To inform all users of the changes I have been forced to make, I am creating this post so that we are all informed as to what is going on.
Starting at 2:00 am on Sunday night, this board got attacked by multiple spam bots. I have deleted between then and tonight, Tuesday 10/17/06 about 1200 posts from spam guest users.
I installed new spam filters, I made some modifications to our registration system, upgraded our installation. Nothing helped. The attack has continued unabated.
I then moved to the next step, which was banning IP addresses. If you are unfamiliar with IP's, every computer on the net has one, I can track which IP's posts come from. I banned a series of IP's, trying to stop the attack. We had up to 12 "guests" trying to post on the site at the same time.
After banning IP's we had more issues, as legitimate users of the board, namely Dennis from Divine Smoke, got accidently banned. Dennis, I have sent you an email, tried to place a call to you at work this morning. I am truly sorry about the mixup, please do not take it personally since I was trying to keep the board running. The banning of IP's was based on a range of IP addresses, not specific ones, the IP's of the spam bot kept shifting against my bans. So I had to ban a region of IP's and hope that no one legitimate would be caught in the number "net" that I was casting.
Since we had legitimate users banned, and that was not the goal, and since the ranges of IP's of the spam bots keep changing to go around any blocking, I made the decision to turn off guest posting.
I am sorry to have to do this, and I know it is going to mean an extra step for users to post, but the board will simply shut down if it gets flooded with spam like it was.
What this means is that anyone can READ the forum, no problem, but to make a post, or to reply to one, users will have to be logged in, new users will have to register and activate their accounts.
I hate to have to implement this, it is a royal pain, I know, but this has moved from "making my job easier" to a full fledged threat to the boards. Our hosting company even contacted me today to alert me to the unusually high activity on our boards, (which is good since it was an alert to me).
So, you can feel free to flame away here, I have created this forum to do so, or if you have other suggestions that I am unaware of. I have done everything that I know how to do to avoid this step. It is really unfortunate that there are people with nothing but time on their hands to make life difficult.
Thanks for reading.
What the frig is "gelled fuel" and why in the world do I need it at a competition?