MediaWiki and spam prevention upgrades now live

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MediaWiki and spam prevention upgrades now live

Postby quarridors » Sat Feb 20, 2016 1:18 am

Hi,

You may have noticed that the wiki was overridden with spambots over the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately this happened just as I was flying off on holiday. I was able to block account creation on my phone over hotel wifi but this didn't stop the existing accounts and the huge amount of spam pages they'd created from overwhelming the site, causing the hosting company to suspend it. Sorry for the inconvenience or confusion that this caused, it really couldn't have been more badly timed for my ability to fix it.

Everything's restored now, including the ability to create new accounts. I've upgraded MediaWiki from version 1.25 to 1.26, upgraded all extensions - including spam blacklists - to their latest versions, installed a spam honeypot on the site and switched us over to NoCAPTCHA, which is supposed to be the best spam prevention option going (especially as Are You A Human is discontinued from the end of the month).

I also have paid for spam blocking options to investigate if we're still seeing spambots getting through after these changes, but I want to get a baseline of how much spam we get over a week before I start evaluating those.

Huge thanks to frameacloud for doing a valiant job of blocking spambots and deleting their edits, I personally deleted 508 pages, all of which were from spambots already blocked by frameacloud. When I came to purge the deleted pages from the database, over 5000 were identified as deleted since the last spam attack.

And thanks to everyone who works so hard on making the wiki such a valuable resource!

All the wiki functions and extensions should continue to work as normal and all spam should be gone, but if you find any problems then please contact @nonbinaryorg on Twitter or reply here with a description of what's going on. If there are any past bug reports that I've not got around to fixing, now's the time to remind me. I did finally manage to get the imported 'Module:' pages to stop showing up in Random Page.

Thanks,


Nat.
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Re: MediaWiki and spam prevention upgrades now live

Postby quarridors » Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:25 pm

We got overrun with spambots again this afternoon, so account creation is disabled again until I've researched additional spam blocking options, most of which are paid for so need evaluation.
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Re: MediaWiki and spam prevention upgrades now live

Postby quarridors » Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:36 am

I've paid for a commercial spam blocking solution ClearTalk and got this set up on the wiki. Supposedly it removes the need for CAPTCHAs entirely, which would be great for accessibility if so. It successfully blocked my test registration with a known spam email address, so I've re-opened registrations. If we start getting successfully blocked spam registrations in the access logs and no spammers get though, I'll turn off NoCaptcha and see how it does on its own.

Sorry again for all the problems, spam blocking really seems like an 'arms race' where things that worked before are constantly worked around. ClearTalk comes with support and a money back guarantee, so hopefully we'll be able to keep the bots away from now on.

If this works out, I'll add it to the forums as well.

Once again, let me know if you have any problems with this.
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Re: MediaWiki and spam prevention upgrades now live

Postby quarridors » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:32 pm

CleanTalk has let through a few false negatives and its edit blocking feature isn't working - pages it says were blocked still got posted to the wiki - I reported this to their tech support team earlier today and they've asked 2 to 3 days to investigate.

Until they work out what's going on, I've turned off account creation again. Administrators can create accounts so do let me know if you need one created.

Sorry for the yo-yoing, I'm doing everything I can to do to resolve this.
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Re: MediaWiki and spam prevention upgrades now live

Postby 1bekind2havefun » Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:06 pm

I am attempting to add an entry to the list of nonbinary identities, and I keep receiving the error ***Forbidden. Message seems to be spam.***

This is what I tried to add:

* '''[[uncanny]]'''. Coined by 1bekind2havefun in 2011. "A gender which is not comfortably recognizable, which may elicit fear or discomfort because of its similarity to but incomplete alignment with one or more other genders. A gender which may seem familiar to self or others for a time, but becomes less familiar the more it is understood." <ref>[http://serendipityvoltavicissitude.tumblr.com/post/49754391469/uncanny]</ref>

I tried it both with and without the external link, but no matter what I do, it's telling me I seem to be a spambot.
Appropriate for the entry, perhaps? :lol:
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Re: MediaWiki and spam prevention upgrades now live

Postby quarridors » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:57 am

1bekind2havefun wrote:I am attempting to add an entry to the list of nonbinary identities, and I keep receiving the error ***Forbidden. Message seems to be spam.***


Really sorry about this, I've added your IP address to the antispam whitelist so you should be able to make the edit now, and I've reported this false positive to the antispam provider CleanTalk.

Let me know if you have any more problems making edits.

Thanks,


Nat.
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