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Warning: Silent Spamming of vBulletins

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Freddie
    The redirect idea can be debated for a future version but right now I am going to add an option to require a minimum of X posts before a user appears on the memberlist.
    This is already doable through the admin panel. Set a new member group, that does not get listed in the members list. Set a promotion to upgrade them to regular member after x posts.
    vB Drupal Community Plumbing | vB Survey | vBusy | vB Spell | vBouncer

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    • #17
      I created the promotions to solve this very type of issue but, in this case, I want something simpler to get rid of these parasites.

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      • #18
        Btw - just for the record - if anyone wishes to link to or copy the original article to warn other forum admins about this issue, then you are welcome to so long as your credit the source (as per copyright notice).
        Last edited by I, Brian; Tue 10 Feb '04, 2:24pm.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by I, Brian
          Hi there -

          I wanted to post this on the "Hints and Tips" board, but I don't appear to have permission to start a new thread there.

          So I'll post it here, so that the vBulletin staff can decide as to whether it is suitable or not...

          Anyway - the sad fact is that a lot of forums are being spammed without the forum administrators even being aware that problem exists.

          I call it Silent Spamming and wrote a specific article on it here, detailing what is going on, and giving three principle examples of where it is occurring:

          http://www.britecorp.co.uk/articles/...t-spamming.php

          The most relevant part is where I refer to the Silent Spamming of forums:

          http://www.britecorp.co.uk/articles/...m-spamming.php

          This is a very real problem - and, not only that, seems particularly an issue with indexed vBulletin's (note that phpbb's use a drop down box to sort memberlists out alphabetically).

          Anyway, once you've referenced the articles above - notably the second link - then please check out a live example of Silent Spamming on Forum Forum (once a vBulletin of the Month last year):

          http://www.forum-forum.com/forum/memberlist.php?s

          Almost every member on that first page of the Memberlist page is a Silent Spammer, manipulating the vBulletin memberlist to promote porn sites - all without Admin knowledge. And, yes - I have just sent Mal a warning e-mail now that I've found it on his board.

          Anyway, if anyone wants to block Silent Spammers from abusing the Memberlist, either turn it off manually in the settings (at least in vBulletin 3) - or else implemented a robots.txt file, such as this very simple example:

          Code:
          User-agent: *
          Disallow: /forum/memberlist.php
          I sincerely hope that helps some people.

          What's really sad is that all this Silent Spamming of the Memberlist is done supposedly for Search Engine Optimisation purposes - yet is extremely inefficient and ultimately serves little advantage in SEO terms.
          I have had this in robots.txt for a long time and disabled viewing of personal profiles a while before even having a robots.txt file so this doesn't affect me. ^_^

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          • #20
            We have had a few members recently who have had their homepage set to a porn site without them doing this themselves(and I believe them on this, as they have been members for a while). Don't know if it is a security hole in VB or a weak password issue. Anyone else seen something like this?

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            • #21
              This appears to be from a virus on the affected computers that adds this when they register.
              Steve Machol, former vBulletin Customer Support Manager (and NOT retired!)
              Change CKEditor Colors to Match Style (for 4.1.4 and above)

              Steve Machol Photography


              Mankind is the only creature smart enough to know its own history, and dumb enough to ignore it.


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              • #22
                Steve

                thanks for the (incredibly! ) quick reply. Any idea what the virus is, so I can warn users about it?

                James Frost

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                • #23
                  I'm not sure which virus or trojan is doing this. I do remember reading something abut this sevral weeks ago when it first started happening.
                  Steve Machol, former vBulletin Customer Support Manager (and NOT retired!)
                  Change CKEditor Colors to Match Style (for 4.1.4 and above)

                  Steve Machol Photography


                  Mankind is the only creature smart enough to know its own history, and dumb enough to ignore it.


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                  • #24
                    I'm not sure which virus or trojan is doing this. I do remember reading something abut this sevral weeks ago when it first started happening.
                    is this it?

                    http://www.securityfocus.com/archive...8/2004-02-14/0

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                    • #25
                      No, that's not the same thing. This is a virus/trojan that affects home PCs.
                      Steve Machol, former vBulletin Customer Support Manager (and NOT retired!)
                      Change CKEditor Colors to Match Style (for 4.1.4 and above)

                      Steve Machol Photography


                      Mankind is the only creature smart enough to know its own history, and dumb enough to ignore it.


                      Comment


                      • #26
                        I believe it "recognizes" the <input type="blah" value="blah2" /> type of tags and abuses that to spam web sites, etc.

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