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XF 1.4 Dealing with MASSIVE spammers

#1
Board has been hit hard by spammers while I've been distracted. Most of the accounts have anywhere between 6,000 - 100,000 spam posts.

Unfortunately, these huge accounts seem to be too big for the spam tool to handle, and there is no option to delete a user's content when deleting the user.

What's the best way to tackle this?
 

melbo

Well-known member
#5
Ahh, I get like 2 spammers a year and we catch them after a few posts. Didn't realize it was limited.
If you weren't around to catch 100,000 spam posts, I doubt any real members were either. Might be best to flush and restart or backup from before this happened?
 

MikeMpls

Well-known member
#7
Spam cleaner works with large numbers of posts, but it's not obvious at first. Every time it times out, will have deleted a few hundred posts. Repeat as necessary until they're all gone.
 

Martok

Well-known member
#9
A spammer can post thousands of new threads in a very short time
Only if an admin is daft enough to set the Bypass flood check to Allow. With it set to Not Set (No) and the standard 30 seconds set in the ACP, it would take around 10 hours to make 1000 posts. No spammer is going to sit there for that length of time to do this.
 

AndyB

Well-known member
#10
A lot of admins set the flood check to either 0 or a very low number. But with the add-ons I mentioned you can set the flood check to a very low number.
 

Martok

Well-known member
#11
A lot of admins set the flood check to either 0 or a very low number. But with the add-ons I mentioned you can set the flood check to a very low number.
As I said, that's just plain daft. There's no need to have a low flood check for most members. Setting it correctly avoids unnecessary add-ons.
 

Mike

XenForo developer
Staff member
#12
Assuming they are spam threads, you can clear them out with the "batch update threads" tool in the control panel.
 
#13
XenForoo,

A few suggestions for your specific problem:

As Martok says, use the flood check

I would consider having all new lowest level members posts go into moderation. Ours do and we have never therefore had a Spam message on display. That makes posting them rather pointless and wastes the time of the spammers instead of yours, which is neat. We only move them out of that level when we feel certain they are good guys. We aim to get a posted message on display very quickly and all subscriber messages display straight away and so on.

Have a team of moderators, who moderate new messages and delete the bad ones, along with the member if you wish.

Hope the thoughts are somehow helpful.

Steve
 

Ridemonkey

Well-known member
#14
As Mike said, you can batch update threads in the Applications tab of the Admin CP and choose to batch update threads created by a specific user.

For managing it in the future, aside from enabling flood control (which should always, always be turned on - the completely minor inconvenience that a user will have by waiting 10 seconds to make a post is invisible compared with the major problem that a spammer with no flood control can cause), I've installed FoolBotHoneyPot, StopHumanSpam, and pay $5/month for an Akismet subscription. This has basically eliminated all spam in our forum.

We're blocking 80-150 bots per day from registering, the couple that get through and try to make posts have their posts placed in a Moderated queue, and the StopHumanSpam plugin prevents bots that register from quietly adding links to their profiles or signatures.

It's pretty outstanding. I went from managing 20-30 user-visible spam posts per day, another 10-50 spam user profile posts per day, and an unknown quantity of bots with spam signatures (which I was manually purging at monthly intervals), to 2-3 spam posts per day that are all caught and put into the moderated queue.