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Old 04-18-2007, 08:50 PM   #1
Greg
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Default When Spammers Attack

There's a thread at the Hullabaloo about this same subject, and I thought it would be prudent to capture the essentials here.

What to do if you see a spammer post

If it is a new post, do nothing. Please don't click on any links in the spam. Just go on to have fun elsewhere on the board.

Originally I asked that people send me a private message with a link to the spam message, but it turned out that I was spending much more time answering notes about spam than actually dealing with the spammers.

On the other hand, if a spam message stays around for a few days and you see that I have been active on the board, it probably means I have overlooked it. In that case, sending a PM to me about it would be good.


What to do if you suddenly find that you're banned for no apparent reason

You have my apologies in advance if this happens. I have a very long list of IP addresses that are commonly used by spammers, and those are blocked by the BBS.

I regret that we are blocking nearly all traffic from Russia, the Ukraine, and several countries' top-level domains. There's nothing I can do about it. Until the ISP's in those countries stop being a haven for spammers, we cannot allow any users from those places.

At the moment, I'm trying to find an anomaly where we seem to be blocking an IP in the United Arab Emirates that I didn't intend. I don't think we're blocking any domains in the *.ae top-level domain (though of course we might have to in the future), so I don't know how that happened.

If it does happen to you and you can't get back in after you have reconnected to your ISP, try sending me a PM on another board. I'm on Insim almost every day. On Insimenator.net I'm "Chairman Greg" and Insimadult.net I'm "Greg". I'm also "Greg" on M and M Needful Things. I check those boards fairly regularly, but give it a couple of days just in case I've not been there.


What to do if you are a spammer

Well, obviously, you have very severe psychological problems. The first thing to do is to admit that to yourself.

Self-help books aimed at teaching you to build your self-esteem might be of some use in recovering. If that doesn't work, seek professional help.

If you are a spammer and can't admit to yourself that you are exhibiting severe socipathic behavior that you want to stop, then the best thing to do would be find a way to kill yourself that won't cause undue trauma for the sane people around you. Take heart, you are making a significant contribution to the human species by removing yourself from the gene pool; and that ought to be worth a lot of self-esteem.
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Old 04-18-2007, 10:05 PM   #2
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I figured you'd get this posted here soon... otherwise I'd have had to go looking for that link at the Hullabaloo!
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Old 04-19-2007, 05:33 PM   #3
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Yeah, it was overdue. We had our first spammer, and also our first incidence of a real Sims fan trying to connect via blocked IP address. I still haven't figured out that blocked IP address! It must be one of the netblocks registered in Amsterdam, which is quite a haven for spammers.
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Old 04-19-2007, 05:39 PM   #4
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I've also turned on first-post moderation on this board. That ought to help slow down the psychos, though it's also a nuisance for real Sims fans.

Added: This has already paid off. It blocked four new spammer attempts just this morning.

I also modifed the user registration fields. That ought to slow down bots, though the sociopath who has been plaguing the Hullabaloo is clearly not a bot.

Last edited by Greg : 04-19-2007 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 04-19-2007, 07:25 PM   #5
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And of course they actually read a few posts and knew to come here...
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Old 04-20-2007, 02:04 AM   #6
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Yup, if there's a human in the loop, they can just reprogram their bots; but it does require a human in the loop. That's not really cost-effective because as soon as they have reprogrammed their bots I can easily change the silly question. Or add another one.

Now I'm wondering if I can find a list of the IP addresses of all the anonymous proxy servers. We already block traffic from anonymous email services, and I'd like to add anonymous proxy servers to the list.

I guess there's another rule for the site hidden behind this: If you have to hide your identity from us, this board is not for you. I prefer the company of honest people, and honest people aren't ashamed of who they are.
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Old 04-20-2007, 02:47 AM   #7
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This might be easier than I thought. I wrote a little script that I think will detect whether someone is connecting via a proxy.

What is my IP?

Whether it works or not, that script at least provides a quick lookup for what IP address you're currently using on the Internet.
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Old 04-20-2007, 03:49 AM   #8
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Well, it worked for me!
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Old 04-20-2007, 04:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miros1 View Post
Well, it worked for me!
Did it say "Yes" or "No" about using a proxy?
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Old 04-20-2007, 04:48 AM   #10
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Blast. I just tried it with proxify.com and got:

IP address.... 10.237.44.144
Host.......... 10.237.44.144 <--- means the domain lookup failed
Using proxy... No
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Old 04-20-2007, 04:50 AM   #11
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On third thought, the fact that the domain lookup failed might be an important clue. I could try running an analysis of all the Hullabaloo users to see how many lookup failures I get for legitimate users, and if it's zero, I can use that as a criterion to shunt spammers off to oblivion.
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Old 04-20-2007, 05:03 AM   #12
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So... just for grins, try accessing Sun Sims via http://proxify.com/ and see what you get.

I added 10.237.44.144 to the ban list.
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Old 04-20-2007, 08:02 AM   #13
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The window that popped up said I wasn't using a proxy.

My results from Proxify:
IP address.... 10.130.98.235
Host.......... 10.130.98.235
Using proxy... No
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Old 04-20-2007, 08:35 PM   #14
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Well, it looks like they're not sending a forwarding address, but at least we're starting to build a list of their IP addresses!
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:07 AM   #15
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Speaking of spammers, we should note that some progress has been made in the past year in prosecuting them in both civil and criminal courts.

In the United States, the arrest and indictment of Robert Alan Soloway was something of a landmark case.

Here a link to Soloway's arrest warrant. If convicted of all charges he faces up to 65 years in the US federal penetentiary. It's not the death warrant we might hope for, but it's the next best thing.

As an amusing sidelight, Soloway foolishly thought he was immune to prosecution and ignored not only the law but court orders. His foolishness seemed to be a combination of bad judgement and the fact that the legal and criminal prosecution systems are still scrambling to catch up with the Internet.


What this means to the Sims community

This is a portent of things to come across the whole net, especially including criminals who steal intellectual property.

We see the same exact behavior among some of things that have crawled out the cesspit to plague the Sims community. They pretend they are doing nothing illegal, hoping against hope that their crimes will not be prosecuted.

Take a good look at Soloway's arrest warrant folks, because that's what yours will look like when you are brought up on federal felony charges on theft of intellectual property, international trafficking in stolen property, and sundry other violations of United States federal law.

That's right. Theft of intellectual property is a felony crime in the United States. Think twice before you let a crook lure you into his cesspit. Think about that prison cell right next to Soloway's. It's not a matter of whether you will be prosecuted; it's only a matter of how long it takes the criminal justice system to get around to you.

By just downloading from a criminal site, you run the risk of being prosecuted for these crimes.* Every click of the mouse leaves a record of your activity that can be traced right back to your computer. Even if your personal integrity is so low that you don't feel the guilt of your crimes, you should at least think about what it will be like to spend the next six years in prison before you download.


*It's a matter of volume. If you download more than $1200 in stolen intellectual property (and that's the court's definition of $1200, not yours), then you have commited a federal felony crime and are subject to criminal prosecution with all the associated fines and prison sentences. I've heard that UK laws are even more harsh, but I don't know this for sure.
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Old 06-28-2007, 02:27 PM   #16
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So if you're going to be a scum, use the computers at the public library?
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:50 PM   #17
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Yup, that's basically the story. You need to find a way to hide your cowardly face behind a better mask of Internet anonymity.
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