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Temorary Email Services Banned
Greg
Anja's Sock Puppet
Joined: 30 Aug 2004
Posts: 6672
Location: Happy Valley
Post Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 3:19 am
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Temorary Email Services Banned

I noticed the appearance of a service that allows people to create temporary email addresses that expire after a day or so.

Ostensibly the service is supposed to allow you to join a BBS that requires email confirmation, such as the Hullabaloo, with a temporary address so that spammers cannot harvest your address. Underneath that, however, is that such a service would be much more appealing to the spammers than to legitimate users.

It's most likely that these services are run by spammers as a means of harvesting email addresses. Why bother to harvest addresses from bulletin boards when you can fool people into giving them directly to you?

Because of this, we are banning all such services from the Hullabaloo. Any users who have the address of these services in their user profiles will be deleted without comment, as will any messages or user profiles that advertise these services. If you want to join the Hullabaloo, you must use a permanent, legitimate email address.

Unless there's a back door that I don't know about, the Hullabaloo hides your email address from everyone except the admins (that would be Nancy and me; real people, y'know, with real names). It should be impossible for spammers to harvest your address from the Hullabaloo.

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Greg
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Greg
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Joined: 30 Aug 2004
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Location: Happy Valley
Post Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 5:24 am
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Just a little follow up: I checked by logging on as a regular user and was unable to find anywhere that the Hullabaloo displays a users's email address. We don't display email addresses even if the users authorize it.

If anybody finds anything different, please send me a PM right away.

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Greg
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miros1
Lone Surviving Sims 1 Holdout
Joined: 05 Sep 2004
Posts: 5348
Location: NY State
Post Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:20 am
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If you go to Nancy's profile, there's an "email" button which fires up your email client with her email addy nicely filled in. You can also hover over the button and see it in the status bar at the bottom of your browser window. So a clever spammer could set a webcrawler to run through everyone's profiles looking for "mailto" links.

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Rose/Miros
Webmistress, the Wooden Simolean
http://www.woodensimolean.simshost.com
The Wooden Simolean is a SimsHost subscriber supported site
Nancy
The Spoiled Brat

The Spoiled Brat
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Location: Upstate, New York
Post Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:57 am
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Let's not give them any bright ideas! wink

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Nancy

nanci2121
Greg
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Post Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:42 pm
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I stand corrected. Nancy, you had the box checked to "always show email address" and the board was indeed doing that. I changed the setting in your user profile and it went away.

So the board does show your email address if you authorize it to do so. I'd have to do a bit more hackery on phpBB to eliminate the possibility of people committing spamicide by checking that box.

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Greg
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miros1
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Joined: 05 Sep 2004
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Location: NY State
Post Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:14 pm
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I'll figure out what you have to do to remove those links...

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Rose/Miros
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The Wooden Simolean is a SimsHost subscriber supported site
Greg
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Joined: 30 Aug 2004
Posts: 6672
Location: Happy Valley
Post Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:17 pm
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That would be helpful! It's probably just a matter of editing one line in one .php file, but figuring out which line and which file usually turns out to be quite a spelunking expedition.

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Greg
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Nancy
The Spoiled Brat

The Spoiled Brat
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Location: Upstate, New York
Post Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 4:06 pm
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Ok, thanks, Greg!

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Nancy

nanci2121
Newest User and Who's Online Removed
Greg
Anja's Sock Puppet
Joined: 30 Aug 2004
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Location: Happy Valley
Post Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:24 pm
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I modified the code so that there is no longer a link to "Who's Online" (that service was discontinued anyhow) and also there is no longer a display of "Newest User".

I removed "Newest User" because we were getting attacks by someone linking to malicious web sites in the personal web page link. That also removes another incentive for spammers because the profile with links to their commercial sites are no longer displayed from the New User link.

Based on the web logs, the only use anyone was getting out the "Newest User" feature was when we were checking new users to see if they were malicious, so I doubt that there's much lost there. I have other tools that alert me to new users so that, if I can catch them first, I can continue to delete and ban spammers even before they can validate their email addresses and post their wretchedness.

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Greg
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Ghostman
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Joined: 03 Jul 2006
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Post Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:08 pm
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Oh really? I still see who is online.

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David D.
Greg
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Post Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:38 pm
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Yeah, the front page will still list people who are connected. What I removed was a page that the words "Who's Online" linked to. That page listed all the current users along with their email addresses and web sites.

For a spammer to take advantage of what we have now, the spammer would have be connected to the BBS and actually doing something. Grin

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Greg
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Greg
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Post Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 1:54 am
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This is becoming an increasingly interesting subject. I was snooping around and ran across a couple of web sites where folks are dealing directly with this issue by publishing blacklists:

http://www.spamlinks.net/filter-dnsbl-lists.htm

http://www.unitedforums.co.uk/vb/showthread.php?t=9011&page=2 (a vBulletin site in the UK)

There also are some Usenet newsgroups dedicated to fighting spammers. I haven't yet found anyone who suggested what I see as the only real solution: Capital punishment for spammers.

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Greg
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Kaylyn
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Joined: 06 May 2006
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Post Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 4:58 pm
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I'd vote for that! lol

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miros1
Lone Surviving Sims 1 Holdout
Joined: 05 Sep 2004
Posts: 5348
Location: NY State
Post Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 6:19 pm
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I actually have my mail filters set to save the important stuff to separate folders, then I quickly run through the senders on the remainder and flag it all as Spam.

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Rose/Miros
Webmistress, the Wooden Simolean
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Greg
Anja's Sock Puppet
Joined: 30 Aug 2004
Posts: 6672
Location: Happy Valley
Post Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:00 pm
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miros1 wrote:
I actually have my mail filters set to save the important stuff to separate folders, then I quickly run through the senders on the remainder and flag it all as Spam.


I do that, too, though on my Mac it has grown to be a monster. I started out with filters and folders just trying to all the ASI mailing lists and activities organized.

Then spammers crawled out of the slime under the rock at the bottom of the cesspit and raised their ugly disgusting sociopathic heads and the array of filters grew to nearly a thousand. Now it's a complete waste of time to send email to my asi.org address unless I already have a filter programmed for the exact address you're sending from--I'll never see the message buried among more than 2000 spams a day.

Randall is looking into putting more hard-line filters on that mail server. When the spam load started filling up the server's disk so fast it couldn't even create a scratch file to deliver the mail, that was sort of a clue.

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Greg
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