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Spam on the news articles

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August 3, 2010 11:22:41 AM

Hi, first post on the forums, so hello! :hello:  I mainly just stick to the news and reviews articles.

Just wondering if anyone (as in admin) read the comments on any of the articles recently. as the amount of spam (rolex watches, GHDs, handbags etc etc). it's getting beyond a joke and time to bring in some measures to make the comments section more usable, and more professional.

sorry that my first forum post is a rant... :sarcastic:  many people have commented about the spam in comments section and it seems to fall on deaf ears.

More about : spam news articles

August 3, 2010 11:56:18 AM

Rest assured that it has not fallen on deaf ears. We've brought on more moderators in recent months primarily because of this issue. However, there's little we can do other than manually scour through the comments and remove the stuff as it shows up.
Anonymous
August 3, 2010 4:49:55 PM

One of the primary spammers lately has been creating accounts using gaga
with a few numbers after it.

Here's the last few accounts created by this spammer and they always promote the same Chinese domain.

Profile-686127 gaga1144

Profile-687070 gaga78

Profile-687369 gaga46

Profile-687718 gaga63

Profile-688146 gaga369

Whois Look up - fashionclothe.com


One idea that could possibly be done is any new account which posts known spam domains,
(a list could be kept) a Mod alert could be sent by the system alerting the Mods to a SPAM attack which in turn would allow the Mods to hopefully BAN the Spammer and before the Spammer could create too much of a mess, give them time enough to clean it up.

The few spam domains I've seen in the last few days are as follows:

shoes2.us
madeshopping.com
fashionsports.org
clothes6.us
fashionclothe.com
1shoe1worth.com
Related resources
August 3, 2010 6:39:21 PM

Quote:
Here's the last few accounts created by this spammer and they always promote the same Chinese domain.

Profile-686127 gaga1144

Profile-687070 gaga78

Profile-687369 gaga46

Profile-687718 gaga63

Profile-688146 gaga369


All of those accounts are now banned.

ionut19 said:
Here is a link, http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/33929-8-nvidia-gefo...
I replied to the spammer.

I don't mind ads, but not on toms, especially on articles that have nothing to do with them.


Unfortunately, we don't have mod rights in the UK forum.
Anonymous
August 3, 2010 6:57:37 PM

Those are not advertisements and they don't even qualify as Advertisements.

What they are is nothing more than SPAM.

Some of them are done by real people who don't care what they do for a living and others are done by specialized Bots.

In case you have failed to notice, the majority of the domains that have been spammed are from China and there is one thing you would not want to do and that is purchase anything that originated from SPAM as that is a good way to do one of several things:

Identity Theft - IE: Credit Card Info Ect, Ect....
Security Exploits on Chinese site infect your system
The Good you purchase turn out to be Knock Offs (copies of the real thing)

Or you may encounter a combination of the three.
Anonymous
August 3, 2010 7:04:39 PM

aford10 said:
All of those accounts are now banned.

Glad to hear it! :D 

Just hopefully Tom's will be able to come up with something to help mitigate the problem.

aford10 said:
Unfortunately, we don't have mod rights in the UK forum.

Unfortunate is right. :( 

When it comes to SPAMMERS, Moderators should have Global rights seeing as everything is mirrored across all the different Tom's Forums whether it be the UK, US, Ireland or any other country. Spammers need to be fought unilaterally.
Anonymous
August 4, 2010 2:54:01 PM

It seems like the SPAM is getting worse now. :( 

Just this morning, I spent over an hour hunting down and reporting SPAM from what appears to be at least Three or Four seperate SPAMMERs. :fou: 

Profile-688829 gaga998
Whois Look up - fashionclothe.com

Profile-688574 linweiwei
Whois Look up - ****

Profile-688784 linlin789682
Whois Look up - clothes6.us

Profile-688851 danodan-0
Whois Look up - fashionsports.org


Also, one thing that is notice is on the UK Tom's Hardware site, I too the time to report the spam from the thread that ionut19 linked below as there were four separate pieces with Chinese domains in them.

The most that came of it is I received a message saying that I received a new (spy) badge from the UK site, but the posts themselves still remain as they aren't bothering to even remove the spam.

If the UK site leaves SPAM behind, all this is going to do seeing as this site is mirrors to the other Tom's sites is it's going to encourage Spammers to SPAM Tom's even more. It doesn't matter what Tom's site the SPAM is on, it needs to be removed by the Moderators on that site.
August 5, 2010 12:27:50 AM

I don't think there are any UK mods. Things don't work right for regular users on that mirror, let alone moderators. Even if I do a global ban + delete in one go on the US site it won't touch stuff posted in the UK news sections.
Anonymous
August 5, 2010 12:43:52 AM

Looks like gaga struck again under gaga95 with nine posts.

I managed to report all except one (someone else reported that one) within less than two minutes of discovering the SPAM.
August 5, 2010 12:51:29 AM

Hopefully the next time gaga posts the spam will be with broken links... hopefully.
August 5, 2010 2:15:24 AM

Hopefully the upcoming platform upgrade will fix the issues between the forums. But for now, all we can do is delete what is reported, and what we see, on the US forum.
Anonymous
August 6, 2010 2:18:36 AM

Looks like the SPAMMERs are getting a bit smarter. :( 

I'm finding it harder to find and Flag all their posts in Tom's Guide News Section.

They were following a pattern which even when they tried to change it some, was fairly easy to figure out. But now, once I've flagged all their initial SPAMs, they change their pattern and I haven't been able to locate the rest of their SPAM posts even though their profile shows so many posts and the first bunch still haven't been cleaned up yet.

To top it off, the search engine Sucks big time as I can't seem to use it for any advanced search so as to locate them by their user name or by using a word or phrase from their SPAM to locate the rest of their posts.

This SPAMMER here, linlin1254
Chinese Domain: clothes6 (dot) us

at first had only 13 SPAMs which I located all of, but a little while later, they posted 17 more which I could not find. The user name or clothes6 could have been used to find the posts for flagging.

Hmmm.........

After noticing that the clothes6 us domain turns to all stars now, I went back and checked the SPAM posts and sure enough, the Spam links are still showing on Tom's Guide.
August 6, 2010 3:53:08 AM

I'll email Joe and let him know that the spam filter doesn't work on TG. I know that both clothes6 and fashionclothe are meant to be filtered.
August 15, 2010 12:21:21 PM

I've now given up on reading/commenting on news on Tom's UK, switched to Tom's US main site as they seem to get far less spam and the posts are actually removed. Leaving the spam in the comments is really annoying and unacceptable.

You may claim that you're trying but it's getting worse, not better.
August 15, 2010 1:00:00 PM

It may be unacceptable but it's also unavoidable. We physically can't remove spam from the UK news comments.
Anonymous
August 15, 2010 2:01:35 PM

If they can't be removed from the UK News Comments.........

Could the Properties of the Spam at least be Modified so it's not visible to anyone except Moderators and Administrators?
(That is to say, mark it invisible)
August 16, 2010 12:25:10 AM

Spam is no different to any other post, so how would we go about doing that?
Anonymous
August 16, 2010 1:46:13 AM

It's not the SPAM that's different, it's the UK server that's different in that the SPAM can't be removed from what I understand. I don't know if this has something to do with the server itself or possibly something to do with UK Cyber Law in regards to data preservation as the only thing we've heard so far is that SPAM can't be removed from the UK Server.

I also have no idea how the Software that Tom's uses for the comments and the Forums works seeing as it's most likely highly specialized. But from what I have seen with some other Forum software such as IP Board forums, Moderators can mark posts as invisible.

That is to say, with either individual posts or multiple posts, you could select them, then select an Action such as Mark Post as Invisible - Delete Post - Move Post, Ect, Ect...

It's been awhile since I was last a Moderator on another forum, so I don't remember all the Actions that were available. But if the software supports it, then you could use the feature to mark the Spam posts as Invisible to the General Public. The Spam would still be there, but the only ones who could see it would be Moderators and Administrators.

If the Software that Tom's currently uses doesn't support this feature, then I'm sure it could probably be modified so this feature could be added to the system. But then again, I'm not a programmer either.

I was just thinking that this might be a way of getting around the problem of not being able to remove the SPAM. Cause if the general public (including search engines) can't see it, then it won't be so much of a problem any more. Instead, it'd be reduced to a mere nuisance.

August 16, 2010 2:46:55 AM

I think I should have been clearer before. We physically can't do anything about stuff on the UK mirror because we don't have moderation privileges there. We can't hide, delete, move, merge, flip, spin, twist or stretch anything. The two mirrors maintain completely different sets of permissions and the UK one doesn't even work right for regular members. Ever tried (quick) editing your posts? Sorry, you don't have permission. If it was up to me the UK mirror would have been purged from existence in past, present and future already. There's a new software platform in the works which will hopefully make the patchwork of software they're using here more uniform.
Anonymous
August 16, 2010 2:57:02 AM

So either there are no Moderators /Administrators for the UK Mirror site,

or......

Some how the Moderator / Administrator Privileges got messed up so no one can access it in which case the UK mirror should be taken off-line so it can be repaired?
August 16, 2010 3:01:47 AM

Something like that. I'm not privy to those details.
Anonymous
August 16, 2010 3:09:45 AM

Well, let's hope they're able to get things straightened out and fixed. :) 
August 16, 2010 3:26:11 AM

I'd like to 2nd the motion for junking the UK forum. It seems to cause more trouble than it's worth. Not only are there issues with SPAM, but badges and members being redirected to the UK forum have been an ongoing issue.
August 16, 2010 7:50:23 AM

Quote:
So either there are no Moderators /Administrators for the UK Mirror site,

or......

Some how the Moderator / Administrator Privileges got messed up so no one can access it in which case the UK mirror should be taken off-line so it can be repaired?

Most likely option two, I'm pretty sure I'm in the UK (last time I checked) and I can't do bugger all with the UK site and I have tried believe me.
August 16, 2010 1:55:34 PM

Going to do what we can on the spammers and UK forums issue.
August 17, 2010 8:16:55 PM

Ok, this is not the most elegant solution to the UK section, but you guys could temporarily disable comments in the UK section until things get fixed.
August 17, 2010 8:21:08 PM

Shadow703793 said:
Ok, this is not the most elegant solution to the UK section, but you guys could temporarily disable comments in the UK section until things get fixed.

No need, I have a ban hammer that now works over there so just report the spam and it shall die. [:mousemonkey:3]
Anonymous
August 17, 2010 8:30:09 PM

Only problem with that is you really would need to be extremely quick on the uptake IF the SPAM still can't be removed yet. :p 
August 17, 2010 8:56:17 PM

Quote:
Only problem with that is you really would need to be extremely quick on the uptake IF the SPAM still can't be removed yet. :p 

So far I've only cleared out the first page of the news comments and the first page of the articles comments but as time goes on I'll have a go at some of the older stuff that's still there.
Anonymous
August 17, 2010 9:56:57 PM

Well, at least it sounds like they fixed the problem if you can now remove the Spam posts :D 
August 18, 2010 2:49:10 PM

We aim to please. :) 
August 21, 2010 2:31:56 AM

I know this has been said a hundred times... but can we please get back IP banning?
Anonymous
August 21, 2010 2:12:53 PM

With IPv4 IP banning is a big problem unless you know the specific IP block in question belongs to a specific area or service.

The reason I say this is cause with services such as DSL and Cable modems, the IP address does not stay the same, especially if you are in the habit of shutting your BroadBand modem down every night.

My IP address changes every day as I use Verizon DSL.

An example of a block of IP address belonging to a specific group in question though would be such as the Russian Business Network a couple of years back when they were running their own ISP directly out of central Moscow. The RBN is run by criminals and last I heard, they are scattered. But they are one of the groups behind some of the biggest BotNets.

Now when IPv6 rolls out, it will be a lot easier to Ban IP addresses as there should be no reason to change IP addresses with BroadBand Modems or other devices. Instead, devices most likely will have IP addresses assigned to them either for the life of the device or the service in question.

IPv6 will be one option when it rolls out.

Another option if the forum software supports it is MAC ID Banning.
- (Although smart spammers will just change the MAC ID of their NIC)

Currently there is no real solution other than vigilant reporting of the spammers so the moderators can delete the Spam and BAN the user name so it can never be used again.

As to a possible solution?

I have already suggested something to jpishgar via PM which may very well work and if it does, then Tom's may even be able to get funding from others to support the idea.

All we can do is wait and see.

jpishgar did say he would look into the idea, but didn't know if Tom's had the funds for it.
August 22, 2010 2:17:31 AM

I understand the possibility of IP banning going wrong with IPv4, but IIRC, we did have IP banning in the past before BoM took over. AFAIK, the IP banning never really became much of an issue to disrupt legit users....

Quote:
Another option if the forum software supports it is MAC ID Banning.
- (Although smart spammers will just change the MAC ID of their NIC)

That makes more sense. At any rate, I doubt the spammers now on Toms are smart enough to do it...
Anonymous
August 22, 2010 2:46:26 AM

What with all the unemployed IT tech sector workers out there in the world, some of them may have taken up employment as Spammers and chances are, they may just be smart enough to do that and much more.
August 22, 2010 3:16:41 AM

Quote:
The reason I say this is cause with services such as DSL and Cable modems, the IP address does not stay the same, especially if you are in the habit of shutting your BroadBand modem down every night.

That depends on your service provider. I'm on DSL and my IP address is static.
Anonymous
August 22, 2010 4:05:01 AM

DSL here too - Verizon DSL

But each time you power cycle the modem (off 5 min or more), you get a different IP address.

I shut down my entire network every night INCLUDING the DSL modem unless I have reason to leave it running all night.

So every day my IP address is different than the last.

Plus shutting everything down does make a noticeable dent in my electric bill :D 

Time to hit the sack. Getting a bit late and it's been a long day here. :) 
August 22, 2010 4:44:44 AM

Mine is the same even after power cycling the modem. Most DSL providers in Australia give static IP addresses except for their cheapest plans. Cable is usually dynamic though.
August 23, 2010 3:14:36 PM

Made some changes over the weekend. Will see how it affects the spam critters.
Anonymous
August 23, 2010 4:49:32 PM

I've noticed a few this weekend that are cross posting now between Tom's Guide & Tom's Hardware.

Plus now they are starting to come up with a wider variety of usernames.

But for the most part, the domains they using are still the same with the exception of a few new ones. The Filters have not been working on Tom's Guide for filtering out the domains they have been using.

These are all the recent domains I've seen the Spammers using so far which should be filtered out. They are posting the domains both regular and with the letters spaced out as I have shown here.

****
1 s h o e 1 w o r t h . c o m

betterwholesaler.us
b e t t e r w h o l e s a l e r . u s

****
c l o t h e s 6 . o r g

****
c l o t h e s 6 . u s

*****
c l o t h e s h o p s . u s

dvdgoodshop.com
d v d g o o d s h o p . c o m

jorer.com
j o r e r . c o m

madeshopping.com
m a d e s h o p p i n g . c o m

tradeone.us
t r a d e o n e . u s

****
f a s h i o n c l o t h e . c o m

fashiongoods.us
f a s h i o n g o o d s . u s

****.org
f a s h i o n s p o r t s . o r g

shoes2.us
s h o e s 2 . u s

tnta.us
t n t a . u s

wowcool.org
w o w c o o l . o r g
August 23, 2010 9:57:27 PM

Quote:

I shut down my entire network every night

Why?

Quote:
Plus shutting everything down does make a noticeable dent in my electric bill

Ok, for a power hungry PC (ie 2x 4870s OCed with i7 @4Ghz,etc) running all the time may make a difference, but in my case, I leave my NAS/HTPC on 24/7 and I don't save that much compared to leaving them off. I guess it also depends on electricity cost,etc. Electricity cost here in N.VA is pretty cheap.

Imo, you'r better off replacing those 60-150W bulbs with long lasting CFLs. When my parents bought the current house 2-2.5 years ago, I replaced all the normal bulbs (except for 2, which are rarely used, and need the full brightness) with CFLs and noticed a prety significant cost savings (~$25-40 a month). So far, these bulbs haven't burned out (about 4-4.5 hrs a day for most of these bulbs, and ~6hrs for one near my PC/desk).

Note: Not all CFLs are made the same. Some of the "cheap" CFLs won't last that long.

PS: Wonder if we can have bright white CCFLs, you know, the kind that we use on PCs in a house... obviously this won't be very practical for most bulbs due to shape, but you could easilly replace halogens like these:

Anonymous
August 23, 2010 11:41:29 PM

LOL :D 

I notice a savings of at least $30 to $40 per month and I don't just shut down my PC, I have several PC's. :) 

Plus I shut down the entire network along with all power adapters so they don't suck any power.

Been using CFL lighting for the past decade now and I make sure to use the long life bulbs. Mostly bulbs that are the equivalent of a 60 watt regular light bulb and I've only had to reply a few of them so far.

Even our outside floodlights have been florescent for a while now.
The cold winters tends to kill these lights after two or three years.

I've always been extremely energy conscious and for the last few years now, I've been waiting for the market to get up off it's lazy duff and realize the potential of LED lighting as I'd much rather see LED lighting hit the store shelves at a reasonable price, Not the artificially inflated price that the North American Consumer Market is trying to introduce LED lighting at.

I can't see subsidizing the cost of implementing the production equipment with a $40 to $60 light. A light which rightfully should sell for less than $10 to promote the sale of the lights and to get everyone away from CFLs.

But LED lighting does have one thing going for it right now and that is the technology is fast changing, changing to adapt for better use in the home and office.
August 25, 2010 2:15:53 AM

Quote:
I've always been extremely energy conscious and for the last few years now, I've been waiting for the market to get up off it's lazy duff and realize the potential of LED lighting as I'd much rather see LED lighting hit the store shelves at a reasonable price, Not the artificially inflated price that the North American Consumer Market is trying to introduce LED lighting at.

+1. Can't wait till LED lights come down to the price of CFLs (or hell, even if it's a few $'s more, I'd buy). But seriously, you can buy bulk LEDs really cheap (think $20 for 200+ of super bright white/red,etc), so why this huge premium for LED lights?
August 25, 2010 2:26:31 AM

Supply and demand.
August 25, 2010 10:10:23 PM

Quote:
Supply and demand.

True, but the way tech is going, they should be able to offer more units for the same price point.

I THINK part of the problem is the heat sink and the power delivery circuitry. On a motherboard, these 2 things make up about 20-25+% of the cost. http://www.anandtech.com/show/2824

I guess the same apply to the LED lamps.

PS: I wonder.... if I could make my own.... I guess a PCB + 50 white LEDs in a matrix pattern+ some power circuitry will do...
Anonymous
August 25, 2010 11:07:44 PM

From what I'm seeing with Philips and G&E units, they are using as few as 3 to 5 LEDs for the equivalent of a 40 watt bulb. I haven't seen anything larger in those brands for household use yet in the stores.

But I have seen other brands where they bunch up as many as 50 LEDs.
!