Tons O' Spam

yeah, the boards have also been hit with a lot of spam lately. I can clear so much off using moderator powers, but after just a few the system tells me I am unauthorized to clear it any further

Hmmm. Thanks for letting us know!

Not to complain, but there were well over 400 "messages waiting for approval" this morning. Is there any way to delete the obvious spam other than going through them 5 by 5 and deleting the offending message? :blush:

I have to say some recent change has resulted in a lot of signups from people with usernames composed of random alphanumeric strings.

I know the spammers have been hitting the forums hard lately, so John and I spent some time this evening working on things from our end. Here's what we've done so far ...

* Deleted 30,000 inactive users (phew!) 
* Deleted a whole lot of "ghost" topics
* Beefed up our .htaccess to deny huge blocks of IPs from China, Russia, Nigeria, etc. as per []( (etc.)
* Changed our registration question.
* Disabled links in signatures (images are already disallowed)
* Disabled links & images in posts for new users, as per [ ... for-phpbb3](
* Added a catch for gibberish posts, as per the same.

I think the .htaccess approach is the best one, to just block them from getting anywhere near the forum in the first place. But blacklists need to be updated regularly. So, I'm thinking about installing ... block_mod/ ... that way it'll be updated automatically from now on. Let me know if anyone has had any experience with these, or alternate suggestions.

Thanks, again, for your patience!

Besides inactive users, I was also deleting users whose accounts were created in recent months and had zero postings. This catches human spammers who successfully activated their accounts and posted spam that moderators rejected, but their account was still in the system. This was at least 1500 additional spammer accounts (before I started the number of registered users you'd see was over 3k, now it's back down to half that) I wiped away.

It's possible that some real accounts of people who lurk but don't post were caught in the net. If so, I apologize -- but please understand that taking time to just skim through the pages of thousands of spam-users looking for usernames that might be non-spammers just wasn't practical.