Thursday, January 27, 2011

Buttheads

Some of you may have heard of the new fad among kids called ‘weasel snorting.’ Now, while I believe that what a person and a weasel do in the privacy of their own home (assuming, of course, that they’re both legally adults) is their own business, this is just wrong. Especially the bit with the bendy straws.

Seriously.

But enough about that. What I really want to talk about today is the growing trend of spammers registering on forums and then mass mailing to all the members. We here at Wayfarer’s Moon have fallen victim to this tactic, which is why we’ve instituted a few security measures to attempt to keep them out.

It used to be that you could just register. Now, however, we have to force people to go through a series of steps.

1. Provide a user name and email.
2. Provide at least three current references. Family does not count.
3. Find a sphinx and answer its riddle. And no, the answer is not ‘man.’
4. Send us the answer to the riddle via a WWII Enigma machine.
5. Correctly input a captcha.
6. Stab a vampire with a fork and successfully get away.
7. Watch an Uwe Boll movie. This will prove your courage.
8. Watch a second Uwe Boll movie. This is just because we’re mean.
9. Do the Time Warp (again).

Okay, fine. You really don’t have to do all that (though it would be cool if you did). You just register and then we try to establish whether or not you’re a real person via some cross-checking. It’s kind of a pain, but generally we only get one or two a day, so it’s not that big a deal.

However, for some reason, I had eight today (plus one ‘honest to goodness, real-life person’). It took me almost thirty minutes to go through them all, thirty minutes I could have spent doing something productive like playing FreeCell.

NOTE: I love FreeCell and I rock at it. I play FreeCell and keep the stats going until I lose one and then I zero them out. My personal best was 428 wins in a row. It took well over a year and then my computer tanked. And yes, I have no life.

So, forum spammers (henceforth known as ‘buttheads’), please stop. You register, we ban you. You try again, we ban you again. It’s like a very silly little war that just wastes a lot of time. Time that could be better spent on FreeCell. Or curing something.

Please, if not for me, do it for the kids. And the weasels.

Cheers,
-Jason

6 comments:

Hrimhari said...

Jason, if you make an automatized spam system stop spamming just with a blog post, you can certainly apply for president of the World :)

Gillsing said...

Oh, thanks to Subnormality I already knew that the answer to the riddle isn't "man":

http://www.viruscomix.com/page332.html

Jason Janicki said...

Thanks Hrimhari! I shall order my minions to create one immediately! :)

Actually, hobbit, elf, dwarf, football player, accountant, and blogger all work as well :)

Blue Sun said...

I was with you, up until the Uwe Boll. That's harsh!

My advice is to check what IP the spammers are coming from, and modify your .htaccess to block them out. Well over 90% of the spam on my wordpress/phpbb came from Russia, so I just blocked all IP's from Russia!

Hrimhari said...

Blue Sun, that's awfully unfair with Jason's and Leigh's russian readers! I'm sure there are many... right?

And by the way, I cannot let the opportunity pass:

In Soviet Russia, spammers block YOU!

Whatever that means.

Jason Janicki said...

That's great advice, Blue Sun, save that Leigh and I have the combined technical savvy of a mentally-impaired sloth.

And I say this with no animosity towards the noble sloth and its relatives.

I actually have no idea if we have any Russian readers. We are being translated into Romanian, so someone out there likes us :)