The Wiki is Under Attack

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The Wiki is Under Attack

Postby cmdrajd » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:35 am

Every so often I go and check the "Recent Changes" page on the Star Traks wiki to see if anyone has made any updates. A couple of weeks ago, I discovered that there had been A LOT of updates, and none of them were Traks related. Instead, they were a mix of car, job, education, and...er...erotic services ads all posted as Wiki pages. I went through and blocked every one of the users (supposedly Mediawiki, which is the wiki software we use, bans the IP address used) and deleted the pages.

Since then, though, the onslaught has continued. Everyday there are four to six new spam pages added to the wiki (Okay, so maybe "onslaught" is a bit of an overstatement). Over the weekend, I implemented a simple CAPTCHA on the user registration page to try to weed out any spambots. There was absolutely no effect, so either the bots are already programmed to defeat the CAPTCHA, or we're dealing with human spammers. I found another wiki extension that is supposed to prevent the posting of pages that refer to a banned list of URLs (the banlist is maintained by some outside group). So far that doesn't seem to have had any effect either, since I deleted another 3 pages this morning.

At this point, I've resigned myself to regularly patrolling the wiki, but if anyone out there with any wiki knowledge has other ideas I would love to hear them.
"I'm not insane -- my mother had me tested." - Sheldon Cooper, "The Big Bang Theory"

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cmdrajd
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Re: The Wiki is Under Attack

Postby Star Traks » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:01 pm

The situation sounds worst than lice attacks at my daughter's school. The spammers are obviously evolving faster than the infernal lice.

For the record, I have no direct experience with such systems/software. Limited time restricted search time to only one suggestion at the moment [note the disclaimer, posting date and his/her recommended Peer Block - spammers have same info and possibly compromised/defeated this filter] Best of Luck !:

http://sourceforge.net/apps/phpbb/shareaza/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10

All-In-One AntiSpam Filter [Sep-18-2010]

...By default this blocklist filters all ".wm", ".wma", ".wmv", ".mov", ".vbs", ".zip", ".url", ".htm", and ".html" files as well as bad IP addresses, bad terms(shareazav4/v5/v6), and bad hashes. You need to be using 2.4.0.0 or later in order to take full advantage of this filter so it is highly recommended that you upgrade to the latest version...

Disclaimer: The All-In-One AntiSpam filter is not perfect but it should eliminate the worst offenders. If you are looking for a more complete solution that will protect your whole computer then we recommend that you also install PeerBlock.

* If you were subscribed to this thread before we moved to sourceforge.net, you will need to subscribe AGAIN, since all subscriptions were lost when the pantheraproject site was hijacked
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Re: The Wiki is Under Attack

Postby cmdrajd » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:49 am

Thanks for the idea. I'll look into it.
"I'm not insane -- my mother had me tested." - Sheldon Cooper, "The Big Bang Theory"

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Re: The Wiki is Under Attack

Postby cmdrajd » Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:37 pm

Unfortunately that doesn't look like it will deal with this situation. I thinking of trying a little experiment. I'm going to take the wiki down for a week in the hope that, if it's a bot, it has intelligence to delete non-working URLs from its database, or, if it's a person, they'll move on to somewhere else. I don't think our wiki is used often enough for a week's shutdown to be that big of a deal. Now I just need to sit down and figure out how to shut it down without accidentally destroying it. Hopefully I'll get some time to work on that this weekend.


UPDATE: The wiki is currently down. I plan to reactivate it in a week, and we'll see if that had any effect on the spam tide.
"I'm not insane -- my mother had me tested." - Sheldon Cooper, "The Big Bang Theory"

I'm now blogging at The Traks of Life
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Re: The Wiki is Under Attack

Postby cmdrajd » Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:10 pm

Ok. It's been a week, so I've reactivated the wiki. Time to see if that was enough time for the spammers to get bored and move on.


UPDATE: That didn't take long. The spammers returned very quickly, which leads me to conclude that this is either some kind of bot or a person working for some kind of spam sweatshop somewhere. Either way, it's bloody annoying, and the supposed IP address banning in the wiki doesn't seem to be having any effect at all. Therefore, I have taken a slightly less drastic action and locked down the wiki for now. If I've done it right, it's still there, but no one can add or edit pages. I'm going to see if that works while I research a way to make it so that only users I authorize can make changes.


UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: I've made a couple of more tweaks. Hopefully everyone who has been a legitimate user of the Wiki can edit again. If you can't, let me know.
"I'm not insane -- my mother had me tested." - Sheldon Cooper, "The Big Bang Theory"

I'm now blogging at The Traks of Life
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