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Spam Monitoring Service Update

Last year we introduced a Spam Monitoring service to combat the increasing problem of registrations on communities from spam accounts and the response to this service has been great! The spam service has been a great success so far and we would like to take the time to share some stats about how effective the service has been.

The service is only as effective as the number of communities that sign up and report data back to our system, so we are happy to report that thousands of communities have joined the service and are helping each other to reduce the amount of spam each receives. If you have not yet signed up, we would encourage you to take this opportunity to do so: the Spam Monitoring service is free to all active IP.Board license holders!* It is a great way to improve and protect your community while saving you time.

Thanks to the network of communities that have joined this service, we have been able to block tens of thousands of spammers from registering on communities that participate in this service! The spam service itself receives thousands of requests per hour and continues to build its database from that data. As always, your registration data is kept safe and is not permanently stored as transmitted data is only used to detect spammers.

We are continuing to monitor everything that is reported and look for trends to help the system better identify spammers that are registering on your communities. If you are signed up for the service and a spammer does register, please remember to use the Mark as Spam feature (both in the IP.Board AdminCP and the front-end for moderator use) so that we can receive that data and use it to improve the service for everyone.

If you are signed up for the spam service, please take a moment to check your logs (in the IP.Board AdminCP) and make sure that the service is working for you. We have noticed that some sites do not have the correct URL for their site so their requests to the service are not working as a result. If you are having any issues, please open a ticket and let us know.

New in IP.Board 3.1

Most of the processing for the service is handled by IPS servers but we are adding two enhancements in IP.Board 3.1: reporting false-positives and statistics.

Reporting False-Positives

Just as your email client sometimes flags a legitimate email as a spam message, our service sometimes tries to be a bit over-protective and will flag a legitimate account as belonging to a known spammer. You can currently "un-flag" that account and restore it to normal but that information is not passed back to IPS so the service could learn that a particular account was actually legitimate. In IP.Board 3.1, removing a spam status on an account will be reported back to IPS to improve the service.

Statistics

IP.Board 3.1 will include reports and graphs on how the service is protecting your individual community.


We hope you continue to enjoy the protection the service offers and if you have any suggestions, please post in our feedback forums. Thanks!




*The following packages include the services option, which the spam service falls under, and qualify to use the service at no cost:

  • IPS Hosting clients
  • IP.Board Standard License
  • IP.Board Business license
  • IP.Board Community Suite license
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Thanks. I was going to ask about F.P reports a couple of days ago actually, as there (is) currently no easy method of doing so without opening a Ticket. Good addition. :)

I assume the same weighting factors will be applied when reporting accounts marked as spammers for not being so ? (so that it will not be possible for spammers themselves to use an IP.Board install to "lower" their rating as it were)

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  • Management

Yes, we don't like to talk about the logic that runs the system (for obvious reasons) but just because one IP.Board admin clicks spam/not spam it does not always mean the system inherits that.

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  • Management

The following packages (if active) qualify to use the service at no cost:

[*]IPS Hosting clients [*]IP.Board Standard License [*]IP.Board Business license [*]IP.Board Community Suite license






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We have had two instances of new users who have been blocked due to their IP address - their email was fine apparently.

I am wondering how the system deals with many UK broadband users who share the same IP address?

For example many Sky, BT & orange broadband IP's are listed on various spam databases (as the IP's are not static to one user) - we have to provide an alternative for these trusted clients otherwise our servers will block them sending mail for example on port 25.

I am not sure if others have had similar issues, but those two probably count for 20% of the spammers caught if not more.

Thanks :)

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ISP's with IP's that are dynamically assigned on each connection (usually dial-up) are notorious for having problem users. AOL is the ultimate for users who want to cause havoc because they can go somewhere (say a chatroom), go in, end up banned and then disconnect and then reconnect and come back without a care in the world. I know because I used to help run a chat room where some users would do that. Couldn't ban by resolved name because that would end up banning ALL of AOL. We'd ban by IP address and then a couple of minutes later they were coming back in and the IP would be different enough that it was a hassle to try to cover a wide range.

I recall an ISP in the UK that would have animal names in the resolved names (I think the orange one) and it was almost as bad. The problem is that spammers learn this information and then make use of it to do their nasty deeds because they know it's hard to truly block them. If ISP's such as AOL were to be somewhat static (keep the same IP or limited range of IP's for a few days) then it'd become harder for trouble makers to abuse sites and services on the net.

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I had edited the entry to be clear you need a service package.

I will also add a note to the client area attached to legacy licenses so one cannot claim confusion for future announcements. It's inefficient to add a disclaimer to every message, ticket, email, announcement, or blog entry we send out so that will be a catch-all.

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