Increased spam attempts in forums

Dear users, we are recently experiencing increased attempts to spam our forums. While the board of moderators has been very successful so far in jointly detecting and removing the posts and banning the users (almost in realtime), we cannot avoid to sporadically see posts making it into the forums. Since we are concerned about the risk of users getting fooled and/or annoyed, here are a couple of hints regarding how to identify and handle these fake posts in the forums:

We currently have two types of spam posts.
  • The first one contains topics that are related to IT in general, yet these are not OS/2 and eCS-specific (e.g. about PHP or application software issues).
  • The second, less obvious one contains parts from previous posts of the same thread (I call this "parroting"). This makes it hard to distinguish them at first sight.
Either other way, both types of spam posts end with (typically 2) external off-topic hyperlinks.

In general, our advice is: Do not respond to posts of a newbie - first look twice!
In case of a "newbie" with 1 or only a few posts, you can be almost sure to have found spam. Do not respond. Feel free to report the post to the moderator(s) by using the according link below the post. To see if a user is a newbie, check the information provided by the forum software along with each post at its left margin: It contains a link to the users profile (that shows the membership start date, etc.) and also the total numbers of posts done by the user so far.

Stay assured that the staff at OS/ is following these actions as timely and closely as possible, including an analysis of the backtrack of the poster's IP-adress where appropriate. We are effetively not being victim to a vulnerability exploit, since the amount and frequency of these actions is simply to few. Instead, it is more likely that real persons are behind it with a considerably large amount of manual interaction (at least for the user registration part).

Since none of us is doing full-time monitoring of what is going on, we cannot prevent to have a couple of such posts being published from time to time. However, we immediately remove them and ban the user once we notice. Thank you for your understanding. We are sorry for any inconvenience you might experience, albeit only of sporadical and temporary nature.

Your OS/ moderators


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