TEMPORARY FORUM LOCKDOWN (No longer in effect)

Daniel_WallaceDaniel_Wallace Member, Moderator
edited November 2013 in Geek & Sundry Discussion
This morning, the forums were hit by a massive spam wave. The bots were creating topics faster then we could ban and delete them (more then 10 pages of spam in under an hour).

Therefore, I was forced to take away the rights to post from everybody except mods and admins. That finally stopped it. I don't have the rights to close the registration, but that will probably be the next (non-permanent) measure to at least restore a somewhat normal status here.

We are in the process of deleting, banning and generally cleaning up.

The forums will be re-opened and back to normal asap.
If you see any spam, @-mention me in the thread and I will come in to kill it with my hammer. The hammer is not my... you know.

I try to attack ideas and not people. If I fail, let me know. You may be wrong but I still love you. ;-)

G+: https://plus.google.com/+DanielWallace/
twitter: @evildanwallace

Comments

  • torontogaltorontogal Member, Moderator
    Hey gang - after diligent efforts from the volunteer mod-squad, we were able to reverse some of the damage from the huge surge of spam postings (100's of spam threads overtaking the forums).

    The forums are now re-opened, but new user registration is temporarily under approval-only mode.

    For anyone who tried to post during the lock-down window, sorry for the inconvenience!  Thank you as always for participating in our lovely community :)
  • Thanks for your heroic efforts to protect the forums!
    I'm just a freelancer helping out with site updates. I'm not actually G&S staff. Please don't send me G&S related questions, I won't know the answers. :) Try @ohcatrina instead for your nearest official point of contact.
  • torontogaltorontogal Member, Moderator
    @Kim - thank *you* for helping build/tweak/maintain such an awesome set of forums in the first-place!  You've done an amazing job for the community!

    I know that you and the technical-team are super-busy with other site initiatives etc, but when you get a spare moment we may need to brainstorm some other creative ways to impede these pesky spam-bots :)

    Thanks again for all your help!
  • Fiendish_ImpFiendish_Imp Member, Moderator
    Sounds like a crazy morning. I wonder what sparked the spamnami.
    Viva la Retrolution!

    http://twitter.com/TheFiendishImp
    Steam ID: fiendish imp
  • Daniel_WallaceDaniel_Wallace Member, Moderator
    They probably heard that I already had a shitty night+day and hoped for a moment of sleep deprived weakness during my shift... but they didn't expect hour honorable spam buster @gigglz187 to alert the mod squad via PM. Then @Don_Diego joined in and once @Zuffy and @torontogal showed up, I knew the forums would be safe... for now. ;-)

    Seriously, though:
    We are now working on implementing some further methods to protect something like this from happening again. We do have a captcha and a question in place but both obviously don't help much. Improving both is on our list, but there are also several other things being discussed right now.

    Some of them are likely to bring a little inconvenience but please understand that this was a serious incident. If we hadn't been alerted this fast, the forums would surely have drowned in spam to a degree that could have rendered it unusable for days or worse. There were _literary_ several hundreds of spam topics piling up in front of the legit ones, when we swung into action.
    If you see any spam, @-mention me in the thread and I will come in to kill it with my hammer. The hammer is not my... you know.

    I try to attack ideas and not people. If I fail, let me know. You may be wrong but I still love you. ;-)

    G+: https://plus.google.com/+DanielWallace/
    twitter: @evildanwallace
  • gigglz187gigglz187 Member
    edited November 2013 PM
    Maybe one day you can Deputize me like they do in the movies @Daniel_Wallace.  giggle.  I usually see them when I hop on the computer in the morning at work but today......WOAH!!!
    For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: Know more about the world than I knew yesterday, and lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you. - Neil DeGrasse Tyson
  • torontogaltorontogal Member, Moderator
    @gigglz187 - thanks for your diligence and watchful eye!  Hugely appreciated :)

    Just for the sake of confirmation, gang, the user registration component of the forums has now been re-opened as well.  We're back in business for the time being (though as @Daniel_Wallace has said, we're brainstorming ways to avoid these attacks in future).

    On a sidenote, gang, in the right-hand-nav where it shows 'recent posts', some of you might be seeing some postings where you try and click on them and can't view them.  That's because some of those 'recent posts' are actually from a hidden moderator-only section of the boards.  There's nothing too mysterious going on in there - it's just a way for our volunteer mod-squad to brainstorm ways to maintain/improve the boards for our awesome G&S community :)

    Thanks all!
  • Spam, spam, spam, spammity spam, spam, HAMMER, Splat! :}

    Nicely done.
  • Daniel_WallaceDaniel_Wallace Member, Moderator
    Halt! Hammerzeit! ;-)
    If you see any spam, @-mention me in the thread and I will come in to kill it with my hammer. The hammer is not my... you know.

    I try to attack ideas and not people. If I fail, let me know. You may be wrong but I still love you. ;-)

    G+: https://plus.google.com/+DanielWallace/
    twitter: @evildanwallace
  • gigglz187gigglz187 Member
    edited November 2013 PM

    Anytime @torontogal

    Was that an MC Hammer reference @Daniel_Wallace?

     

    giggle

    For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: Know more about the world than I knew yesterday, and lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you. - Neil DeGrasse Tyson
  • Daniel_WallaceDaniel_Wallace Member, Moderator
    If you see any spam, @-mention me in the thread and I will come in to kill it with my hammer. The hammer is not my... you know.

    I try to attack ideas and not people. If I fail, let me know. You may be wrong but I still love you. ;-)

    G+: https://plus.google.com/+DanielWallace/
    twitter: @evildanwallace
  • Thank you very much for cleaning up, guys!  I'm sure moderating a forum like this is a lot of work!
  • torontogaltorontogal Member, Moderator
    Thanks @Magenta1269 - really the main moderator work tends to be these pesky spam-bots.  Our actual human forum-members are very lovely and well-behaved!

    Welcome to the forums, btw! :D
  • Daniel_WallaceDaniel_Wallace Member, Moderator
    It's been a while now and the confusion probably has settled, so I've unannounced this f*cker.
    If you see any spam, @-mention me in the thread and I will come in to kill it with my hammer. The hammer is not my... you know.

    I try to attack ideas and not people. If I fail, let me know. You may be wrong but I still love you. ;-)

    G+: https://plus.google.com/+DanielWallace/
    twitter: @evildanwallace
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