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Zer Netmouse
July 1st, 2010
11:28 am


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spam spam spam spam
A side effect of dealing with swollen feet and gestational diabetes this month, plus picking a new apartment and preparing to move, hiring a doula, picking a pediatrician, and other shopping and training in prep for having a new place and a baby (and I am not one who likes shopping) is that I haven't been spending much time on the computer. That which I have spent has largely been made up of working on the art Project for Renovation (the 2011 worldcon - we should have details on that project out on the next PR - it's very exciting), catching up on LJ every few days, and writing an article on the aborted 1960s women in space program for Journey Planet.

In the meantime, an accelerating spambot attack on the SF Editors wiki was making me wish I had finished installing ReCaptcha the week after our wedding. *sigh* Which I should have done long ago, to be honest.

I installed it this morning. And now I could really use help identifying and reverting the damage.

Because the "recent changes" page will only go so far back, I'm finding the best way to track the damage done has been to look at the history of attacked pages and then look at the user contributions of the spambots. You can easily recognize spambot contributions because the change comment is usually something like aurslghkjadfgbuir or a long comment with a link to some spam-type site or another.

Spam edits to Talk pages (the discussion tabs on articles)in particular need to be cleared out, since I have concentrated on protecting and reverting the articles themselves. Talk pages for anonymous users I'm just deleting, but on article I check the history to make sure there wasn't a version with actual discussion, then edit the discussion and erase the spam and save it as a blank discussion.

If you're interested in helping with this and have any time, pls let me know. I'll be happy to teach you how to do it if you have any questions. You will need to start by registering an account, because many of the attacked pages are currently "protected" from anonymous edits.

Thanks in advance if anyone has time and inclination to do this. Over the past few years the site has really grown and I want it to be in good shape in the next month especially as people may refer to it for Hugo voting.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

Date:July 1st, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
A couple tips you might already know, but just in case you don't:

- The Recent Changes page option to hide logged-in users can help to highlight the spam posts.

- You can go to the "User Contributions" page for a spambot's IP address to list all of their edits. There's probably also an extension out there to facilitate mass-reversion of an IP's edits.

- Since you're installing extensions, I assume you have access to the LocalSettings.php file. You can set the value of $wgRCMaxAge there to keep edits from being purged from the list.

- It looks like you're running on Apache. If you've got access to the Apache site configuration files, you can check your logs to see what the spambots' user-agents are, and if they're not spoofing something valid, block them there.
[User Picture]
Date:July 1st, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC)
Sorry, I've been busy with the new company and have been assuming you had this under control. If you need time from me, let me know.
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