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Recent increase in spam on the forums


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We've seem to become a target recently for spammers. Why the recent increase I'm not sure. We employ Captcha and a bot trap to stop this, however if someone goes to the trouble of manually setting up an account they will get by.

We could close automated signup and require manual approval from an administrator to start an account but many will complain about that as it will take more time to complete.

Spam is a fact of life on the internet, I think most of us are annoyed by it but know how to ignore it. In the mean time, when we spot spam it gets deleted quickly- usually within hours but understand there are two administrators and we do have businesses to run too.

Appreciate your patience as we try to resolve the problem.

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I understand your pain. I try to help Gwydion Stone with The Wormwood Society. We painstakingly vet each member registration. I still learn more and more about China, India, etc...as I delete applications. It can be time consuming but I appreciate the lesson in geography. <sarcasm>

Point being, I empathize with your struggle and appreciate your efforts.

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Actually, and as I told Bill the other day, there are now bots (i.e. software programs designed to go out on the web and do things), that are capable of signing up for an account and then posting spam ... and much worse.

It's likely that we're (i.e. this forum) is not being directly targeted by individuals taking the time to sign up, but rather is being targeted by various bots. Other forums that I know of are being hit with similar "attacks".

I don't have a solid answer as to how to minimize these types of intrusions, but I do know that we can't prevent them ... only make it more difficult.

Anyway, my two cents. I've asked a couple of serious cyber security folks I do business with about what this forum is excperiencing as well and we'll see if they don't have any ideas. Bill ... I'll let you know if I come up with anything that's easy and cost-effective to impliment.


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What I don't understand is, NOBODY in this day and age would ever click on a link, especially when it has porn in the title, or read spam, it's usually deleted immediately. So why do the spammers bother, I mean are there enough idiots on the web to sustain their business, by clicking on a random unknown link and give them your credit card?

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There are actually spammers now—almost all Russian—who do actually join forums manually and then let their bots take over from there. I can sniff out a spambot user name and email address at 50 yards and I have a 99.9% success rate.

As for the admin-validation vs. automatic, you're already taking the time to delete the posts and memberships of the spammers who get through. When you consider the fact that there are many more spammers joining right now, you'll save a lot of time and hassle to switch to user-then-admin validation.

are there enough idiots on the web to sustain their business, by clicking on a random unknown link and give them your credit card?

Yes. The gigantic majority of people in general are uninformed and gullible. If spam weren't profitable, it would have died long ago.

Besides, the spammers aren't promoting their own businesses, they're essentially amoral miscreants who specialize in tricking you into simply seeing a brand name and who get paid per click-through.

The business of capitalizing on fear of baldness and erectile dysfunction, and the male desire to look at naked ladies is ancient.

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Thanks Guy for working on the spamming problem

I'm now spamming my self. How can that happen.

Do I dare mark bill@distilling.com as "junk"

I'm afraid it would block others from reaching me.

bill owens

If you are receiving spam from yourself, your email has been compromised. Lots of other folks will be receiving spam from you too. Change your email password.

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