If we do our job right, most members here will have no idea how much spam we fight here every day. Normally it's not too much, just a dozen members who have spam links in their profile. But over the last week, DIY Drones, like most of the other networks hosted on the Ning platform, has been hit by the biggest botnet attack we've ever seen, with hundreds of fake member accounts being created every day to post Canadian pharmaceutical ads. The graph above, from this article, shows the rise of these botnet attacks in recent weeks.

The reason members shouldn't know anything about this is because of the heroic work of your 30 administrators and moderators, who have been manually banning these accounts and deleting the posts before they're published (that's why we moderate all posts). The posts can come at the rate of dozens per hour, so this is a big job; I just wanted to publicly thank the moderators, especially Morli and Thomas Coyle for their tireless work in fending off these bots.

Just to give you and idea of what they're dealing with, here is about 30 minute's worth of banned members from today (don't worry; I'm not invading anyone's privacy--those are all bots):

The good news is that Ning is putting in place measures to stop this. Every time we ban a member for spam, that information is propagated throughout the Ning system (they have more than a million network like DIY Drones) and if an account is banned on one network, it will be banned on all of them. But we're up against a botnet of millions of zombie PCs, so sometimes the bad guys get ahead.

Ning just posted the new tactics it will be putting in place to turn the tide: "We have the initial captcha for first time posters now and will be adding a temporary suspension too." Hopefully, this will start to take effect soon and our moderators can take a break. Until then, a huge thanks!

Views: 368

Comment by Jay Smith on March 9, 2010 at 8:41pm
Chris; things are slow for me, I can help if wanted, I don't have the tech background to offer much in the dev. aspects but I can certainly monitor spam letting the smart people work on the hard stuff.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on March 9, 2010 at 8:45pm
Excellent. You're promoted! You'll now see some new options on posts and see the queue of posts to be approved on the upper right. Pace yourself--it's a never-ending task!

Comment by Mark Colwell on March 9, 2010 at 8:59pm
Kudos to moderators and Ning hope all your efforts have a lasting effect. Keep up the good fight...
Comment by Jay Smith on March 9, 2010 at 8:59pm
Cool I see how it works and I keep an eye on it while Im at the computer starting in the am.
Glad I can be of help.
Comment by Mike Bakula on March 9, 2010 at 9:22pm
Ouch, I've been there (not lately, thank goodness!) Thanks for all the hard work!
Comment by Ron Jacobs on March 9, 2010 at 10:27pm
I'd love to be more involved. If I can help in any way, let me know. I despise SPAM!

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on March 9, 2010 at 10:35pm
Thanks Ron, you're promoted, too. Same instructions as for Jay above.

Comment by Morli on March 9, 2010 at 11:13pm
Here is simple step by step tutorial to help new moderators.

Comment by Joel Ryan on March 9, 2010 at 11:54pm
Amazing work, I check the site all the time, and I have never seen outright spam! Thanks for looking out for the community!

Comment by Gary Mortimer on March 10, 2010 at 2:01am
Chris Mc Nair and I were just chatting on Skype yesterday and as we chatted a big attack hit the Atto Ning, it was amazing!!! It really fouls up any RSS feeds that are being used. Anyhow I will get on with implementing all the tactics over there. for now its approved users only, a pain but what can ya do!!!

It was those Canadians as well, can't you chaps go and do something abooooot them?? First they send geese to knock down plane snow this, shocking ;-)


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