A bot(?) Stalking the forums

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A bot(?) Stalking the forums

Postby The Mad Doctor » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:06 am

I've noticed a bot that seems to have been posting a topic about a completely unrelated subject, then practically advertise download links to several movies. Its a different user every time, and they are all first posts out of the three posts that did it with a different user each time. The first two were in the gaming section, then the most recent one in the RP section about the recent shooting. I believe the security must be looked into to prevent these bots.
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Re: A bot(?) Stalking the forums

Postby Thomas » Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:31 pm

I will take this opportunity to explain how bots work and what I do to stop them.

Bot's as well all know, are a program that automate tasks over the Internet, without the need of a human.
There are many different bot's, and not all of them are evil, I will talk about two of them.

Good bot's
There are good bot's that are also known as web crawlers (however, there are also bad web crawlers that I will talk about later).
Their job is to index the Internet, so they let them loose on the web, and they follow every single link on a page in order to index it.

This is also how certain sites goes up in rank in search engines, the more other sites link to one special site, the higher rank it has since there seems to be lots of interest in that site.
If a higher ranked website links to a lower rank, that lower site goes up several ranks.
(However, bots are often smart enough to tell if it's a comment that linked to the site, and will not count it as an "official link" from the owners to the lower ranked site, hence not increasing it's rank.
So you can't really cheat the system that easy and post a link to your website in a comment section of a larger one

Every search engine have several web crawlers, such as google, bing, yahoo, etc.
You can see them sometimes in the "who's online list":


Bad bot's
There are many types of malicious bots.
A few of them gathers email addresses(another form of web crawler) from websites in order to send you spam, other register accounts on social websites to spam malicious links.

The register, they have a few sets of functions that auto fills any form shown to them.
You can stop a few of them witch such things as CAPTCHA's (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart), or security questions like snafu has.

I have chosen the latter since it's harder for them to figure our.
You see certain bots are hella clever, they can solve captcha's, or figure stuff out simple security questions(even google them, and more much things that bypasses stuff, but I will not get into that).

You can't however google the answer for ours(even if you could, I could change it in seconds).
I've also used a few spelling errors to throw some bots off.

We also have a system that looks at newer users, and look for strange behaviors or certain words used in posts.

But there's always gonna be one or two bots that slips by, can't do much about that.
Not that it matters too much, it can be taken care of.

I recently woke up so I might have missed something but this is just some basic stuff about bots
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