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How do spammers find your new site

Discussion in 'General XenForo Discussion and Feedback' started by Hackfall, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. Hackfall

    Hackfall Member

    I'm in final stages of developing a new site and I'm doing this live. I've not promoted it and it is on a topic that I doubt spammers would find by searching for it.

    I have it set to admin approval of new members and am getting a trickle of applications, every one of which, so far has been from a known spam IP.

    How are these people finding my site, is it simply that they are searching for the standard Xenforo copyright and link footer text?

    If so is this sufficient reason to spend $250 for "Branding Removal"? or am I too late and will my site now be on a spammers target list for eternity?
  2. Jake Bunce

    Jake Bunce XenForo Moderator Staff Member

  3. Hackfall

    Hackfall Member

    I have other sites that use a CMS and comments are welcome on those but some of them have never had a spam comment submission. Here I'm developing a Xenforo forum and within days I'm getting spammers trying to register. There's something different and I'm speculating that they are searching for the Xenforo copyright text to identify likely targets including my site.

    I guess that my point is that the understandable Xenforo insistence that the copyright notice appears on every page, I assume for promotional reasons, is providing spammers with an easy way to identify target sites. The relatively high price for notice removal (again I understand the arguments for this) means that the vast majority of Xenforo sites are, immediately they go live, easily found by spammers.

    My question is this. Is it worth paying $250 to make it harder for spammers to find you or are they going to get you anyway?

    I understand the options to cut them out once they find your site and am very impressed by the tools provided by Xenforo. I'm manually approving every member and the spammers are being identified by the IP link to WIMIP and blacklist. I have question and answer to cut out automated.
  4. snoopy5

    snoopy5 Well-Known Member


    I do not believe that the removal of the copyright has any influence on spam activity. Every software I know of has copyright information at the bottom of the index page. I would check the meta data etc., the information what the browser delivers, not visible for forum visitors. Maybe this could be it. But at the end of the day, it does not really matter. Google is fast in indexing. And the spammer does not care whether it is a xF, vb or phpBB forum ;)

    Until last week, xF forums had a nice life, because they did not get attacked as strong as other forum software by spammers. But the more famous you get, the more the xF software is used on the net, the more spammers will write scripts also for xF forums. And now we face the same attraction as vb Forums or phpBB forums. The difference is only that all others used already the anti-spam mods available fpr vb, phpBB etc. and we have to get used to it now...
  5. Hackfall

    Hackfall Member

    Looking at the IPs I'm getting most are from Russia, Ukraine and Belorussia. It looks like my URL has got onto a Russian language list of Xenforo sites. I still don't understand how they found me, I can't find me on Google using any of the non site specific text that Googlebot crawls.

    I have given the URL to a couple of folks here in PMs while discussing fancy notices. Surely our URLs are not valuable enough to lurk here to pick up the odd one.
  6. Hackfall

    Hackfall Member

    Six more applications this morning all from Russian language area.

    When I go live I'm definitely going to continue manual approval.
  7. Arty

    Arty Well-Known Member

    Just enable Q&A as Jake suggested. Solution is very simple.
  8. Floren

    Floren Well-Known Member

    Q&A has nothing to do with it, the registrations are done by real people.
  9. Taxi

    Taxi Member

    I don't believe this is true. I enabled Q&A on my forum instead of reCAPTCHA and my spam registrations have stopped completely.
  10. Brad L

    Brad L Well-Known Member

    I've always assumed there is a real person that updates their spam database containing the answers to Q&A. It then becomes automated until another Q&A flag is thrown. Repeat.
  11. Robert F Schmitz

    Robert F Schmitz Well-Known Member

    To the OP I don't think it has anything to do with the software. I have several sites running xf and only one gets hammered with spammers trying to register. I say try because I use the Q&A on all sites and the one had spammers make it through the Q&A until I made the questions a bit more difficult than 'What is the third letter in the second word?'.

    A question for anyone else, could it have something to do with the server hosting the site?
  12. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    Those listings are just for spammers. Some sites list your host's NameServer in case you spammed another site, and vice versa.

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