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AdSense Sabotage

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by MikeMpls, May 10, 2014.

  1. MikeMpls

    MikeMpls Well-Known Member

    Do I have an enemy? Or does XenForo have an enemy? Or is this just the work of a random hooligan?

    I wonder if it was directed more at me as a XenForo user and perhaps there will be other XenForo targets, since the attack originated in the UK, and only ~2.5% of my traffic comes from the UK (USA accounts for 91%).

    Around 7:39 yesterday (Friday) morning, someone at a UK IP address first abstracted my AdSense code from the HTML and posted it visibly on the site (clearly indicating he was targeting my ads), then proceeded to pollute roughly a dozen threads with profanities, porno pics & a videos, and links to adult (mostly) and warez web sites. The posts were obviously contrived to pack as many AdSense policy violations into as little space as possible, and spread throughout a dozen threads in three subforums. All this happened somewhat before 8 a.m. here Friday morning, about 12:40 p.m. GMT.

    I'd gotten home from work about 5 a.m., went to bed about 7, back at work for afternoon meetings & stuff. By the time I saw my emails in the late afternoon, ads were already shut off to the site. There was no 72 hour warning. Google had actually shut them off about 3 hours after the attack.

    I slunk off to test station in the corner of our lab where I could clean up the mess without anyone else having to view the rubbish, checking the IP of each item as I deleted it, and modifying the filters as I went.

    I ended up importing my profanity filters from another XF site (where certain users had resisted giving up their God-given right to swear), added the names of common porn/warez sites to the spam filters, flagged everything to be moderated, and got my appeal filed. I plan to add to the filters over the weekend.

    Before forewarned, the bozo is out there & will probably hit someone else if he hasn't already. The attack originated from IP 92.25.158.140, in an IP block assigned to Talk Talk PLC, which appears to be a very large UK ISP located in a 'burb just north of London. I did lodge a complaint w/ Talk Talk's abuse emails & with their technical & administrative contacts, and I plan further to block all of their IP ranges from my sites -- their share of that 2.5% UK traffic is hardly worth the potential loss of $2K or more in revenues annually.
     
  2. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    There's an option to block everything else, but sites you manage. Go back to Adsense and put a whitelist for your site.
     
  3. MikeMpls

    MikeMpls Well-Known Member

    I've had those whitelists set up for years, but this has nothing to do with with someone using my ads on an unauthorized site.

    He posted porn, porn links and profanities on my site,and then complained and/or induced others to complain that I was in violation of AdSense policies.
     
  4. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    That's what the whitelist options are supposed to prevent.
    I've had someone like that, just not as far as the complaining stuff. This is a jealous person trying to take over your niche.

    To combat this, you need to discourage this person from coming back. Do it from the account perspective, do it from the IP perspective. This puts the user in a hell loop. If he comes back - he either can be redirected to a site of your choosing, or be facing a white screen.

    The profanities thing is a grey area, once you go too far with it; google starts looking at you. That's why I never allow profanities on thread titles. Inside the posts, it's "fine" just as long as you don't do it often as in how spammers do it.

    Also: No, you're not the only person being spammed.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  5. MikeMpls

    MikeMpls Well-Known Member

    He came back this morning. :( Unfortunately I hadn't noticed that the list of IP blocks was a list of the company's other IP ranges, so the creep was able to get back in. That's fixed but the damage was accomplished Friday -- Google refuses to restore ads, but with their customarily non-existent customer service (no-reply emails & busted "contact us" form), they won't tell me what all those problems are that they claim to know about.

    Between InfoLinks (97.5% drop in revenues across several sites last fall), Amazon (dropped all publishers in my state) and now Google, I think I'm about done with internet ad networks. And Google rubs it in, too:

    upload_2014-5-11_18-38-24.png

    deny from 5.102.80.0/20
    deny from 62.8.96.0/19
    deny from 62.24.128.0/17
    deny from 78.144.0.0/14
    deny from 78.148.0.0/14
    deny from 84.252.192.0/18
    deny from 88.144.0.0/15
    deny from 92.24.0.0/15
    deny from 94.250.224.0/20
    deny from 164.40.208.0/20
    deny from 185.13.140.0/22
    deny from 195.12.0.0/19
    deny from 195.74.128.0/19
    deny from 212.58.32.0/19
    deny from 213.83.64.0/18
    deny from 213.246.128.0/18
    deny from 217.8.0.0/19
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2014
  6. AzzidReign

    AzzidReign Well-Known Member

    A lot of admins have had to go to great extents to make sure we are in compliance with Google's hypocrisy between Adsense and Adwords. There was a thread within the last year about some of us trying to figure out how to find images on our big boards that could be against G's TOS. In the end, there are many things you can do to make sure you don't get banned, sadly, you probably didn't hear about any of them until you started looking into how to get unbanned.
     
    BamaStangGuy likes this.
  7. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    What niche are you in?
     
  8. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    Has google e-mailed you about this? There should be a way to defend your claims.
     

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