Page 1 of 2

Spam edits

Posted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:29 am
by NewRisingSun
Is there a point in letting users that are not logged-in create and edit talk pages? Not letting them would at least stop the current spam wave.

Re: Spam edits

Posted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:55 am
by rainwarrior
It's really hampering the ability to check for actual discussions on the talk pages. I guess it's better to start a thread here, at this point, than try to talk over there.

Though over here we still have the timeout problem... :S

Re: Spam edits

Posted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:38 pm
by Quietust
On the bright side, all of the edits are from the same IP address (38.141.52.250), so in theory we could ban them all at once.

Unless, of course, that happens to be the wiki's misconfigured HTTPS proxy...

Re: Spam edits

Posted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:55 pm
by lidnariq
Yeah, it is the same misconfigured HTTPS proxy.

Re: Spam edits

Posted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:27 pm
by tepples
NewRisingSun wrote:Is there a point in letting users that are not logged-in create and edit talk pages?
It was suppposed to be to allow anons to contribute corrections, or to contact an administrator if they have a problem with registering.

Because of all the thesaurus-driven text spinning, it's hard to create a pattern rule for this sort of vandalism. My best attempt was based on the length of the edit summary of a new section. And because of the misconfigured reverse proxy or misconfigured MediaWiki or both, MediaWiki is not seeing the original IP address.

Re: Spam edits

Posted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:56 pm
by NewRisingSun
tepples wrote:or to contact an administrator if they have a problem with registering
That could be handled by posting to this forum, or by contacting the admins via email.
tepples wrote:It was suppposed to be to allow anons to contribute corrections
Seems to be a rather sporadically-occurring scenario.
tepples wrote:My best attempt was based on the length of the edit summary of a new section.
The problem is that the filter definition itself is viewable by everyone, making it easy for a spammer to see how exactly you are filtering. (Why are filter definitions viewable by everyone anyway?)

Given that the intended purposes seem to occur much rarely than the abuse does, I still think that editing by non-logged-in users should be disabled.

(Also, what's the point of spamming without advertising a product link anyway? Pure vandalism?)

Re: Spam edits

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:22 am
by tepples
NewRisingSun wrote:
tepples wrote:or to contact an administrator if they have a problem with registering
That could be handled by posting to this forum
The forum doesn't allow anonymous posts either. Or would you instead expect all wiki users to also already be forum users?
NewRisingSun wrote:or by contacting the admins via email.
Which would require either A. enforcing that all admins regularly check email or B. setting up some sort of email-to-ticket gateway on the server. With WhoaMan being an absentee landlord, I doubt that either of these is viable.
NewRisingSun wrote:The problem is that the filter definition itself is viewable by everyone, making it easy for a spammer to see how exactly you are filtering. (Why are filter definitions viewable by everyone anyway?)
Both here and on Wikipedia, most filters are targeted at errors by novices and non-specific attacks by bots. A filter targeted at one attacker who is specifically evading filters on this particular wiki can indeed be made private.
NewRisingSun wrote:(Also, what's the point of spamming without advertising a product link anyway? Pure vandalism?)
It's no good for direct response or for black hat search engine optimization, but advertising the name of a product is for brand building. Or it could be a test to see if a wiki is abandoned enough that vandal edits will stick.

Re: Spam edits

Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:47 am
by NewRisingSun
tepples wrote:enforcing that all admins regularly check email
Yes, I actually would expect an admin to regularly check email. :roll:

Re: Spam edits

Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:11 am
by gauauu
tepples wrote:Or would you instead expect all wiki users to also already be forum users?
Yes. If you can't be bothered to register a forum account, then I wouldn't think you'd have any business editing the wiki.

Re: Spam edits

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:16 am
by Bregalad
NewRisingSun wrote:
tepples wrote:enforcing that all admins regularly check email
Yes, I actually would expect an admin to regularly check email. :roll:
Thank you very much and lidnariq too for cleaning up all the spam very quickly. Usually it's once-in-awhile but recently it has became insane.

I believe they don't understand it's pointless to spam here 'case it'll be deleted very soon anyway... but hey, go figure.

Re: Spam edits

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:00 am
by Sour
Hadn't checked the wiki in a while, but looking at the recent changes, I would definitely agree it should just be locked down to registered users only.
I don't think I've ever stumbled on an anonymous edit that wasn't spam (I'm sure there are a couple, but in that case there are a couple hundred (thousand?) attempts at vandalism for each valuable anonymous edit.)

As is, the "recent changes" page is useless/unusable, and I used to look at that rather often to check if there were any new important emulation-related edits that I needed to read.

Re: Spam edits

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:28 am
by tepples
In the past, the ABUSE filter has been enough to shut down botspam, but it's become more difficult lately for administrators to write a filter without too many false positives. If I had enough authority to log in and disable anonymous editing, I might also have enough authority to log in and see why X-Forwarded-For is not getting through or to fix mail. But a lot of that depends on a shell account, which depends on WhoaMan.

Re: Spam edits

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:50 am
by tepples
WhoaMan wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:40 am
its related to the proxy setup....should be better now
You fixed it for the BBS, but can you also fix it for MediaWiki? It's still showing edits such as this one coming from inside the same subnet as the web server. MediaWiki can process the X-Forwarded-For header coming from a trusted reverse proxy, but you need to set the $wgCdnServersNoPurge variable (called $wgSquidServersNoPurge prior to MediaWiki 1.34) in order for it to trust that header.

Re: Spam edits

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:05 pm
by Banshaku
Like I mentioned in, hmmm, ~2009 when I first moved the wiki and forced non anonymous edit (and no post for new users but forgot about that one).... Nesdev is a niche community that the chance an anonymous edit will bring the "holy grail" of new information is close to none. If you still think otherwise in 2019 well you're living under a rock :lol:

It seems you guys love unnecessary pain by allowing something that cause more harm than good but what rocks you boat, I guess? ^-^;;; I won't mention it again but just remove it, it's not necessary at all.

Re: Spam edits

Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:30 pm
by Bregalad
Banshaku wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:05 pm
It seems you guys love unnecessary pain by allowing something that cause more harm than good but what rocks you boat, I guess? ^-^;;; I won't mention it again but just remove it, it's not necessary at all.
Right now, it's ridiculous.
But back then it was only one spam input or so per month at worst, so it was OK to deal with it, so that people that couldn't log in or creat an account could still contribute through the talk pages.

This brings back horrible memories of the VGMusic forums being flooded in spam at an accelerating rate, at some point the signal/noise ratio was so low the forums stopped to be usable. And so they died. I hope the wiki won't be like that.