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We have been visited by the smartphone spam fairy!


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34 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

Maybe the moderators should make any (or every) English language topic a "stickies" so the Korean spam is always buried at the bottom? Really, this is getting ridiculous. Every day.

Given that I'd expect the likely viewers of this website not to be expecting to read much in the way of Korean, I'd ask Otto Censor to convert every single Korean character to an asterisk or a space. That'd only leave their throwaway URLs. Kinda sucks if you want to reference a Korean titled flick, though...

However, automatic moderation of all posters with less than x posts remains the only sure way to stop this.

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24 minutes ago, limey said:

However, automatic moderation of all posters with less than x posts remains the only sure way to stop this.

Seems kind of obvious that that would be a solution. I wonder why it hasn't been implemented, considering this is an every day issue now.

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On 3/14/2018 at 2:38 AM, TikiSoo said:

Maybe the moderators should make any (or every) English language topic a "stickies" so the Korean spam is always buried at the bottom? Really, this is getting ridiculous. Every day.

I think we should dub the Korean spam "kimchee"

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Excuse me for being naïve but I don't understand why or how this spam is getting on the boards. What kind of people are doing this and why? What is the purpose of it? It seems like we had a "spam'free" board for awhile and now it's returned.  Can anyone tell me what's going on with this?

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, midnight08 said:

Excuse me for being naïve but I don't understand why or how this spam is getting on the boards. What kind of people are doing this and why? What is the purpose of it? It seems like we had a "spam'free" board for awhile and now it's returned.  Can anyone tell me what's going on with this?

There are a wide number of sources for spam posts on this site, but the most egregious ones, the ones that come in carpet-bombing waves, seem to be from South Korean gambling websites. Their purpose is to amplify their appearance on search engines. Others with more tech savvy have explained it many times in the past, but from what I recall, the more posts that these sites have around the internet, the higher their position on certain search engines when (I'm guessing mainly Korean) people look up "gambling" or "blackjack". So they aren't trying to entice the viewers of this message board at all, really, and our convenience is just collateral damage.

As for why they have become frequent again I can't say. It was very bad about a year ago, but then it virtually disappeared for months. Why they've returned I don't know. There seems to be no way to block them save for the Moderators deleting the posts and/or accounts of the spammers, and that can only happen when a Moderator is online, which they are not for hours at a time.

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After looking into this some more and not making much sense with character maps, at least for now.  This is likely what we are seeing, there are literally hundreds of characters in this font:

http://moviecollector.us/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/character-map-CJK-unified-graphs.png

 

I propose that they try this instead, for a little variety:

http://moviecollector.us/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/character-map-hieroglyphics.png

 

It adds a personal touch I think.  You just need to really zoom in on the characters, and that might be difficult for a spammer.

http://moviecollector.us/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/character-map-hieroglyphics-2.png

 

It would make all the other spam look err...uh...dead.

http://moviecollector.us/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/character-map-hieroglyphics-3.png

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On 3/17/2018 at 12:14 AM, LawrenceA said:

There are a wide number of sources for spam posts on this site, but the most egregious ones, the ones that come in carpet-bombing waves, seem to be from South Korean gambling websites. Their purpose is to amplify their appearance on search engines. Others with more tech savvy have explained it many times in the past, but from what I recall, the more posts that these sites have around the internet, the higher their position on certain search engines when (I'm guessing mainly Korean) people look up "gambling" or "blackjack". So they aren't trying to entice the viewers of this message board at all, really, and our convenience is just collateral damage.

As for why they have become frequent again I can't say. It was very bad about a year ago, but then it virtually disappeared for months. Why they've returned I don't know. There seems to be no way to block them save for the Moderators deleting the posts and/or accounts of the spammers, and that can only happen when a Moderator is online, which they are not for hours at a time.

I'm glad you cleared that up...  ;)

P.S. It might not even be from Korea.  Keep in mind search engines work by using pattern recognition.  So any old crap like this could work in theory anywhere else in the world too, whether it is human-readable or not.  It just needs to have a pattern that can be followed by the search engines.  So the crap like you see here, which they would splatter all over the Internet, would also be duplicated on their site - possibly even in white font on a white background so you wouldn't see it.  That would in theory raise their site in some search results, as well as this TCM site on some search engines.  See the old "Page Rank" formula for instance - from back when Google actually provided search results (not their current super-duper highly thought out interpretation on what they want you to see, which they use today).

In any case, this is something that went on with free websites back in the 1990s, really crappy ones like Geocities and Tripod.  It is really old school.  In fact I had forgotten about it until just now.  Not my line of work.

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TCM may be missing out on another potentially big money-making venture.  The presentation of the new venture could go something like this:

“For a small monthly fee, you too can be a part of the TCM Junior Admin Club!  TCM Junior Admins are carefully selected individuals who are willing to periodically log on to the TCM message boards during the wee hours of the evening, and they are awarded special privileges to disable spam accounts and eliminate spam messages before they can amount to anything.  Show your love for TCM and classic movies by keeping the TCM message boards squeaky clean through your participation as a Junior Admin!”

Sometimes I get so discouraged by the recurring spam that I would almost be willing to pay to be able to personally blow it away.

 

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Egads! It's not in Korean anymore!

It's still gibberish, but it's English gibberish (I think!)...

Edited by limey
Nope! Here's the Korean again.... *rolls eyes*
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This **** has been awful today. I know the evenings and nights are bad, and I'm not as surprised that a moderator isn't on then, but this has been going on all afternoon. There hasn't been a moderator on since noon Eastern Time? Is there only one guy working multiple websites or something? There's really no excuse. 

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On 3/16/2018 at 11:40 PM, midnight08 said:

Excuse me for being naïve but I don't understand why or how this spam is getting on the boards. What kind of people are doing this and why? What is the purpose of it? It seems like we had a "spam'free" board for awhile and now it's returned.  Can anyone tell me what's going on with this?

 

 

 

 

tcm is trying to figure out what they're better at....

not preventing spam or not procuring Hot Spell.

:lol:

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Wow.  20+ pages of this crap this morning.  What puzzles me is.....

Of the altogether five forums I'm a member of, THIS is the ONLY one that suffers this issue.  Do the spammers sense a greater possibility of SALES volume of their stuff amongst OUR membership or something?  I mean, WHY the TCM message boards, and not the others?

Sepiatone

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When I tried to log on earlier there was a forum upgrade notification and I wondered whether something was being done about the spam. No such luck. Earlier there was a bunch of posts containing links to online movies, but no Korean spam. Now the Korean spam is back with as much gusto as ever.

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4 hours ago, Janet0312 said:

I'm wondering if this spam is the reason I can no longer access TCM at work. My lunch break was the time I most frequented the boards. Can't anymore. Corporate has blocked it. 

I would not be surprised. Whenever I visit this site, I get notices from Malwarebytes that some website sending "outbound traffic" has been blocked.

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4 hours ago, Janet0312 said:

I'm wondering if this spam is the reason I can no longer access TCM at work. My lunch break was the time I most frequented the boards. Can't anymore. Corporate has blocked it. 

Couid be, since some of the spam links were apparently to gambling sites - if one of those URLs showed up on whatever blacklist your corp IT folks subscribe to, then they may have automatically blocked sites that reference those URLs (like forums.tcm.com does during spam eruptions).

Or they might just have decided to block the forum as non-work related... :(

43 minutes ago, Thenryb said:

I would not be surprised. Whenever I visit this site, I get notices from Malwarebytes that some website sending "outbound traffic" has been blocked.

If the notices reference invisioncic.com, then not to worry, since the forum pulls some stuff like icons/scripts from there - that kind of thing can sometimes trigger cross-site scripting alerts. It might also be advertising links.

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10 hours ago, limey said:

If the notices reference invisioncic.com, then not to worry, since the forum pulls some stuff like icons/scripts from there - that kind of thing can sometimes trigger cross-site scripting alerts. It might also be advertising links.

The outbound traffic notices which Malwarebytes blocks for me is www.chastaincentral.com. It appears to be a site Malwarebytes considers malicious that appears to be a geneology site of some kind. Perhaps I should not have googled Jessica Chastain the other day, but I just could not help myself:)

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