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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Edit - Wasn't spam after all but Google One Tap. Scroll down for more info.


We're seeing a change in technique by spammers. Instead of simply registering 100+ accounts per day and instantly spamming, they're now registering but not posting at all.

The assumption is they'll wait until the spam button goes away and then launch a coordinated attack. If they were to wait 60 days, they'd have an army of thousands and thousands of spam accounts that are too old for the spam button.

We could extend the time limit on the spam button as needed, but the number of accounts could take over even a huge site.

The accounts have clean IP addresses from all over the world that don't trigger SFS, CleanTalk, IP Quality, etc. You can't tell which accounts are spam until after they've posted it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here you see the last 4-5 days of stockpiled spam accounts registered but not used yet. We went form 100ish a day to over 250 a day.

Rectangle Plot Slope Font Parallel
 

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Yes, I also see accounts active per day, registered month or more ago, looking like spam accounts, but not posting anything.
 

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Let me run this by our spam fighters slack channel.

Note we can always open up the 30-day spam ban and clean rule per community for a time as needed for site clean-ups.

Can you guys link me to a few examples to share with them?

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Can you guys link me to a few examples to share with them?
See...that's the problem. If the IP addresses are clean and don't match other accounts, you can't tell which ones are future spammers vs just new legit members who haven't posted.

But that kind of spike in registrations isn't all legit users.

I could take a wild guess and assume accounts like these are spam but it's just speculation.

 

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10-4, shared with the team and will report back.
 

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This could be related to the Google One Tap rollout making it easier for members to join and they are not necessarily spammers.

Tagged in some key players on the spam fighter channel to have this on their radar.
 

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See...that's the problem. If the IP addresses are clean and don't match other accounts, you can't tell which ones are future spammers vs just new legit members who haven't posted.

But that kind of spike in registrations isn't all legit users.

I could take a wild guess and assume accounts like these are spam but it's just speculation.

All three of these are Google OneTap sign up and looks like there have been 1280 new registered users via the new feature versus 10 without it in the last 7 days.

It could just be the new feature is hugely successful and they are all legit.

Keep an eye out for anything else fishy to prove otherwise.
 

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Was watching some of these as suspicious. Turns out to be google huh?
Wonder if the trend of 'host' nations shows anything.
 

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We're seeing a change in technique by spammers. Instead of simply registering 100+ accounts per day and instantly spamming, they're now registering but not posting at all.

The assumption is they'll wait until the spam button goes away and then launch a coordinated attack. If they were to wait 60 days, they'd have an army of thousands and thousands of spam accounts that are too old for the spam button.

We could extend the time limit on the spam button as needed, but the number of accounts could take over even a huge site.

The accounts have clean IP addresses from all over the world that don't trigger SFS, CleanTalk, IP Quality, etc. You can't tell which accounts are spam until after they've posted it.
This is why LT had the New Member Introduction Rule. One it verified that it wasn't a bot creating the account, Two we got to know the new members , three it increased our post count. They were banned if they failed to do so. VS came in a couple of weeks ago and said we could not use this rule that had been in place since 2004 any further. Most of these log in one time only.

We are also seeing where our 10/3 rule is being circumvented by another change where after one post new members can PM. NO we need that back to the 10/3. PM to staff is the only exception.

We are seeing new members circumvent the 10/3 rule by posting sale question on members profile page.

It's frustrating for the mods we finally have the site were we thought members would be protected now we don't and moral is on the skids.
 

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Not alone.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So the influx may actually be existing members thinking they're logging in but actually creating duplicate unwanted/unintended accounts.

I'm seeing cases of users creating as many as two extra accounts.

An example is premium member D6500Ken that had an account under an AOL email now has a duplicate non-premium account d6500ken_1204 that he surely does not want under a Gmail account.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Won't this trigger a swarm of contact us emails from users saying things like:

"My username was always this but now you show me as that!"
"Where did all my thousands of posts go? You show me at zero!"
"My subscriptions are all deleted - what's wrong with you guys?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
We need to establish a protocol for how to handle these as far as unregistering unused duplicate accounts and merging accounts that have been posted from.

One Tap is apparently not intuitive enough, at least for some that are less technical or alert, if we're already seeing this many unintended duplicate accounts.
 

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An example is premium member D6500Ken that had an account under an AOL email now has a duplicate non-premium account d6500ken_1204 that he surely does not want under a Gmail account.
This guy had 3 accounts...

atlantasteve since 2007 - Not Gmail
atlantasteve2 created 7 hours ago - Gmail
spberne created two minutes later - A 2nd Gmail
We need to establish a protocol for how to handle these as far as unregistering unused duplicate accounts and merging accounts that have been posted from.

One Tap is apparently not intuitive enough, at least for some that are less technical or alert, if we're already seeing this many unintended duplicate accounts.

Shared with the Product team @liang_VS and @Lalji
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So now the question is how do we prevent dozens of daily unwanted/unintended alias accounts that will confuse members (see post 14) and frustrate staff? :unsure:
 
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