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Kudos4 Stats

Forum Spam and advertisements

Recently there has been an increased number of spam activity in our community, which will surely make a negative feeling to users and visitors. Today I had to flag 3 posts as spam to higher levels. Whats going on? Is this because all the Norton world wide forums have been integrated to a single place? ( also some posts for help from non english come to english ) Before the migration, there was no such issues AFAIK. Admins and spam nanny, please take it serious.
regards, CV | There is no ONE TOUCH KEY to security . Be alert and vigilant. . | Always have a Backup Plan!

Replies

Kudos1 Stats

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Yesterday, another 3 SPAM dishes. A skin, kitchen and something else.
regards, CV | There is no ONE TOUCH KEY to security . Be alert and vigilant. . | Always have a Backup Plan!
Kudos2 Stats

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

So...you want the spam filter cranked back up?

Tony Weiss | Norton Forums Global Community Manager | Symantec Corporation
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

No.  Maybe I need a new sink instead.  

Mike
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

I think it will be nice if the spam nany tightens her claws to catch the spammers lurking in our community. May be I had a future seeing eye and hence I started the thread : https://community.norton.com/forums/whitelisting-domains-moderation-forums . . . . . . If unpopular common names / domain names are sent for review with a message ' the post is sent for moderation since you have included an unverified link. This moderation may take a while, hence please be patient ', that will surely drive away these forum spammers from public posting of spamy messages or atleast hide their presence. But there is a consequence for this action that this will prevent instant helping of people who come with the complaint that Norton is having no / bad rating for their website.
regards, CV | There is no ONE TOUCH KEY to security . Be alert and vigilant. . | Always have a Backup Plan!
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Tony_Weiss wrote:

So...you want the spam filter cranked back up?

Hi Tony:

The last three spam messages I noticed this weekend were initial posts from a "sleeper" account originally created in 2013 that had no previous activity.  Either that, or spam has been posted by these users before and the spam was deleted by Norton forum mods without closing down the account.

Would it be possible for forum mods to review the first 2 or 3 messages from a new account for acceptable content before they are posted in the forum?  I've joined several forums where my first few posts had to go through a manual review, and it shouldn't cause any serious delays as long as Symantec ensures that one employee with moderator privileges is always available to review posts from newbie accounts.

Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Hi Tony, Another feature that must be added to forum spam nany. In lithium, when offensive words were used in posts, they were implicitly converted to ' *bleep* '. I would like to see that implemented here too. It would make the language used more friendly.
regards, CV | There is no ONE TOUCH KEY to security . Be alert and vigilant. . | Always have a Backup Plan!
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

...Would it be possible for forum mods to review the first 2 or 3 messages from a new account for acceptable content before they are posted in the forum?  I've joined several forums where my first few posts had to go through a manual review, and it shouldn't cause any serious delays as long as Symantec ensures that one employee with moderator privileges is always available to review posts from newbie accounts.

Not a bad idea, although that does create more work than just finding better ways to combat the spammers. We're working to implement some new preventative measures for spammers, and that should help us curb this new influx. I think right now we're working to find a good balance for everyone, but I appreciate the suggestion. 

Tony Weiss | Norton Forums Global Community Manager | Symantec Corporation
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Nikhil

One problem with the bleeper is that it can do stupid things like barring a word that contains eg a 4 letter word it wants to block although in this case I don't see why it ever did.

In the old setup I could not:

Poke my head above the parapet or go to the opera if it was the Rape of Lucretia .....

Over elsewhere with a similar filter we leaned some tuning tricks like putting a space before and after the word so that it only got banned if it was freestanding and not embedded in another word.

But since like here they were technical support forums that I helped in we eventually turned off the entire filter system for our Forums deciding that most people were adult enough not to use dirty words just for fun or pleasure ..... and that proved to be the case.

I think it would be here too for obscenities ......

Hugh
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Okay. Then I will keep my voice low for that feature.
regards, CV | There is no ONE TOUCH KEY to security . Be alert and vigilant. . | Always have a Backup Plan!
Kudos1 Stats

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Heading back again, for a few days I've been watching closely the new bies and spamers. It seems that the profile entry to add biography is being misused to create advertisements which has a contact number or a low reputed web link ( some times wrapped behind text ) . And there are currently 3 of them while I'm writing this post [ PokerReview, Therech, LaCrosseMarketing ] . Most of them will create an account using a temporary email id and leave the account dormant. So now comes a valid question : Is the field ' biography ' a necessary one? . . . . . . I know the spam via this method is least read, but why to take chances to spoil our forum . . .
regards, CV | There is no ONE TOUCH KEY to security . Be alert and vigilant. . | Always have a Backup Plan!
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Good point, CV. I agree.

Windows 10 Home X 64 Norton Security Premium Current
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

While I agree that it's annoying, it's also that balance between Security and Ease-of-Use. I like communities that allow features that some people would want to use, even if others may abuse it. When we look at forum functionality that people can abuse, the decision to remove the functionality is my last resort. While I may not find this feature to be useful, I'm sure others do. A biography is sharing a part of you, sharing your story with others. I think that's an important part of working together.

Also, on the old communities, people would do the same thing. In fact, I'm pretty sure that spammers had biographies that were very dodgy. But maybe we can remove the ability to include URLs in the biographies? Would that solve problems with folks clicking the wrong thing? Or do you have another solution? Please share it. Thanks.

Tony Weiss | Norton Forums Global Community Manager | Symantec Corporation
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Hi Tony
, Since you wish to keep the biography, you may remove the ability to hyperlink/ add url. Thats a good idea. ... But still the phone numbers exist.

(may be my attitude towards spam is bit aggressive, but I wish things are neat and tidy always)
regards, CV | There is no ONE TOUCH KEY to security . Be alert and vigilant. . | Always have a Backup Plan!
Kudos3 Stats

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Tony_Weiss:

While I agree that it's annoying, it's also that balance between Security and Ease-of-Use. ...But maybe we can remove the ability to include URLs in the biographies? Would that solve problems with folks clicking the wrong thing? Or do you have another solution? Please share it. Thanks.

 Hi Tony:

If spam does manage to evade the filters, it's quickly caught by community users who will click the Flag as Offensive link and report the inappropriate content to the forum mod.  If there's no forum mod on duty when that spam is reported this leads to significant delays in having the spam removed.

I understand you have no control over how the forum is staffed by Symantec employees - forum coverage was already discussed in the thread Images in Moderation Since 16-Oct-2014 - but is there a pool of other Symantec employees outside North America (e.g., mods for the French/German/Chinese/Japanese Norton communities) who could provide coverage for the English forum on evenings/weekends to deal quickly with posts flagged for offensive content?

I received an e-mail from Malwarebytes.org last night about a vulnerability in their forum software that allowed hackers to access the server hosting their forum on 10-Nov-2014.  The e-mail read in part "We've also migrated our community away from our servers and onto a service hosted by Invision Power Board. They know their software best and as vulnerabilities are discovered, they can patch them more quickly".  It leaves a poor impression when users see spam popping up all over the Norton forum on weekends, and justified or not, it makes me question how well my personal information is protected now that the Norton community is no longer hosted by Lithium.

Kudos1 Stats

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

 

 Hi Tony:

If spam does manage to evade the filters, it's quickly caught by community users who will click the Flag as Offensive link and report the inappropriate content to the forum mod.  If there's no forum mod on duty when that spam is reported this leads to significant delays in having the spam removed.

 Case in point.

https://community.norton.com/forums/%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%87...

A little bit of knowledge is... well a little bit of knowledge.
Kudos1 Stats

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Revisiting the forum guidelines to thwart forum spammers.



Summarizing the discussion temporarily and inviting more insight on the points as well as add new points, :
¤¤¤ Forum spam is a game spoiler
¤¤¤ There must be strict round the clock evaluation plan
¤¤¤ The posting powers must be restricted and right to post various category of datum must be reserved to different levels of ranks.
It may be as follows:
Members at level 1 to level 5 shall not be allowed to post links / URL, email addresses etc.
> They shall also not add signature or biography to their profile data. FWIW: For past a week I could track down nearly 40 new reg which contained some type of spam in their profile. If requested, I shall share that data privately.
> The number of posts (of any kind) per hour shall be restricted to 5. Also the number of kudoes that can be given by the user at these levels must be limited to 10 per hour / day
¤¤> I have a feeling that rank-r-rator is little less strict. Members with 0 posts are having rank 2 to 4. Only the activity they do is just visit the forum regularly for a few months. Which means without any contribution to Community, they get upward in rank
¤¤The members from rank 6 to 10 shall be granted ability to post upto 15 messages (including topics/thread) per day /hour and default kudo limit.

¤¤¤There must be round the clock monitoring of the forum by admins or if you trust the employees and Gurus, let them handle some moderation like hiding or unhiding a post / thread from public view unless the admin has reviewed the reported post.
> ¤¤Members above the rank 6 to 25 shall be granted right to create signatures, biographies etc .
> Let the unmoderated image posting ability be reserved with gurus as well as members of level 25, but the '@ mention' and mark as solution ability given to Gurus only.
¤¤¤ Create a list of whitelisted URLs domains and move the posts containing unwhitelisted URLs to be under moderation.
Deny registration using temporary email ids. In another way, only allow gmail, yahoo, outlook, icloud and other well known email provider related domains.

Some points are missed out. I request the members to add their views on above points as well as add new points to keep the forum neat and tidy.
I wish Tony will share his views too.
regards, CV | There is no ONE TOUCH KEY to security . Be alert and vigilant. . | Always have a Backup Plan!
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Members at level 1 to level 5 shall not be allowed to post links / URL, email addresses etc.

I agree. That might stop some of it.

One way or another, Symantec has to get on top of it. It's a BAD look, on a supposed security focused forum.

@Tony_Weiss, looks like the ball's in your court.

Windows 10 Home X 64 Norton Security Premium Current
Kudos1 Stats

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Tony, please take some steps immediately. The spam also affects the notification mails received.
Today is a horrible day.
regards, CV | There is no ONE TOUCH KEY to security . Be alert and vigilant. . | Always have a Backup Plan!
Kudos3 Stats

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Tony,

 I am quite willing to volunteer to assist with spam removal.  Please consider allowing some of us to 'hide' some of this spam so that it is not visible in the open forums.

Thank you,
Dave

A little bit of knowledge is... well a little bit of knowledge.
Kudos3 Stats

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Tony, there has to be some kind of moderation 24/7, on these forums.

If you're not prepared to do that, then it can be spammed all day long, and Symantec's reputation will sink even lower........

EDIT---Moderator has been advised.

Windows 10 Home X 64 Norton Security Premium Current
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

And they are still here. Forum completely clogged with spam.
This is unacceptable!   

Sandro
Kudos4 Stats

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

All Clear now.

Mohanakrishnan G | Norton Forums Administrator | Symantec Corporation
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Thanks Mohan

Sandro
Kudos3 Stats

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Mohan_G:

All Clear now.

No it's NOT!

https://community.norton.com/forums/pctools

Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

IT'S ALIVE! ~ save yourselves SPAM has invaded from MARS

Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Good timing, Apostolos, Kudos 

Merci beaucoup mon ami
 

Sandro
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Sandro_cm:

Good timing, Apostolos, Kudos 

Merci beaucoup mon ami
 

Looks like the " Mahābhārata"  spammer enjoys doing his "job"....

Merci a toi aussi Sandro pour tes gentils mots, tres apprecies.

Cordialement,

Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Apostolos:
Mohan_G:

All Clear now.

No it's NOT!

https://community.norton.com/forums/pctools

Moderator has been advised. 

Sandro
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Things look better now... that's good.

Kudos2 Stats

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

That spammer is not limited to our community, hence not likely a targeted attack.
I tried all the phone numbers to get a location using google.
Man! I was rolling out my eyes. That * (ah! You know to fill it) spammer was all over some game boards / community, opera forum, almost all free adboards, what else... Even in reviews and blog!
Digging down further, that ji started his / her black spell spam with a blogspot blogging page on September. Then started the outbreak like plague on almost all boards the claws were not so tight.
THE Location points to Rajastan state of India
If I was running this forum, I would put some dynamite in his / her * and lit it and enjoyed my weekend..


Thanks and kudos Dave.
Still I miss a word from TW or other admins about the proposed ways.
regards, CV | There is no ONE TOUCH KEY to security . Be alert and vigilant. . | Always have a Backup Plan!
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

A little bit of knowledge is... well a little bit of knowledge.
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

OUY VEY

Kudos1 Stats

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

I've noticed that out of a dozen or so spam messages sent from the same account, there are often one or two created with the label "anastasia goodstein", and this has happened on different days and with different accounts used by these spammers.  According to Tony's post here in the thread Cannot Create Label for Original Post, users must now select from a set of labels pre-defined by the forum mods.  Have the rules for creating new labels been relaxed, or have these spammers figured out how to circumvent this restriction?

I hope the spam filters in this new forum are flexible enough to allow text strings like "vashikaran" or "astrologer" to be added to the block list.  I can't imagine that there would be too many legitimate posts in this forum being accidentally flagged as spam if these words were added to the spam filter.

Kudos1 Stats

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Kudos1 Stats

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Even vampires around, now they are awake day and night, this is the new generation vampires, awake 24/24

Would need to have a new antidote.

Sandro
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

- Moderator has been advised. -

Sandro
Kudos1 Stats

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Hmmm..... As I said earlier, the sole aim of the spammer is higher ranking in search engine and search listing using the trick rather than a target attack, more incoming reference, more higher the rank.

I think the CAPTCHA and post flood check was dropped off while the transporting truck moved community to new platform. (flood issue was broughtup and proved by myself during testing as well as some other members during testing, but that time the platform was more relaxed on rules for testing.)
regards, CV | There is no ONE TOUCH KEY to security . Be alert and vigilant. . | Always have a Backup Plan!
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

I predict the spam will start again in under 2 hours from time of this post. 

A little bit of knowledge is... well a little bit of knowledge.
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Oh well, my timing was off.

I knew we would see this crap again though.

A little bit of knowledge is... well a little bit of knowledge.
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Krusty13:

Oh well, my timing was off.

I knew we would see this crap again though.

No SPAM on Wilders ~ anyone up for a move. 

Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Dave, it happened in mild rate around 3 hours after your last post. May be he/she started to get fed up.
regards, CV | There is no ONE TOUCH KEY to security . Be alert and vigilant. . | Always have a Backup Plan!
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

CV, I seen spam at the time of my last post above.

Cheers,
Dave

A little bit of knowledge is... well a little bit of knowledge.
Kudos4 Stats

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Hey folks. We got hit pretty hard by spammers this weekend, but you already knew that. These things tend to come in waves; we've had similar attacks over the past few years. This is nothing new. In reviewing the content, most of the accounts would have been able to post to the old community just as easily.

But the real bit of information that you want: what are we going to do about it? We will be enabling our Spam Filtering Engine (which I have dubbed "Yolanda") again, with some modifications. Firstly, folks who have been established on the community will be exempt from Yolanda's filtering. This will really only affect new forum members. Once folks have been contributing to the community for a bit, they become exempt from the Spam Filtering. We also have some manual processes in place for legitimate new members who are very active but continue to hit the Spam Filter. This should take care of the majority of the spam problems we've been seeing lately, and a lot of emerging ones.

Once implemented, we'll evaluate the effectiveness of the Spam Filter Engine. If we see gaps, we have a few other automated processes we are implementing to fill those gaps.

I hope this information helps you better understand the situation, and what steps we're taking to eliminate the problem in the future.

Tony Weiss | Norton Forums Global Community Manager | Symantec Corporation
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Thanks, Tony. Good to see some measures being put into place. It's a pita for all of us.

Windows 10 Home X 64 Norton Security Premium Current
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Hi Tony,
Thanks for the reply.
Nice to hear you and the team is takings steps.
Please make the moves faster such that Yolanda can unleash its power up on spammers.

regards, CV | There is no ONE TOUCH KEY to security . Be alert and vigilant. . | Always have a Backup Plan!
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

More spam today, and reported.

Windows 10 Home X 64 Norton Security Premium Current
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

I noticed too F4E

Sandro
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Tony, the sooner that spam filter is tightened, the better. It's becoming a real pita.

Windows 10 Home X 64 Norton Security Premium Current
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Thanks Guys,

All Clear.  

Mohanakrishnan G | Norton Forums Administrator | Symantec Corporation
Kudos0

Re: Forum Spam and advertisements

Mohan_G:

Thanks Guys,

All Clear.  

Nar, not really.

A little bit of knowledge is... well a little bit of knowledge.

This thread is closed from further comment. Please visit the forum to start a new thread.