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parker !
(parker)

Locale: Canada
site being hacked on 10/10/2012 09:50:39 MDT Print View

someone (tlabeotsbran) 10/10/2012 09:26:21 MDT
by Anonymous

is posting links to sites for item for sale , noticed becoming more prevalant, user is not a member just a fyi
and the links are not for any gear
not sure but the site admnin should remove the post

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: site being hacked on 10/10/2012 10:15:11 MDT Print View

Parker,

While you are logged in and looking at one of these questionable posts click on the "center" Red Flag icon in the upper right hand corner of the questionable post. Then click Submit Report.

The forum moderators will take it from that point and rid us of this "bot".

Welcome to the forum. ;-)

Party On,

Newton

parker !
(parker)

Locale: Canada
getting worse on 10/10/2012 12:11:36 MDT Print View

i have tried to do the red flag and it works but its like a full time job the post are coming in more and more and now from other annonymous users.
please block them they are ruining the members experience. with garbage adds.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: getting worse on 10/10/2012 12:19:36 MDT Print View

if the spammer would just do a few posts to optimize his search engine response it wouldn't be so bad. Does this many posts make a big difference? Is he just trying to be annoying?

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Trying? :-( on 10/10/2012 12:50:03 MDT Print View

Somebody wake up the moderator or call in the Geek Squad!

These annoying SPAMS are probably sneaking in some back door in the software that puts those annoying little adds in under our posts. ;-?

There, I feel better now.

Party On,

Newton

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
Spammed, not "hacked" on 10/10/2012 16:11:39 MDT Print View

Yeah... this reminds me of some discussions regarding the "vintage" of the software used for the BBS and CMS here.

In the short term, pending the agony of upgrade, the best thing to do is to ensure that you, when you see the spam, take the time for the red-flagging of the post. Don't rely upon others to have done it and don't worry if the Admins get a load of notices. If everyone does it, it's easier to find the posts and remove the user accounts. Trust me, I do it from the admin side somewhere else, all the time. (Less of a job with better BBS software)

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
BPL spam treatment? on 10/10/2012 17:23:48 MDT Print View

Last time this happened, I just happened to be browsing the forum at the time and red-flagged at least 20 posts, which appeared faster than I could red-flag them.

A few days later, I noticed that the posts I had red-flagged were still there, but the username of the poster/spambot had been changed to "SPAM."

It appears from this past incident that BPL may now be doing this instead of deleting the spammer's posts. This stops future spam (until the spambot registers under a new identity and a different IP address), but does nothing to get rid of the many spam posts already there, which are truly annoying to the regular forum users. It also leaves the links in the spam posts available for the curious to click on, which is the whole reason for spamming in the first place--to increase the hits on a site.

I help moderate another forum, and I can assure you that on that one, as soon as a regular forum reader flags a post as spam, it will be pounced on, deleted and the spammer's IP banned. In fact, there have been a few amusing situations in which two or three of us are trying to delete the spam at the same time! The key is to have enough volunteer moderators. No, I'm not volunteering, because I am already committed to the other forum. However, with half a dozen more volunteers out there, our "friend" "SPAM" could be kept in check.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: BPL spam treatment? on 10/10/2012 17:37:49 MDT Print View

"However, with half a dozen more volunteers out there, our "friend" "SPAM" could be kept in check."

I've been making this same suggestion for months now. Perhaps you'll get more traction! ;-)

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: getting worse on 10/10/2012 19:35:51 MDT Print View

> i have tried to do the red flag and it works but its like a full time job the post
> are coming in more and more and now from other annonymous users.

If you think that is bad, think about the effort required to go through and delete them all!!!!

But please do report them, as I can ban the poster. Of course, he can register another name when I do that, so it's a bit of a war.

Cheers
Roger Caffin
Online Community Monitor
Backpacking Light
PS: should I ever meet one of these guys in a dark alley ... his marriage prospects will decrease.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
spam on 10/10/2012 21:40:02 MDT Print View

The problem with not deleting spam posts, as I previously stated, is that some folks just can't resist clicking on links. That means that there are more hits to the sites, which is exactly what the spammer wants to accomplish. If the word goes out that spam posts here are not deleted promptly, you'll just get more and more and more! What you're getting here is obviously an automated spambot system whose operator has found fertile ground here.

That's why I suggested recruiting half a dozen volunteers to help moderate the forums. One or two people can't do it all!

I'm sure a lot of us would be willing to help you in that dark alley, too!

Edited by hikinggranny on 10/10/2012 21:41:02 MDT.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: spam on 10/10/2012 22:13:16 MDT Print View

Agreed. I moderate a much more sensitive forum and have annoted many co-moderators. Everyone does only as much as they are sure of. Deleting such obvious spam is low-hanging fruit.

High-functioning moderators have jobs, families, and hopefully go BPing at times. For 24-hour coverage, I'd estimate 15-20 moderators would be needed to provide timely deletions of such advertisements.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
spam on 10/11/2012 04:45:18 MDT Print View

Yeah, more moderators would help. More people means more coordination. More computers with potential for being hacked. (A hacked computer could do MORE damage than an inadvertent moderator.)

I do not think the current moderators do a bad job. They cleaned up yesterdays mess in fairly short order. Judging from the some of the headers, though, the spammer/hacker was fairly inept and it was likely a manual attack. A programmed attack could have really slowed the system down and added LARGE ammounts of spam to every subject, except those topics that are closed (Gear Swap, Lifer forums, etc.) He probably missed the time-between-posts rule, if he was programming the attack. He could automate a random name, registration and post his spam for several hours, before anyone locked him out. Note that sending address can be changed..."spoofing", difficult to trace except by hardware ID's. Even these can be changed, though...

A closed site would work far better. Simply moderating a new member would stop automated or semi-automated spamming. But this requires a LOT more work from the moderators...

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: spam on 10/11/2012 05:01:09 MDT Print View

"A closed site would work far better. Simply moderating a new member would stop automated or semi-automated spamming. But this requires a LOT more work from the moderators..."

Mary a.k.a. Hiking Granny can elaborate on this as the other forum that she helps moderate operates in this way. New "members" are moderated a.k.a. supervised until they have made a number of what I will call "worthy posts". After a decent number of good posts, I believe it is at least 10 or more, the noob is granted "full" member status.

I remember when I joined in on that forum it seemed like I'd never get to the full member status. I knew I had posted more than the minimum needed good posts and I was still stuck in noob status. I am now a full member of that forum.

When I joined BPL as a paying member I don't remember any such restrictions being placed on me. ;-?

Party On,

Newton

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: spam on 10/11/2012 06:24:22 MDT Print View

Yeah, that's fairly standard on the sites I moderate, too.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Re site being hacked on 10/11/2012 15:03:36 MDT Print View

I moderate another forum and over there if you delete a user, you also have the option of deleting every one of the users posts at the same time.

I think closing the forum to require admin/mod approval of all new members would be too time intensive for the admin/mods and would bar legitimately interested people from the forum that don't feel like jumping through a bunch of hoops to register. We had our forum closed for a while, to prevent a particularly persistent troll from registering there again for the umpteenth time and it was effective. But that's a double edged sword. New blood is important to forum vitality. Old timers get bored and stop participating after they've become well versed in all the topics, new blood comes in and the forum keeps plugging along. When we closed the forum we had the people who got bored and left, but no new blood to replace them and the forum became quite slow. We opened it back up for that reason.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re site being hacked on 10/11/2012 15:54:50 MDT Print View

I agree that moderating new users is not a good idea with this forum as it requires much more timely and involved moderation otherwise 'guests' will leave before their posts go online.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
Still seeing a number of spam posts on 10/11/2012 15:54:50 MDT Print View

I see quite a few non-deleted spam posts from the Tiffany lamp and replica watch and etc... postings of a few days ago. It is important, if one does not want more to arrive, that these posts are removed rather that only locked down.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
spam on 10/14/2012 18:55:51 MDT Print View

spam

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
spam on 10/14/2012 18:57:02 MDT Print View

spam

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: spam on 10/14/2012 18:58:31 MDT Print View

spam

John West
(skyzo) - M

Locale: Borah Gear
Re: Re: Re: Re site being hacked on 10/14/2012 20:19:52 MDT Print View

This is getting out of control.

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: site being hacked on 10/14/2012 20:23:53 MDT Print View

They're even posting in the "Site Being Hacked" thread.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: site being hacked on 10/14/2012 20:47:07 MDT Print View

Attention Moderators,

by greenaonir aifsengh

Most if not all of these SPAM posts are by the above spammer.

I know its not this simple but block his user name or block his IP address!

Saying "this is getting out of hand" implies that we ever had a hand on it.

I say again, we need to oversee the posts of people new to the forum. Let the noobies view the content that is freely available but moderate and approve their posts for a period of time before allowing free accesss to posting JUNK like these SPAM posts. We can't keep letting stuff like this happen to these forums and expect any new "serious" interested guests or prospective members to even consider BPL as a helpful or informative website.

There is a page and half when I last looked of JUNK on the recent posts listing!

Uncle Jed Clampett said it best, "Pitiful, just pitiful"!

Party On ;-?

Newton

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Re: site being hacked on 10/14/2012 21:07:27 MDT Print View

Close the screen door already the flies are getting in!

247 JUNK/SPAM posts in under 3 hours, "C'mon man"!

Update the software and moderate the noob posts!

Party On,

Newton ;-(

Edited by Newton on 10/14/2012 21:17:47 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
site being hacked on 10/14/2012 21:43:22 MDT Print View

This does seem more like a malicious attack rather than a simple spammer.

Who is a moderator besides Roger? I sent him a PM but he's obviously not at home (it's midday tomorrow where he is).

More moderators are needed here!

Edit: I see the poster's name just got changed to SPAM, which at least means the incoming flow has been stopped!

Second massive attack in 5 days, and I'll bet it's the same outfit!

Edited by hikinggranny on 10/14/2012 21:48:35 MDT.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: site being hacked on 10/14/2012 22:34:37 MDT Print View

Archaic forum software

A single moderator

Handicaps placed on that single moderator





Frankly, I'm surprised this site isn't more popular with spammers.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: site being hacked on 10/15/2012 03:06:28 MDT Print View

Hi all

> I know its not this simple but block his user name or block his IP address!
As soon as I am notified I block the poster from sending any more. That's simple.
The problem is that sometimes they post while I am asleep - literally, as I live in Australia. Other times I am out working on the farm or something. So someitmes they have a window to work in.

When it was just one or two postings I was able to delete them by hand. I imagine you will all understand that with a spam attack of this magnitude I simply don't have the hours in the day to delete each one separately. (In case you are wondering, I am not paid for this.) I have asked Ryan J to organise some way for me to 'delete all postings by X'. I have no idea whether this is even possible with the Forum SW we have.

Moderation: well, that is tricky. What happens when I am away for a week in the bush? A new reader would have to wait till I come back. Is this acceptable?
Even if we put that in place, all they have to do is register half a dozen names, wait until those names are approved, then let rip using one name after another.
On low traffic sites new registrants have to have their first dozen postings 'approved'. But with the number of new registrations we get every day, that would become a full-time job (=$$$).

Problems, problems...

Cheers
Roger Caffin

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: site being hacked on 10/15/2012 04:49:55 MDT Print View

"On low traffic sites new registrants have to have their first dozen postings 'approved'. But with the number of new registrations we get every day, that would become a full-time job (=$$$)".

"Problems, problems..."

At a place where I used to be employed I heard it said that if you knew of a particular problem it was no longer a problem. It then became something you should either fix or go around. Which one are we doing here at BPL?

@Roger,

Thank you for all that you do in regards to these SPAM attacks on our forum!

@Ryan J,

Roger said, "In case you are wondering, I am not paid for this".
and "But with the number of new registrations we get every day..."

You currently have "compensated" employment opportunities listed on the home page of BPL.

BPL premium members and lifetime members have paid to support this forum. Unless I am sadly mistaken those irritating little adds that appear at the bottom of our posts also generate income for BPL.

Please use some of these funds to offer a "compensated" position with BPL for a forum moderator(s) that can deal with these issues and or update the software. If even a quarter of those new registrations are paying members reinvest those funds into the software and / or a compensated moderator position.

I always try to be positive, informative and helpful when I can on this forum. I apologize for the tone of this post. I know that this problem isn't easily fixed but it needs to have the proper tools put into place for the fix.

Party On,

Newton

Edited by Newton on 10/15/2012 04:51:56 MDT.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: site being hacked on 10/15/2012 06:46:25 MDT Print View

@ John Remember RJ's letter to MLifer's? He said there will be no changes for the next long while. (can't give specifics here as RJ thinks it's top secret) I've volunteered for moderator a few times through the years. I'm here enough, could do something actually productive.

Steve G
(sgrobben)

Locale: Ohio
Re: Re: site being hacked on 10/15/2012 07:02:20 MDT Print View

Learn SQL and you can delete all posts from a single User (or any number of users) from your DB in less than a second. It is a trivially simple thing to do. You can also filter new posts containing certain keywords (I.e. "Tiffany") from "new" users and throw them into a moderation queue without much effort.

Adding more moderators cleans up the mess, but why not solve the problem.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
Start Deleting, ASAP on 10/15/2012 07:29:05 MDT Print View

The proliferation of new spam attacks is directly related to the maintenance of the first wave of posts without deletion.

It may be a PITA to delete posts, one by one, but I strongly suggest whoever has that capability being doing that in batches of time you can tolerate, immediately. Wait another week without action and the forums will be obliterated.

BTW, I am aware of the shortcomings in the CMS and BBS software, but the point here is that -- so are others. (In the event owner/admins read here, I renew my free offer from the mega thread about M...)

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: site being hacked on 10/15/2012 07:33:35 MDT Print View

Since the messages remain, if the intention is to Optimize Serach Engine results, well, they've succeeded.

Maybe Ryan could even get a volunteer to create a one click method to delete user and all their posts.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Re site being hacked - Do you need volunteers? on 10/15/2012 10:50:59 MDT Print View

Does BPL need some volunteer mods? I would volunteer. I am online most days for many hours and have time to delete some of these SPAM posts. I would agree to only address the SPAM posts and to relinquish moderator status after the spam attacks stop. If that would help. I do have experience as a moderator, I am an admin on another forum although I believe the software is somewhat different but probably has similar functions that I could learn quickly.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re site being hacked - Do you need volunteers? on 10/15/2012 10:54:22 MDT Print View

I'll volunteer to be a moderator.

And delete any posts I disagree with : )

Harald Hope
(hhope) - M

Locale: East Bay
fixing it on 10/15/2012 14:05:01 MDT Print View

bpl is getting hit by not running its own forum software. These are all fully automated attacks, it's useful to stop thinking of spammers as people, the stuff is done by tools running automatically through lists of targets, and other lists of targetted links and search phrases, with some customization possible. The spamming software tools used just saw a huge improvement in quality, far more robust than they used to be, Russians tend to be very good at this game.

By allowing posts to remain, you are providing a high quality target in terms of seo (search engine optimization, aka, spammers) with high value pages, about the best they could hope for. You need to remove all spam postings as soon as you humanly can, deputize a few people if you need to, otherwise you going to have even worse problems. Remember, a spam posting is NEVER made by a real person, so the procedure should always be this: detect new spammer username, get list of all posts done by user, freeze user asap, but do not delete yet, then delete all postings by that user, then delete the user, tedious, but if you do it fast enough, not too bad usually. Also, they don't usually post too much until they think they can get away with it.

I've pm'ed roger about some technical issues that don't benefit from public discussion, but if you don't get a handle on this quickly you may have bigger problems.

Flagging postings etc does little good, though it can help find postings that the mods may have missed. Ignoring or leaving up spam postings, as bpl has been doing, is NOT one your options, unless you want to terminate this site and move on with life.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Capcha on 10/15/2012 14:35:31 MDT Print View

Captcha, or "challenge-response", would do the trick...
PITA, but so was last night.



"Get a Free CAPTCHA For Your Site"

"A free, secure and accessible CAPTCHA implementation is available from the reCAPTCHA project. Easy to install plugins and controls are available for WordPress, MediaWiki, PHP, ASP.NET, Perl, Python, Java, and many other environments. reCAPTCHA also comes with an audio test to ensure that blind users can freely navigate your site. reCAPTCHA is our officially recommended CAPTCHA implementation."

CAPTCHA

Edited by greg23 on 10/15/2012 14:41:23 MDT.

Harald Hope
(hhope) - M

Locale: East Bay
nope on 10/15/2012 14:40:07 MDT Print View

nothing you believe will work works, trust me on this. Captcha's make them laugh. Google did some very advanced ones and they had them cracked, full automation, within weeks, maybe days. That's why spammers like using automatically generated gmail accounts so much. Even when captchas did work, briefly, they just would pass it to a low paid drone somewhere to fill the stuff out, then pass it back, but they don't need to do that anymore. Most turing test type question/answer stuff also doesn't work anymore, though some does if done right, at least for automated attacks.

The takeaway when dealing with spammer and virus authors and so on is to realize that they are really far ahead of you, always. That's because they do it for a living, and have more incentive to stay ahead.

...
Yes, recaptcha was what was cracked in the latest versions of the spamming software, again, using those methods doesn't work. Hasn't for years. Might work until the next software update is released for new stuff, but recaptcha was specifically noted as a feature that was cracked.

The ways that work, by the way, have also been known for years, and they don't include relying on captchas.

Edited by hhope on 10/15/2012 14:51:53 MDT.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Do you need volunteers? on 10/15/2012 15:57:05 MDT Print View

I too, moderate on other forums and would be happy to have a "delete" button for these clear-cut cases. I DON'T want to police other issues, but as has been pointed out, there's sort of yeast-growth law to these attacks and there's much less clean-up the sooner you get started. Ideally you'd have people throughout the time zones - Roger is obviously up while most of us sleep. Here in Alaska, I'm often up when the forum has quieted down between 48-state and Aussie waking hours.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Do you need volunteers? on 10/15/2012 18:36:09 MDT Print View

So here's a question....if we were to have a few moderators and as moderators do, they police the site. If someone gets snippy or downright awfully rude.....And that person was a subscriber or a MLIFE person, and they had to be banned. How would that happen. Do you refund the person? Dunno I don't like the idea of others defining behavior on here. I feel we do a good enough job self policing. As for the spam? That is quite disheartening to see. But how often does this happen? Moderator? No

Edited by kennyhel77 on 10/15/2012 20:31:22 MDT.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Do you need volunteers? on 10/15/2012 18:56:49 MDT Print View

People have been recommending and volunteering for moderators for at least the past year. Most of the recommendations here have been recommended in other threads as well. Some of the recommendations may cost more or require more technical prowess than Ryan or Addie can provide. Extra moderation is free.

For new guests and guests that were once paying members, how would you feel about paying for MLIFE membership on a site that won't even take easy free steps to keep it viable? With the payoff being 5 years, I can't see this site lasting that long regardless of membership.

With this kind of response to spam, a malicious attack by an amateur may be all it takes to end this site permanently.

The point is, the response to spam doesn't inspire confidence. It makes me regret that I paid BPL with a credit card in the past. I've since had to cancel that credit card. I'm not saying the fraudulent activity on my credit card was the fault of BPL due to lax security as I simply don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was. There's no way I'm renewing my membership unless I can pay via Paypal or some other reputable intermediary.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Partial solution to SPAM on 10/15/2012 19:07:36 MDT Print View

Hi all

We have a partial solution. I stress - only partial. Background (provided to me by a BPL reader with greater knowledge about the SoTA than me): the standard spamming SW has recently been upgraded so it can now attack Forums with greater 'skill'. (Who wrote that stuff? A dark alley is needed.)

What this also means is that the spam is coming from a bot, not from a person. Interesting. That allows counter-measures.

When you click on the Report Posting button I get an email pointing to the posting and the poster. It used to be that Addie also got the message, but Addie is on leave having a baby. When there are a lot of emails with the same heading close together, Gmail lumps them into one thread. I have a stack of email threads with over 60 emails in each thread, all re spam! No complaints mind you: those Reports are vital!

So I get a pointer to the spammer registration. When I go to the page with registration details for the spammer, it lists all the postings for that registration. Doubtless many of you have looked at your own pages? Anyhow, some time ago we implemented a special button which allows me to 'mark as spammer', which blocks that person/registration from doing any more postings. Ben K has just now added a second button saying 'delete all postings by spammer'. So, the Forum threads are now nice and clean again. Just two button clicks per source.

But what happens when the spammer SW gets updated to snow-storm us with registrations? Sigh.

I said 'partial'. A full solution is to 'moderate' all new registrations, so that their first few postings have to be approved before they appear. If a spammer registered and then tried to spam-storm us, I would get an email about the first few postings before they appear. This would block the spammer, at the cost of just a small effort. Alternately we could set it up so the spammer has to reply to a 'random' Q from me about backpacking. That would also block bots.

But it would mean that a newcomer would not be able to post anything until I had woken up, attended to my email, and approved the posting. We haven't done this YET, because of the frustration it would create. Will we need to? We don't know yet.

Cheers

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Re site being hacked on 10/15/2012 20:21:54 MDT Print View

Thanks Roger.

Harald Hope
(hhope) - M

Locale: East Bay
not credit stuff on 10/15/2012 20:23:21 MDT Print View

Eugene, I want to make very clear, I'm not talking in any pro/anti bpl manner in this statement, only a purely technical response, but the issue of automated forum spamming is totally unrelated to credit card processing or site or member security. No hacking is involved, there is nothing at all connected. No server security is or was compromised, spamming of this type is NOT cracking or hacking. Millions, literally, of websites that feature automated member signups have this problem, and the problem has gotten much worse this year.

Again, this is not related to bpl members/non-members happiness/unhappiness, that's a fine topic for chaff or whatever, but on a technical level, there is nothing at all risky about such spamming in terms of site and server security, absolutely nothing. Now, if you click on the links they post, well, then you're on your own, those links can lead to nasty things, so don't do it. Same as for email spam in that way. Hopefully you all know this, if not, now you do.

bpl has just been spared the worst of this in the past, and they have responded quite well to this relatively new issue, so I don't fault them at all in this case, it's a weird world out there in the interweb, bpl was just sheltered from it. Dealing with these issues can be hard, so cut the guys some slack, this isn't the same as gear questions, it's a different part of the world.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Partial solution to SPAM on 10/15/2012 20:24:01 MDT Print View

"But it would mean that a newcomer would not be able to post anything until I had woken up, attended to my email, and approved the posting. We haven't done this YET, because of the frustration it would create."

Sounds like an object lesson in delayed gratification, a novel concept I admit in this I WANT IT AND I WANT IT NOW age. Hopefully it won't come to that, but if it does I should think any reasonable person would be understanding.

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Partial solution to SPAM on 10/15/2012 20:29:55 MDT Print View

Roger,

Thank you for taking the time and explaining the process by which BPL moderators remove the spam posts. It's great that we are now able to delete their posts as well as just marking them as spam. I think that limiting a new user to wait for approval of their comments would jeopardize new followers. Instead of a backpacking question chosen by you and thereby approved by you, could we setup a few rotating backpacking questions (yes/no, multiple-choice) as part of the new user signup page instead?

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
"The other lightweight site" on 10/15/2012 20:41:35 MDT Print View

Roger, that's wonderful that you were able to get rid of the spam accumulation!

The site I help moderate (backpacking.net) doesn't get the amount of traffic this one does, so it's easier to manage. So far, we haven't gotten nearly the volume of spam. Finally, we have ten moderators instead of one--all but one (the site owner) are volunteers who have been invited to participate by the site owner. All of us are frequent contributors who have been members for quite a few years and are on the site at least daily and usually several times a day. I generally check early in the morning (by which time any spam has usually been removed by those in an earlier time zone) and before going to bed (when I occasionally catch a few).

Actually, we do not invariably check all new posters. Instead, when reading new posts on the forums (again, not as many as here), we watch for spammers and for those who make a number of inconsequential posts (such as "I like that" and "I agree") or posts in completely incomprehensible English ("There is a group that is by means of goats to keep the balds approximately Roan Mountain bald. They are consumption back the insidious variety that have infiltrated into the area."). (Yes, that's an actual recent sample!) The favorite tactic lately seems to be to post 10-15 such posts and then insert a spam link into them. When we look up the IPs for the latter, they are often from Asia. Of course we don't ban anyone on the basis of IP source and/or poor English--we enjoy having genuine contributors from overseas! We have a forum branch for moderators only where we communicate about such folks so everyone can keep an eye on them. We don't ban anyone until the actual spam appears. I've often used that branch to ask for consensus on a dubious post before deleting it or banning the poster.

The forum has a rule about not allowing "for sale" ads until the member has made ten "approved" posts (meaning posts with some content). That's another reason we watch for inconsequential posts, to catch those trying to get to the 10 post mark only because they want to post a classified ad. The software doesn't allow posting in the classified ad branch for those with less than 10 posts. Exceptions can be made by the site owner. We have banned a few who have posted 10 inconsequential posts within a few days just to be able to post an ad.

Our main defense against a wholesale attack such as the last two on BPL are alert members (which BPL also has) and enough moderators that at least one of us will find out within an hour. I haven't seen a mass delete feature; I suspect only the site owner can do that. I suspect there are other safeguards in the forum software (a standard bbs software package) that I don't know about.

As far as BPL goes, I think having 20 or so volunteer moderators in various parts of the world would go quite far in halting spambot attacks like the two recent ones before they become overwhelming--which they certainly did last night! I don't know how BPL can possibly manage with only one or two moderators!

Edited by hikinggranny on 10/15/2012 20:50:02 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: "The other lightweight site" on 10/15/2012 21:07:22 MDT Print View

Dead set against "volunteer moderators" why? Most on here have paid for a subscription, be it yearly or life. I don't want others telling me what to do on here or to play nice so to speak. Nope, totally against it. I paid for many years on here and do not need others how to conduct myself that are my peers.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Trying to stop the spam! on 10/15/2012 21:23:35 MDT Print View

The alternative is continuing wholesale spam attacks like last night. Which would you rather have? Actually, this is completely up to Ryan, as the site owner. As mentioned earlier, I'm not volunteering for BPL because I already have responsibilities elsewhere. Also, I haven't been a member here that long. Ken, I'm quite sure you're not planning to spam this site!

Maybe there's an easy and cheap software fix to block more than, say, 10-15 posts per hour. Or more than 5 posts per day from a new member (under 30 days). Might be something to look into! If it's not an easy and cheap fix, though, the site won't get it (per Ryan).

Edited by hikinggranny on 10/15/2012 21:44:09 MDT.

Nick G
(HermesUL) - F
Other options to fight registration spam on 10/15/2012 21:35:33 MDT Print View

1. Maximum of two posts per new user (until approved). This wouldn't eliminate it, but it'd cut down the speed of the hacking dramatically.
2. Volunteer "Registration Moderators" which ONLY have the power to approve new users, based on their response to a simple registration question, such as "Why are you interested in lightweight backpacking" or "What are the five most important items in your pack?". Questions that would be fun and easy for an interested user to answer, and could even be posted to the new user's profile to make it more interesting (I know mine is boring as heck). You could even open the power of approving new users to all paying and/or established users without consequence.

I like the second option. Both options would eliminate the lapse time and human that comes with everyone having to stare at spam posts until Roger wakes up.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Stopping spam on 10/15/2012 21:41:35 MDT Print View

I think it would be safe to limit the automatic limit or volunteer moderation to non-paying members only. If a spammer is willing to pay $25, let him/her spam! :-)

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: not credit stuff on 10/15/2012 22:06:12 MDT Print View

Harold, I completely understand that you weren't saying that spamming was equivalent to hacking. What I'm saying is that if this spamming could not have easily been largely blunted in the past year, it makes me question what's going to happen when there IS a security threat.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Re Volunteer Moderators on 10/15/2012 23:34:37 MDT Print View

Ken Helwig, you are making much ado about nothing. Nearly every forum has volunteer moderators, and for the most part they spend their time cleaning up spam. Which is exactly what those of us who volunteered here were offering to do. I have zero interest in keeping you or anyone else polite, let alone banning a paid member. I simply didn't want to see the forum get spammed to the point where people won't even try and read the posts, which is what it was getting to as of last night.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
re Spam and Security on 10/16/2012 03:14:45 MDT Print View

Hi Eugene

> I've since had to cancel that credit card. I'm not saying the fraudulent activity on
> my credit card was the fault of BPL due to lax security as I simply don't know, but
> it wouldn't surprise me if it was.

It would surprise the he11 out of me if it was! Really!

> With this kind of response to spam, a malicious attack by an amateur ...
Not the same thing at all. Basically, the spammer was just using what is called SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. Seriously bad manners and unethical to most people, but definitely NOT hacking. There was zero breach of security.

On a side note, it seems that Google knows about SEO (of course!!!) and looks for it with its robots. When it finds it happening, the company paying for the spam gets down-graded in the search rankings. This upsets some companies who feel using a spammer for SEO should be considered ethical. Snerk! Put them on page 100 I say.

On a second side note: I would get an offer of SEO for my FAQ web site about every two days. Oh, they are keen. Plonk.

Cheers

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Spam and Security on 10/16/2012 05:22:05 MDT Print View

One of the things that IS being done is to impose a time-out rule. This at least limits the extent of the posters damage. Mostly a measure against hackers, it can be opened up a bit, from the current 30sec to a full minute. This will help a bit.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
Re: Spam and Security on 10/16/2012 07:44:12 MDT Print View

What James is referring to is called "Flood Control" in more modern, packaged BBS products and it's in effect on sites including Backpacker Mag's forums. A 1-minute buffer *would* annoy some fast-key members of this site, but it will certainly also reduce impact from spam-bot activity when it occurs.

I have something to do with a site that gets a lot more traffic than this one, and that is a regular target for both spam and "true hacking". In terms of spam-controls, I strongly suggest that the Mod/Admins use specific IP bans on the individual IPs used. This is very effective in practice, despite the fact that spammers can and do shift IP's. (Many of us here do, too, whether we know it or not). The fact is, however, if you don't ban the IP, it will continue to be used.

Don't worry: there are plenty of IP's for legit visitors even if you have an IP Ban list that's pages long.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Reducing spam on 10/16/2012 13:20:31 MDT Print View

On the "other" site I help moderate, we regularly use IP bans. It may slow things down but it sure doesn't stop them--we have a number of "regular" spammers (Ergo baby carrier, asian escorts) that keep coming back every week or so with different IP numbers. There are databases of spamming IPs, but again, the spammers keep coming back with new ones.

Any one solution is only partial and temporary!

I'd say your current need is for more moderators so there can be quick action when another mass attack occurs (which it will!). There is no lack of alert members here! It would have made a lot of difference if the spammer could have been banned in the first half hour!

Edited by hikinggranny on 10/16/2012 13:24:14 MDT.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Forum index corrupted on 10/16/2012 22:37:17 MDT Print View

See, what I was talking about was a real technical challenge. Spam takes very simple technical solutions to largely hold it back.

It's nice that there's finally a way to delete all the posts associated, but that should have existed a long time ago, and worse, it seems to have caused its own problems. Now threads aren't showing up in the forum listings, and it appears to have been caused by this.

So again, I'm saying that when this spam problem can't be solved correctly with very simple solutions, there's little reason to expect that more complex problems aren't going unnoticed, and have little reason to expect that those more complex problems could be handled. It's a matter of technical capabilities.

Roger, I'm sorry you're the face to this problem. You shouldn't be. It should be Ryan, or maybe Addie. Most of us understand that you're doing what you can, with the limited tools this forums provides you, and we thank you for your efforts.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Forum index corrupted on 10/17/2012 00:15:31 MDT Print View

Hi Eugene

> Now threads aren't showing up in the forum listings,
Can you point to any examples of this please? Deleting a posting by X should NOT remove the whole thread!

Exception: I did delete some threads which had been created by the spammer solely for the spam. Some of those threads had a few comments in them about the spam. Those comments have been deleted as well of course, but they had no other significance.

Cheers

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Forum index corrupted on 10/17/2012 01:55:49 MDT Print View

Roger,

The threads aren't removed, just not in the listing.

To find an example, go to Greg's profile:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/profile.html?u=greg23

He posted "spam" in a few threads. Those that haven't been bumped will not be visible.

Here's an example:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=59795&skip_to_post=592369#592369

The last post in that thread was by Greg was on the 14th, but if you back into the forum level, you won't see anything newer than the 8th.

rowan !
(romonster) - M

Locale: SF Bay Area
The Amazing Disappearing Threads! on 10/17/2012 02:10:29 MDT Print View

Roger says:
"Can you point to any examples of this please? Deleting a posting by X should NOT remove the whole thread!"

This one:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=69229&skip_to_post=#

Since I posted in it, I can see it in my forum profile, and can access the thread from there. The most recent post was on 10/14/2012 18:45:54 MDT. But if you look at the index of General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion, the thread doesn't appear there.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: The Amazing Disappearing Threads! on 10/17/2012 02:43:21 MDT Print View

Here's another example from Roger's post history:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=69213&skip_to_post=591980#591980

That entire thread occurred on the 13th, but that forum doesn't show any thread activity after the 5th.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: The Amazing Disappearing Threads! on 10/18/2012 14:52:05 MDT Print View

This thread was invisible too! Hopefully it's visible again. And now we have another spam campaign from a few hours ago.

It doesn't even take a hacker to lose content here. :p

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: The Amazing Disappearing Threads! on 10/18/2012 14:53:23 MDT Print View

And now there's a second spammer making the rounds. How many more threads will disappear this time?

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Re: The Amazing Disappearing Threads! on 10/18/2012 15:03:32 MDT Print View

How is the new spammer still able to post after having the username changed to "SPAM"? I thought that change included banning the user, which should have stopped the ability to post.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: site being hacked on 10/18/2012 15:19:54 MDT Print View

Here's another invisible thread

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=69377&skip_to_post=594116#594116

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: site being hacked on 10/18/2012 16:02:11 MDT Print View

Somebody is on duty in the moderator seat because while I was posting on a thread I got a notice from my email saying that their was a new post on a watched thread of mine from "nplantiff".

I followed the link from my email just to go ahead and red flag it for the mods to take care of because it referred to... "Relojes Casio , relojes Omega, venta de relojes , relojes de compra , armani relojes" ...and it just wasn't there but the thread that it referred me to was still there.

Is this a step forward for the BPL forums? If it is, HooRay! Score 1 for the humans against the "bots".

Party On,

Newton

Edited by Newton on 10/18/2012 16:05:17 MDT.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Re: site being hacked on 10/18/2012 16:06:04 MDT Print View

Yeah, someone is deleted the spam, but why is that same spammer still able to make new posts?

Worse, some or all of those threads that spam is being deleted from is becoming invisible. If you didn't have a link to that thread, you wouldn't find it in the forum listing.

So it's not a step forward. Now not only is the spammer able to post spam even after being identified as a spammer, but it's also resulting in a loss of legitimate content.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Re: Re: site being hacked on 10/18/2012 16:12:11 MDT Print View

..."but the thread that it referred me to was still there".

There wasn't any lost content, I'm aware of, on the thread that was involved. ;-?

Party On,

Newton

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: site being hacked on 10/18/2012 16:44:12 MDT Print View

Lost doesn't mean gone, it just means you can't find it unless you know where it is. If it's not listed in the forum listing/directory like it should be, it's lost. If you didn't already have a link to it, you probably wouldn't ever know about it.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Another invisible thread on 10/18/2012 16:52:37 MDT Print View

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=69415&skip_to_post=594139#594139

Here are pictures to help you understand what's going on.

In this picture, you see that there are posts from today at 15:06.



Yet when I go check the forum listing, it's not listed. That thread should show up between the Tarptent thread and the fabric breathability thread, yet it's not listed. It's invisible. It's still there, you just can't see it. It's lost.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Another invisible thread on 10/18/2012 17:47:31 MDT Print View

Yeah, I believe I know what is happening. The database is being corrupted by the direct deletion of the spam posts. The indexing gets off. The index is NOT the database, it only holds pointers to locations where the data is stored. I believe this is what we are seeing.

Content is not lost within the database, and, the generation of a new index(often time consuming) will fix the problem. I am not sure who programmed the "Delete All Spammer Posts" button, but he should have forced a rebuild after it was used in the program after everything was deleted. I think that will fix the database/index mismatch. I might be incorrect, but I have done that myself with some data bases. DBIII, DBIV, and Access, and some others acted like that. Some are smart enough to know better and do it automagically with singular deletions and offer this after a multiple deletion, but as a seperate function. They offer low level deletions and rebuild funtions for these cases, too.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Another invisible thread on 10/18/2012 18:01:04 MDT Print View

I used "index" earlier, but it seems some people don't understand that terminology. Hopefully the picture is easier for them to understand.

I believe in the past, when spam was deleted, the index remained. After the spam was deleted, it would appear that threads were bumped for no reason. While that wasn't ideal, it's a whole lot better than deleting threads from the index entirely, effectively making them invisible.

John West
(skyzo) - M

Locale: Borah Gear
Re: Re: Another invisible thread on 10/18/2012 18:01:59 MDT Print View

I too have noticed quite a few threads that I was following have disappeared. I assume it was probably because the spammer posted in that thread, and when the post was deleted, the entire thread was deleted.

Hopefully this problem becomes fixed soon, because BPL is borderline un-usable in the state it is in right now.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Another invisible thread on 10/18/2012 18:20:05 MDT Print View

Hi all

I think James is partly right. I don't think the database is being corrupted per se, but it may well be that a thread will disappear for a few minutes after the deletion, while the index is being rebuilt. I have noticed this myself, but all the cases I have looked at resulted in the rest of the thread being fully visible a short time later. For instance, the fabric breathability thread was all there when I looked a few minutes ago.

You can run a database without the indices, but operation them becomes rather slow. Running with indices does mean that there may be maintenance time.

Cheers

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Thanks, Eugene! on 10/18/2012 18:21:49 MDT Print View

For going through and bringing back up the affected threads! A lot of work, but with poor Roger being the only moderator at this point, he needs all the help he can get!

There's gotta be a way to stop these mass spambot attacks. I haven't seen anything of this magnitude on the other forums I follow. Maybe they've just been lucky or maybe their software limits the attacks??? They get spam, but not 270 posts in a couple of hours! More like half a dozen at most.

I suspect that after three big attacks in less than a week, BPL will keep getting them unless a software fix can be put in to reduce the site's vulnerability. If something isn't done soon, the site will become useless, especially if the spambots figure out what time Roger goes to sleep!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Thanks, Eugene! on 10/18/2012 18:31:55 MDT Print View

> There's gotta be a way to stop these mass spambot attacks.
Yes, but most good methods are highly illegal. The authorities look down on taking someone into a dark alley and discussing the matter with them with a rubber hose. Pity.

> I haven't seen anything of this magnitude on the other forums I follow. Maybe
> they've just been lucky
The SW they use was upgraded recently to handle automatic account creation. Oh, great!

If you can find a good way of stopping spambots and SW like Xrumer, the world will absolutly LOVE you. At present the spammers are a few microns on the right side of the law.

> especially if the spambots figure out what time Roger goes to sleep!
The All Seeing Eye never sleeps...
Yeah, we will work on that.

Cheers

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Re: Another invisible thread on 10/18/2012 18:34:06 MDT Print View

Okay, my picture didn't work. I wasn't pointing at the fabric breathability thread, I was pointing to the space above it where another thread should be listed, but is not.

Threads aren't reappearing automatically either. Look at threads I listed earlier. At least one of those still isn't visible, and that was from a couple days ago. One in particular is "Wilderness Survival MB- Low Impact Shelters". So is "Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 Platinum Tent Review" and "How many BPL members have you met?" and "Forbes rifle"...and linked to already in this thread as being invisible.

I have bumped a few threads to make them visible again, but I didn't with others so that they could be used as examples of invisible threads. I shouldn't need to provide examples though. If you go into most of the minor forums, you'll see that there's a big gap of time where there aren't any threads. Look at the time stamps of the remaining threads, and it's highly unusual for that gap to be so big.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Thanks, Eugene! on 10/18/2012 19:11:11 MDT Print View

@Roger:

"> There's gotta be a way to stop these mass spambot attacks.
Yes, but most good methods are highly illegal. The authorities look down on taking someone into a dark alley and discussing the matter with them with a rubber hose. Pity."



sarcasim

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Another attack! on 10/19/2012 14:17:35 MDT Print View

Attack #4 in a week; obviously the same spambot because advertising the same stuff. BPL may have to go to some system of verifying new unpaid members before allowing them to post. I've seen other sites do that when under persistent attack.

It's basically making the forums completely unusable. There's no point in staying on this forum while this is going on. I still suspect that this is the goal of the people behind these spambots!

Edited by hikinggranny on 10/19/2012 14:54:45 MDT.

Nick G
(HermesUL) - F
At this point it's clear... on 10/19/2012 14:47:52 MDT Print View

This has got to stop. Too many people are paying too much money for this little security.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Another attack! on 10/19/2012 15:40:27 MDT Print View

You guys are absolutely right. This is what I was talking about. The spam makes the forum hard enough to use, but makes it virtually worthless when the threads are removed like the index. Until my post here is posted, this thread won't be listed. If you went into the "Forum Admin & Support" forum while I'm typing this, you wouldn't see this thread listed. The content in this forum doesn't have any value if we can't find it. The outcome is the same as if a hacker had come in and deleted posts or performed a denial of service attack.

Anyhow...

Bumping again to make this thread visible again after the latest spam attack.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
What about mods inserting a placeholder before deleting the SPAM post? on 10/19/2012 16:00:02 MDT Print View

Is it possible for the mods to insert a place-holding comment into a thread before deleting all the spam? that way the thread still shows up?

I think the mods are doing a FANTASTIC job of deleting the spam ASAP. Now if we could just figure out how to keep the threads from going invisible?

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: What about mods inserting a placeholder before deleting the SPAM post? on 10/19/2012 16:10:40 MDT Print View

I believe the place holder would need to come after the spam is deleted. It'd be better if the reference to the thread in the index wasn't deleted. Yeah, it'd cause deleted spam to phantom bump threads, but that's better than invisible threads.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: What about mods inserting a placeholder before deleting the SPAM post? on 10/19/2012 18:51:17 MDT Print View

"I believe the place holder would need to come after the spam is deleted. It'd be better if the reference to the thread in the index wasn't deleted. Yeah, it'd cause deleted spam to phantom bump threads, but that's better than invisible threads."

I suspect that doing ANY deletion would cause the index/database mismatch. Unfortunatly, any manual deletion, could cause a problem. There are other circumstances...
typical example:
Records (all the same size) Index
record(1,2,3) belong to thread A index A is (#1,#2,#3)
record(4,5,6) belong to thread B index B is (#4,#5,#6)

Manually, we mark the database record 2 as spam, then delete it putting it in an "unused" list.

We always have to start at the beginning, so we will assume 1 (ordinality and cardinality are different, though)
So now our database is
Records Index
record(1,3) belong to thread A index A is (#1,#2,#3) (we didn't change it)
record(4,5,6) belong to thread B index B is (#4,#5,#6) (no changes here)

If I index to record 3, where do I go? Count three records, by the index. I am actually now looking at a different thread, record 4, in thread B. I look up the header and dutifully report thread B and update the subject list. But, duplicates are not allowed, so, I delete the second instance of thead B that I come to. The program is happy because it did it's job. From my standpoint Index A is removed from the list...it "Disapeared." But, the records are still there and intact.
(Just an example, it might not happen quite this way. Old, unsophisticated programs are known to do this or in some cases, actually crash. Just do not try to delete the last record of the ENTIRE database...not sure how *that* will be handled...)

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: site being hacked on 10/20/2012 06:36:56 MDT Print View

The spammer got clever this time. By not entering a name, it's more difficult to check their profile to see how prolific they've been. It's still possible though.

So far this guy has 112 posts listed, not counting any that Roger might have already deleted.
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/profile.html?u=wcoshowmoses

Bruce Tolley
(btolley) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Site being hacked... unethical SEO bot scheme on 10/20/2012 22:30:05 MDT Print View

Right now the site is blocking (by human action) known "bad guys. " This is akin to keeping your front door unlocked and open and waiting to recognize the last guy burgled your house and tackle him on the threshold.

A solution would be to go to a scheme were only known good guys/gals were allowed access. This would of course make it harder for guests to register (and most likely require a challenge response registration process) and delay guest postings but would deliver a quality of service to the paid membership. Moving to HTTPS might help too.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Site being hacked... unethical SEO bot scheme on 10/21/2012 16:35:50 MDT Print View

uninvisibility bump

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Site being hacked... unethical SEO bot scheme on 10/21/2012 16:51:53 MDT Print View

Geez, and another spam attack starts yet again. My post count is quickly going to jump a few thousand with all this uninvisibility bumping needed to keep threads around.

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: site being hacked - restore an invisible thread on 10/23/2012 14:42:28 MDT Print View

Can someone in admin bump the thread under Philmont called "Freezer bag cooking"
It has become invisible.

thanks
Al