Over the past several weeks, we have seen a drastic increase in spam; in fact, this is the 2nd major attack in 3 months! We wanted to let our community know what we are doing to help tighten our security and alleviate further disruption from these annoying spammers, but first, we want to sincerely apologize for the email notifications many of you received when these spammers made it through our filters and into the community.

 

About 3 weeks ago, we started to see an uptick in spam accounts being created. Our filters from the last attack were catching them and giving us the ability to delete their accounts, as well as any of their content that was placed into our moderation queue. We identified the location and had a span of IP's banned; however, the more we attempted to dissuade them from joining our community, the smarter they became. They started routing their IP's so now it looked like they were hitting us from the US; we increased our filter threshold's but they were starting to attack at such a fast rate, they were actually breaking through the filters. We have been working with our vendor non-stop, and we've fixed a few bugs and buckled down even tighter on account creation. Each and every person is now sent through an approval process before they are allowed to create an account. This is temporary as we are working with a developer to create a plug-in that will allow us to set an "age-limit" as a requirement for posting without moderation needed. We hope this will help catch a majority of spammers without introducing further restrictions on our existing members.


For example:

  • New user rach356 has been a member for 1 week and never posted anything. She creates a discussion, but her content will be sent into a moderation queue before the community sees it so an admin can make sure the discussion is not spam. Once rach356 has been approved, future posts will not need to be moderated.

 

Also, we have enabled our 3rd party spam vendor, and if you recall from the last time, they are rather strict at first with what they consider to be spam, but give it time to "learn" and much of your content will start to filter into the community without being sent to moderation.

 

Finally, the other filters we have enabled will place content into our moderation queue simply because you are replying to a post that was initially moderated, even if you are an "old-timer". We know this can be a slight annoyance, but until our new plug-in is fully built, this is how the existing spam filter works. We are hoping to have the new plug-in ready by the beginning of August.

 

Thank you for being so understanding and patient during these times; we really appreciate the support you give to us, especially during times like these! As always, if you have questions, comments, suggestions, etc. please don't hesitate to reach out to one of us. ( DanielleH, maria.bungau, mrs.alterego)