cyber war


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Post December 26, 2012, 01:30:26 PM

Re: cyber war

Rick, this isn't war, it's fucking TARGET PRACTICE, with us being the bullseye. Some 285 or so spam when I logged in. I just got done cleaning those up; I've still got other trash to throw out.

I've asked Doc (our webmaven) to update the board, since our software is out of date. Our Captcha defense is known to be useless and needs upgraded.

There is a one-button solution. Well, two, actually -- shut off all self-registrations and require an admin to allow new members, or -- shut off ALL registration completely. For that last, I suppose we'd have to ask new members to send an email or something to get manually okay'd.

My finger is getting awfully itchy for one of those buttons lately, I'll tell ya.
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Post December 26, 2012, 04:41:48 PM

Re: cyber war

There is a lot of crap coming though by bots; I'm sure of it. Our Captcha is intended to stop spam-bots, but it's outdated and about as strong as wet toilet paper. New generations of spam-bots go through it just like that. No human help needed. Human operators have only to follow the instructions, and they're in.

I can understand the reluctance to upgrade the board; the instructions to do so are deceptively simple, but the reality is that days of tweaking are involved. I wouldn't dare touch that. And I won't touch this button, either -- --
reg.jpg
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because this isn't my board, and I don't know what else it does that it isn't saying anything about.

Still, the board does need upgraded, and this should just be thought of as regular maintenance to the site, like doing oil changes on a car. A pile of headaches for a while, but (to the best of my knowledge) we CANNOT get new filters without doing the upgrade first.
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Post December 26, 2012, 08:56:33 PM

Re: cyber war

TaoPhoenix wrote:P.S. On my screen there's a paperclip on the topic. Does anyone know what that means?

Probably just there to indicate the attachment that I posted.
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Post December 26, 2012, 09:31:38 PM

Re: cyber war

What country do they come from?
Mostly from Russia and China; some from Germany, France, and Sweden, then after that, just about anywhere.

The major offenders, as identified by their emails, are a Russian mail service called 'mail(dot)ru', followed by gmail. I find this odd, and a little offensive, since gmail is a service of Google, whose motto is, "Do no evil." And yet they seem unwilling to police their own product's use. Plus, they provide seemingly unlimited machine-generated (and likely disposable) email addresses, perfect for spamming.

This gets into a problem with international law, I'm sure. Read Terms of Service or End User License Agreement for any software, and you'll see that spam is prohibited. Big deal, sue us in international court, ha ha ha. I have noticed that we get almost NO spam originating in the USA. Court jurisdiction for that is in California for almost every TOS and EULA I've ever read.

Regarding the use of gibberish usernames, something I've noticed lately is that the Chinese have the most consistently perfect English-looking names in use. I often have to do a deeper check to make sure where a post is from, but I've gotten to calling it Chinese before I run it, and I'm usually right.

Some fools just don't care; I've seen -- this is a fact -- someone logged in here with the username, 'click here.'

The ones that mystify me are what I call 'squatters.' The board categorizes them as 'inactive users,' accounts with a zero post count. They just sign up and sit there forever (or until I kick 'em) and never post anything. Nearest I can guess, they must get a hit count reported back by crawlers and bots, giving them some kind of credit for just being somewhere.

Rick, you asked if assistance was needed . . . I don't think there's a need for another person to help with the spam -- Robert Moriyama and I handle the most of it -- but someone else once mentioned that there is an awful backlog of work in archiving old stories. I'm not sure I want to add 'board librarian' to my resume (and workload), but if you can figure out who to ask, there's some work that needs done.
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Post December 26, 2012, 09:57:33 PM

Re: cyber war

rick tornello wrote:Lester, the biggest offenders are East Europe/Russian Republic and China pure and simple. They then get control of computers throughout the planet, "Zombies", which are then directed to specific targets. Some of this is done as training exercises. Some of these are just nasty SOB's with really good computer skills, and others kids screwing around. We are an easy target and these letters must make them laugh.
I get that, but notice that the overwhelming majority are commercial spam, so somebody is making money for posting them. Again, international borders, and nobody is going to court over it. The assumed response, I guess, is, "Quit your bitching and install a good filter."

Do we block all from there and then shuttle them to the three of us to review?

Explain -- ? You lost me . . .
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Post December 27, 2012, 01:29:47 PM

Re: cyber war

rick tornello wrote:commercial spam? that poor quality English or a bad computer translator.

We should send back to them the same way.

What I was attempting to say, speaking of poor English, those emails that are suspect, picked out through the NEW filter, are forwarded to us in a separate PM Spam section to review or delete or ignore, and say after 10 days they are automatically deleted unless we say otherwise.

Intent and actual verbiage are sometimes two or more different things. Sorry,

RT

I think you mean a "sandbox." Incoming stuff is isolated and scanned before being passed on. An active filter with some sophistication to it. We can put that on the 'wish list.'
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Post December 28, 2012, 04:14:54 PM

Re: cyber war

The controlling system is one spot that cannot be tracked back with out the help of more sophisticated tools.

So if it seems to be coming from a lawyers office or a hotel it might be but they don't necessarily know it or have control over it because the CPU is controlled by the real offending party. That's one manner of DOS (denial of service).
Yep. all it takes is for someone to thoughtlessly click a link in a bogus email, and their computer gets fed the nasties. They won't even know anything is wrong, unless they notice that their machine seems to run a little slow at times. In a place that they can't see, it's dialing up the spam for somebody on the other side of the planet.

Really, though, I think most of this is probably coming from 'boiler rooms' in countries that don't care whose laws they're breaking.
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Post December 29, 2012, 12:06:29 AM

Re: cyber war

I always hated those video games . . . I'd get blown up within the first few seconds at the second level, and walk away a nervous wreck . . .

But, back to the topic of 'sandboxes,' I remember now where I found that:

https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/b ... l#security

I'd never seen the term before.
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Post December 31, 2012, 12:26:15 PM

Re: cyber war

TaoPhoenix wrote:With some missing data and just going on impressions, I think the attacks are getting faster/more numerous.

It used to just be once every couple of weeks. Now I can't even visit to check posts without seeing some spam.

Yeah . . . we saw the run-up to Christmas with all the clothes and shoes, and then just after that, we see the big flurry of e-cig ads for those whose New Year's resolution was to quit smoking. How convenient. I guess e-commerce just keeps on growing.

And, three cheers for Robert Moriyama, who's back in the game, kickin' spam and deletin' names! Go, Robert!
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Post January 01, 2013, 12:30:48 AM

Re: cyber war

Mark Edgemon wrote:I am afraid if we don't put an end to the spam garbage, we are going to lose members to the point that Aphelion will cease to exist. This is my online family and I don't want to see that happen.

If it wasn't for our frontline defense spam warriors, it probably would have already happen.

Cheer up, Mark -- we're not losing members, we're gaining them. That big change in the number at the bottom of the index page -- that was me, trying something I hadn't tried before. I just pulled up the 'Prune users' utility, typed a zero into the Post Count box and hit 'submit' -- and there was a big list. I went through and trimmed it by about half; took out all the obvious garbage.
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Post January 01, 2013, 12:54:37 PM

Re: cyber war

gino_ss wrote:I'll add my kudos to all you tireless spam fighters. As a total cyberdummy, I regret having no significant contributions. Death to all spammers.

gino

Yeah -- check out what Robert did this morning --
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Rock 'n' roll!
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