots' blocklist. The reason for that was that they regularly examined the SFS Contributors listing and added all the names found there to a block-list. My site's name was in there, so it got little problem from bots. In this way, please understand just how useful human reports are to SFS & thus to protecting your forum/blog/etc.. You can NOT do much to stop folks attempting to abuse your site, but you CAN do something to stop folks succeeding in abusing your site and, if you report it to SFS when it is spam, help sites worldwide effectively auto-block them.

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#8 2017-05-22 4:10 pm

kpatz
Member
Registered: 2008-10-09
Posts: 1,317

Re: To Submit or Not - Again.

UsernameOptional has been a member here since 2010, so he's not the usual dump & run spammer.  Maybe not a spammer at all, but a member who didn't understand the rules as they currently exist.

The rules are simple & have existed ever since SFS began.

I've been here since 2008 and early on there was not a "no spam = no submit" rule, at least that I was aware of at the time.  I seem to remember Ped even recommending submitting a spammer who registered who had listings in order to keep them current, way back then.  Sometime between then and 2012 that changed and the "no spam = no submit" started being enforced, as I had to change my own submission approach to comply. 

His last post prior to this thread was in 2011, which was before "no spam = no submit" really started being pushed, so he could really have been unaware of this policy.

Last edited by kpatz (2017-05-22 4:13 pm)


We need better spam proofing technology - preferably the kind that electrocutes spammers with 50,000 volts 100 amps the moment they click "Post".

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#9 2017-05-22 4:53 pm

Papa Parrot
Moderator
From: Mexico
Registered: 2011-08-19
Posts: 1,656
Website

Re: To Submit or Not - Again.

Ped even recommending submitting a spammer who registered

I don't know, but still , their is a huge difference between submitting a spammer that has registered to
the forum, and  this :

Today, I added the usernames, email addresses and IPs of about 20 spammers - none of which actually got to our board, but were identified as such because they were already listed here at SFS, or because I was able to track down spammer activity by googling their usernames and/or email addresses.

"NONE of which actually got to our board", it sounds like UsernameOptional has been looking at the data base, and then re-submitting ones that are listed, as if they had registered, and posted spam on their forum,... I do not understand why anyone
would do this, unless they were just trying to get a higher ranking on the contributor list, ???,
And randomly googling usernames, and / or e-mail addresses , then submitting them,....????

---so he's not the usual dump & run spammer.

Well, I certainly agree this is not a "usual dump & run spammer",... but corrupting the data base , by submitting data
"scraped" from other sources, beyond just the normal, "spam posted to my forum",...

I am inclined to agree with Alex on this one, except maybe we shouldn't call any one a "idiot",...

Alex Kemp>>Acting in the way that this idiot has acted is about the worst that could be done:–

    It pollutes the database with wrongful reports

    It confirms uncommitted forum owners' worst fears - that the SFS DB entries may be untrustworthy

It is even possible that UsernameOptional is a spammer attempting to achieve #2. For the sake of those with open minds I'll point out the obvious:– it is a numbers game (just like life itself):–

Using the excuse that they didn't understand the rules, does not really stand,  if and when someone does not
understand the rules, or any instructions, they should ask before  taking action, not after.

UsernameOptional>>Should I not have added ANY those yay-whoos to the database??

It sounds like the OP all ready knew they should not have been doing this, but did it any way, and then
decided to ask if they shouldn't have.

The OP has been a member since, 2010-03-19, and had no clue ??? I don't buy it. I also wonder why they
decided to post the announcement, about what they have been doing on the public forum, instead of asking ahead of time.

kpatz>> Sometime between then and 2012 that changed and the "no spam = no submit" started being enforced, as I had to change my own submission approach to comply.

Exactly, and you changed your submission approach to comply, there is no reason the OP couldn't have done the same,
and they admitted having read the other thread, which is also very clear,...the one you started, so you could ask, before doing
something you were not sure about,..

That goes into another subject, there really was no reason for the OP to start a new topic on the same subject,...
  Any way, now it has turned into a somewhat different topic.

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#10 2017-05-22 5:08 pm

kpatz
Member
Registered: 2008-10-09
Posts: 1,317

Re: To Submit or Not - Again.

GarryRicketson wrote:

"NONE of which actually got to our board", it sounds like UsernameOptional has been looking at the data base, and then re-submitting ones that are listed, as if they had registered, and posted spam on their forum,...

I interpreted this as he had these spammers attempt to register and rejected by his forum's SFS plugin, before they could get in to post spam, and he thought it was ok to re-submit them after googling their info to confirm that they had spammed elsewhere.

And randomly googling usernames, and / or e-mail addresses , then submitting them,....????

I think he was googling ones that attempted to hit his forum, not just randomly hunting down spammers to submit.  Of course, if your theory is correct, he does deserve the ban.

Exactly, and you changed your submission approach to comply, there is no reason the OP couldn't have done the same,
and the admitted having read the other thread, which is also very clear,...the one you started, so you could ask, before doing
something you were not sure about,...

He hadn't posted on the forum since 2011, so it's quite possible he was unaware of "NSNS," as I wasn't made aware of it myself until late 2012, and then I had to have it explained because it contradicted something Pedigree recommended a few years prior.

But, if the decision to ban him is final, it's a moot point anyway.


We need better spam proofing technology - preferably the kind that electrocutes spammers with 50,000 volts 100 amps the moment they click "Post".

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#11 2017-05-22 7:31 pm

Alex Kemp
Moderator
From: Nottingham, England
Registered: 2009-12-02
Posts: 1,959
Website

Re: To Submit or Not - Again.

kpatz wrote:

if the decision to ban him is final, it's a moot point anyway.

pedigree has been asked to remove his API key, not instructed. Although Garry & I independently came to the same decision, it is right that there should be more than one person to decide; it is easy to be too close to something.

I've also asked if it is possible for that key to be made read-only (can read from API but not submit) as a further possibility. However, this is a particularly egregious case, in my view.

23 May Update: I got confused in that last paragraph. The API key is required only for sending Reports to SFS. There are currently zero restrictions on reading the API. Thus, by default if an API key is revoked then the API becomes read-only.

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#12 2017-05-23 3:20 pm

kpatz
Member
Registered: 2008-10-09
Posts: 1,317

Re: To Submit or Not - Again.

May I suggest that some reference to this policy be included on the Add Spam Data page?  Right now there's no mention of it there at all, and not everyone who submits spam data is necessarily going to surf the forums and stumble upon it.

It's not mentioned on the API Key signup page either, though that page at least says "I agree not to be malicious etc. etc.".  Neither page says that the spammer has to post spam/links before they can be submitted.

It will at least spread awareness to those who don't hang out here.

Last edited by kpatz (2017-05-23 3:21 pm)


We need better spam proofing technology - preferably the kind that electrocutes spammers with 50,000 volts 100 amps the moment they click "Post".

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#13 2017-05-23 5:14 pm

Alex Kemp
Moderator
From: Nottingham, England
Registered: 2009-12-02
Posts: 1,959
Website

Re: To Submit or Not - Again.

I agree kpatz, the whole thing needs setting out clearly within relevant places that everyone will readily access. However, pedigree is currently the only person that can alter the forum software, and he has many other site aspects to occupy his time (let alone RL, of course).

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