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Author Topic: Forum registration explosion  (Read 2888 times)

CWuestefeld

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Forum registration explosion
« on: September 14, 2010, 09:39:58 AM »
Has anybody else running an online forum noticed a recent explosion in the number of people registering?

I have a blog and forum that's targeted at a fairly local interest. For two years the membership has been stable, gaining perhaps one additional registrant per month. But over the last month or two, registrations have exploded.

I'm now getting 2-3 dozen per day. These registrations aren't bots. I'm pretty sure they're human, as the additional CAPTCHA mechanisms I've added have not even slowed down the flow. These are coming from IP addresses all over the world: America, but also Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa.

What I really don't understand is what they're trying to accomplish. They almost never posted spam messages, even before I changed registrations to require approval. Only a few of them had spammy links in their signature, or even a URL in their profile.

So why are people taking the effort to go through the registration? I could understand if it was a botnet that was just building up resources for future forum spam, but since this appears to be real humans, that doesn't make sense to me.

Anybody out there have more insight?


nosh

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Re: Forum registration explosion
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2010, 10:31:35 AM »
Maybe it's one of those "earn from home, no skills required" a.k.a Careers for Dummies things?

(Either that, or Justin Bieber tweeted about you.)
« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 10:34:22 AM by nosh »

mouser

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Re: Forum registration explosion
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2010, 11:58:34 AM »
i'm afraid it is likely to be spam related.

Veign

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Re: Forum registration explosion
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2010, 01:08:49 PM »
Or in a niche where ISPs have closed access to newsgroups or the newsgroups have closed.  MS is closing all of their newsgroups - should be all closed by now.

housetier

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Re: Forum registration explosion
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2010, 01:15:33 PM »
These accounts might lie dormant for a while before they start posting spam content. Maybe they even ask questions before to gain reputation.

In extreme cases they might produce posts that will steal other users' credentials if not filtered properly by the forum software.

I assume spam until proven otherwise.

wraith808

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Re: Forum registration explosion
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2010, 01:30:37 PM »
http://www.stopforumspam.com

Run the IPs/e-mails through that.  I do that before I approve anyone.

CWuestefeld

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Re: Forum registration explosion
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2010, 01:43:24 PM »
Run the IPs/e-mails through that.

My forum runs on SMF. I installed the Stop Spammers mod, which looks for username/email/IP in a blacklist (via a service), and won't approve the rejects. This seems to be working pretty well.

wraith808

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Re: Forum registration explosion
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2010, 02:07:11 PM »
Oooh... thanks!  I run SMF too (an older version)... I'll have to see if it support that.