Spam is Killing my Site

kingjavo

Active member
I've been getting a ton of spam lately and I'm not sure how to mass kill all of it? I went to the Spam Management tool and tried some things, but I have no clue how to prevent this stuff and also how to run it in a batch process. My host provider keeps shutting down my site due to this spam. My site is pretty dead, but I use it a lot for another reason and it needs to be kept running.

Can anyone help?


Here's a screenshot of some spam examples I'm receiving...

1641645643291.png
 

JoyFreak

Well-known member
I'm sorry you're going through this, it's frustrating but you need to change host providers. Why are they shutting you down for it?
There's a lot you can do to prevent spam or at least slow it down.
You can block ips, ip-ranges, spam-emails and block specific words etc. from being posted. There's a lot of resources on here to help with that, just use the search function.
Also, look at using a spam add-on. I recommend @Xon spam add-on: https://xenforo.com/community/resources/signup-abuse-detection-and-blocking.6812/

Also, why not set some criteria for new users to post threads? Create a new user group and set some posting criteria.

Try looking at using CloudFlare, if you haven't already, they are good with preventing bots.
 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
Also, why not set some criteria for new users to post threads? Create a new user group and set some posting criteria.
This is the most basic first step

Set permissions for registered (primary) user group so all posts need moderating. create “approved” group that can post without moderating and a promotion to that group after one or more posts.
 

Mendalla

Well-known member
My approach has been mostly to put strict settings on StopForumSpam. I have mine set to require approval on one blacklist hit and reject automatically on 2 or more. Keeps the spammer crowd from even registering while still leaving some wiggle room for you to inspect borderline cases manually. Seems to have worked. I have not had to deal with spam and no complaints about people being falsely rejected (not that we have many signups anyhow).

I have also made some use of IP blocking, notably blocking an entire class B in Pakistan at one point because so many spammers were originating from it.

I have never implemented Mr. Lucky's strategy, but that would be my next line of defense if I needed one. Many of boards where I am a member put restrictions on new users for the first twenty or so posts (e.g. one prohibits posting images or links for the first twenty posts). It would also be my option 2 if I found I was getting too many false rejections from SFS and had to loosen those settings.
 

PASS

Well-known member
I blocked Russia, Ukraine, and Pakistan at the firewall and it reduced my spam by 99%.

This is the most basic first step

Set permissions for registered (primary) user group so all posts need moderating. create “approved” group that can post without moderating and a promotion to that group after one or more posts.
That's how I blocked the other 1%. Now spammers are just sending PMs so I am setting up another user group when you need x amount of posts to use PMs. I'll probably set it to 1 or 2 and see how it goes. I already limit new accounts to one receipt at a time. I wish there was a way to adjust the flood time by user group.
 

z3r010

Active member
I found adding a Cloudflare JS challenge to the registration and contact us pages really cuts down on the spam bots, it does require editing the links to those pages to open as full-page rather than overlays though.
 
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motowebmaster

Well-known member
@kingjavo are you using all of the standard Xenforo admin features in "Spam Management"?

If you are, consider temporarily closing your site and using the built-in spam management / ban features in Xenforo to cleanup what is currently there. I've setup for StopForumSpam, DNSbl, and hCaptcha within standard Xenforo Spam Management features. The only additional addon I'm using is [OzzModz] Registration Spaminator, which only takes care of the new-registration attempts - standard Xenforo features is taking care of everything else.

Your host is likely seeing multiple networks logging onto your site, using the same login credentials, and driving resource utilization abnormally high. Once you start cleaning up the spam within Xenforo, you'll likely see that several users are coming from the same networks.

What you use beyond that is up to you, but it should help you get back on-track.
 

nocte

Well-known member
Also, look at using a spam add-on. I recommend @Xon spam add-on: https://xenforo.com/community/resources/signup-abuse-detection-and-blocking.6812/
Yeah, I can recommend that one too, like all addons by @Xon, that add some functionality you need. ;)

If you have the time, you can turn on manual approval for new accounts. In conjunction with Xon's addon you will be able to easily detect spammers and reject them (especially if you have not a more regional user base, so e.g. every Russian IP is suspicious).
 
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Sim

Well-known member
I rely heavily on my Geoblock Registration addon to restrict which countries can automatically register.

There are some countries which are blocked completely and can never register, there are a few which are always permitted to register - and then every other country requires manual approval of all new registrations which allows me to check for red flags on someone's account before I approve them.

I find that this, along with the built in spam management tools, prevents most spam.
 

webbouk

Well-known member
Take a look at these two spam fighting tools...



They do exactly what they say on the tin
 

Overscan

Active member
Best first defence is stopforumspam.

Second line of defence, as some spammers will still get though, is not letting new members make posts or send private messages.

On my forum your first post must be approved before you can post without approval or send private messages. I've had one spammer who managed to make an on-topic reply which was approved and then did some spam, but that was one time in 16 years. Normally its automated so they just post their crap, it isn't approved, and I spam clean them.
 
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