XF 2.2 Problem with gmail spammers

rhodes

Active member
Hello,
I currently have a problem with spammers. The cause is probably due to a special feature in gmail accounts. Gmail seems to ignore dots in the email address.

This means that someone registers with iamaspammer@gmail.com. If he is blocked by us, he registers again with i.am.aspammer@gmail.com, or with i.a.m.a.s.p.a.m.m.e.r@gmail.com, without having to register a new account with gmail himself.

Unfortunately, we can't block gmail completely, because many serious users have registered via gmail.

Does anyone have an idea what we can do?

Thanks
 

thetechguy

Active member
You can always use the manual approval of accounts on registration for checking on the accounts or you can use some custom addons for adding more checks on the new registrations here https://xenforo.com/community/resources/

I just searched and got this one, may this one fulfill your requirements.

 

OverHere

Active member
I am also recently receiving lots of gmail-based registrations, none of them have spammed but they do write short worthless though relevant messages

But a great rush of mostly gmail registrations?

Something suspicious?
 

Mendalla

Well-known member
I am also recently receiving lots of gmail-based registrations, none of them have spammed but they do write short worthless though relevant messages

But a great rush of mostly gmail registrations?

Something suspicious?
I have had people like that. They do some messages to look legit, but will eventually start slipping site or product plugs and links into their posts. At least that has been my experience.
maybe they try to do some SEO-spam later (by editing the messages after a few days). How long can messages be edited on your board?
Doesn't matter in my experience. They don't edit their old messages, just start inserting spam into new ones.

I generally watch new registrations that look iffy like a hawk and come down on them like a load of bricks as soon as they step out of line. I actually got yelled at by a member for being "unwelcoming" to a new registrant who, lo and behold, turned out to be a spammer of this sort.
 

Black Tiger

Active member
I don't understand this one neither the other one.

* = wildcard as far as I know, so why would this not block -any- domain? Since it's @* stated so block anything behind the @ character?
Also, if you want to block gmail, why so many wildcards, why not just using *@gmail.com which should also drop anything in front of the @ character.

Or is * not used as wildcard on Xen?
 

Rhody

Well-known member
Having it check the stopforumspam database catches most of the bad guys. It's built in and worth activating, if you have not already done so.
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
You are aware of the fact that my.name@gmail.com and myname@gmail.com is the same mail address right?
I don't know how that is with multiple dots, but I'm 100% sure of it with 1 dot.

You're sure it's different addresses when multiple dots are used? Otherwise this kind of block is of little use.

The addresses resolve to the same Gmail account but using the *.*.* approach in the XF ACP was useful for blocking spammers who favoured that set up, without affecting legitimate users.

I don't know whether spammers still use that approach.
 

digitalpoint

Well-known member
The addresses resolve to the same Gmail account but using the *.*.* approach in the XF ACP was useful for blocking spammers who favoured that set up, without affecting legitimate users.

I don't know whether spammers still use that approach.
Oh, they definitely do. From the last week:

1655317250932.png

For some of my sites, I internally "normalize emails" for uniqueness, but this particular site doesn't have that add-on installed. It would be nice if it was an option native to XenForo:

 

whynot

Well-known member
You're sure it's different addresses when multiple dots are used? Otherwise this kind of block is of little use.
johncitizen@gmail.com, john.citizen@gmail.com, john.citi.zen@gmail.com, john.ci.ti.zen@gmail.com :
They are different addresses for my forum but the same addresses for gmail.

*.*@gmail.com
Block 1 dot in the name: all names with 1 or more dots in them are rejected.

Do you want to allow 1 dot in the name such as john.citizen but reject names such as john.citi.zen with 2 or more dots in them to reject?
*.*.*@gmail.com
 

Black Tiger

Active member
They are different addresses for my forum but the same addresses for gmail.
Yes that was exactly my point. Because you could block *.*@gmail.com but then the spammer could use that account again but then without the dot.

So to prevent all options from one such email address, you have to add several of these dot things and then still he can come in with his account using no dots, because that isn't blocked.

I was just wondering if there was not a better method, maybe a combination of using some multiple dots and checking ip ranges used.
 

nocte

Well-known member
So to prevent all options from one such email address, you have to add several of these dot things and then still he can come in with his account using no dots, because that isn't blocked.
thats not 100% correct: Blocking gmail addresses with 2 dots (*.*.*@gmail.com) will automatically also block all gmail addresses with more than 2 dots, because the * is a wildcard and can also be a dot. In other words: with only 1 rule you can define a maximum of dots, that are accepted.

But I also support the suggestion by @digitalpoint, because these rules are only "better than nothing".
 
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Black Tiger

Active member
Might be good, but at least here one can see screenshots without the need for an extra registration.
 
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