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Please block IP ranges Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I mod/admin a few forums. One of the ways we have found to thwart spammers is to block specific IP ranges. We found that the spammers typically originate from one specific country, so we blocked all IPs that resolved to that country. We also put up a message so that if a legit user came from one of the blocked ranges, they would know who to contact to get whitelisted. Thus far, we haven't had a single spammer go through the steps to be whitelisted.

I'm not sure if the OG has been tracking IPs of spammers, but if they haven't it would be nice if they would and see if they can find a pattern in the IPs of spammers.
 
That can also offend people... Nationality can be a tricky one...

There must be software like Akismet on Wordpress that can address this issue.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forrest
We found that the spammers typically originate from one specific country, so we blocked all IPs that resolved to that country
Isn't that USA? :D (Or is it email only)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyW
That can also offend people... Nationality can be a tricky one...

There must be software like Akismet on Wordpress that can address this issue.
We did some searching before we pulled the trigger. We ha no valid users from that country and 99% of our spam posts came from that country.

If country is too broad, they can narrow it down to specific netblock owners.

As far as being offended, that's the choice the person being blocked. It's rather common for certain web sites or services to be blocked based on country.

By looking at the stats, it should be easy to tell if the OG has the same problem I've seen elsewhere. They can tell if a range block is going to help the 99.99% of their current forum users, or harm potential users.
 
Ummm... either I just sent my response as a private message to forrest, or the forum ate my post. In any case... This is a good idea - we've also kicked around the idea of switching to a 'prove you're a human being' system that's harder to crack through automation.

In general, though, the plans are on hold until our new sysadmin starts and gets up to speed. So it'll be a bit, but we definitely want to improve this. If nothing else, it sucks that I've made "de-spam the forums" a part of my morning coffee routine. =(
 
Thanks Brian. I didn't get a PM.

I don't have the IPs of the people who have been spamming, so I can only make a guess based on what I've seen elsewhere. It's certainly something the OG would have to see if it applies to them.

I don't know if vB offers it, but one of the anti-spam systems we've implemented on other sites is reverse captcha. It prevents automated spammers while also hindering manual spammers who use auto-fill to save time.
 
If you say "hmm Turkish IPs send spam" and block Turkish net block, I am not getting here.

There is hardly anyone sitting and spamming forums manually anymore. There are organised spam bots , infected machines dubbed as "zombies" and lets say if 100 turkish infected machines spamming this forum, 1 guy being Omni customer (me) will get effected.

Enable CAPTCHA instead.

IP (block) ban, if not feed from an open, reasonable RBL such as open proxy list, it is extremely risky and may cause harm to Omni groups image forever.

Here is how to ban open proxies from getting account/posting:
http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=248252


I have been a spamcop.net user since its start and don't let me tell the worst spammers on earth. Americans with infected machines having huge upspeed, Korea and recently Poland. Who are you banning for what reason? 10 spammers?

I maintain a movie actors official site and I had horrible spam from certain countries. Let me ban these blocks? What did the real fan of him do to be treated like that? Even if it is single person?

I love the P2P support idea such as forums, IRC etc. but it has one major risk. Free support people alienate end users and hit the product/company image while developers has nothing to do with it. Don't let so called "supporters" decide what to do for a commercial company.

If I didn't know Omni Group and I wasn't registered, if I went to forums wondering about products and introduced a page accusing my IP block of spamming, I would say "racists" and move along. Sorry to speak too open but there is no better way to explain the horrible risk of IP block banning.

Last year, Gizmo project which is opensource,standards based telephony application got hit by horrible accusations since their genius company banned certain countries from calling because of fraud. The project was doomed. The download numbers dropped significantly.

Also let me add how I became an Omni group customer. I downloaded Omniweb while I was a Mac newbie, I noticed something in Encoding menu, Turkish while being ISO-8859-9 (latin based) language was grouped with Arabic, I politely sent feedback about it saying it may offend some people and when I got a reply like 1 hour later, I said this is the company to buy products for.

Last edited by Ilgaz; 2007-04-07 at 08:29 PM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilgaz
There is hardly anyone sitting and spamming forums manually anymore.
Actually, with a lot of techniques for blocking bots, manual spamming is on the rise again.

Quote:
There are organised spam bots , infected machines dubbed as "zombies" and lets say if 100 turkish infected machines spamming this forum, 1 guy being Omni customer (me) will get effected.

Enable CAPTCHA instead.
Captcha is enabled.

Quote:
IP (block) ban, if not feed from an open, reasonable RBL such as open proxy list, it is extremely risky and may cause harm to Omni groups image forever.
Not very risky at all. Many sites do it without any repercussions. Every major ecommerce site I've ever worked on has blocked users based on IP range to prevent problems from occurring with their existing customer base as well as their target customer base.

Quote:
I maintain a movie actors official site and I had horrible spam from certain countries. Let me ban these blocks? What did the real fan of him do to be treated like that? Even if it is single person?
I think that shows where you and I disagree the most. One can't please everyone all the time. It's just not possible. MS products are a prime example of design & marketing by committee. For the OG, it should be somewhat clear cut on if blocking IP ranges will work for them. Look at the IPs of the spammers, see if they are in related ranges, then see if any of their known customer base is within that range or have addresses in that region. Then take into account their future marketing plans.

Quote:
If I didn't know Omni Group and I wasn't registered, if I went to forums wondering about products and introduced a page accusing my IP block of spamming, I would say "racists" and move along. Sorry to speak too open but there is no better way to explain the horrible risk of IP block banning.
I know I initially gave an example of blocking based on a country, but I've also said just block ranges. I agree that blocking by country can be risky. For the one site that I know did that, they had zero customers from that country and that country was not at all part of their target market. The OG has a bigger market, so that doesn't exactly apply.

Still, I don't see how blocking based on IP could be considered "racist." AFAIK, no race is born with an IP address.

Quote:
Last year, Gizmo project which is opensource,standards based telephony application got hit by horrible accusations since their genius company banned certain countries from calling because of fraud. The project was doomed. The download numbers dropped significantly.
I don't know anything about the project, but after doing some research it doesn't seem like the project was "doomed" at all. There was an update a couple weeks ago. I found one article from yesterday calling it one of the top five VOIP players. If their move made such a big splash, it probably would have ended up in their wikipedia entry.

And if they were being hit with fraudulent actions from specific countries, I'm not surprised they blocked them. I can't access my bank account from certain countries. Do I think that's a bad thing? Not at all, I'm glad they block access.
 
I will try to be more simple while expressing my opinion:

Blocking IP ranges is totally sending message "Your country is full of crooks" and nothing else. Lets say they blocked some tiny country which doesn't have a single customer, what if an Omni app owner travels there and needs immidate technical support?

Why years old, experienced service like dnsstuff.com adds "SHOULD NOT BE USED" to certain RBLs who does IP block bans based on country or simply "I had a spam from that country, let me ban" type?


What if people like me completely completely changes their attitude to Omni group and call them American/European centric ignorant company who punishes people based on their location?

I have been supporter of Gizmo project and advertised it in every single platform you can imagine. When the day they have put a totally ignorant list of fraud countries and announced they won't allow calls to them or from them, that was the day I called them as paranoid on versiontracker and deleted all traces of application. As I still have sympathy to a open project with standards support, I didn't write the first thing came to my mind.

As a Turkish citizen I am fairly touched with IP block bans not because I was effected with one, I just happened to lose contact with 30 friends from Asia because the ignorants at DAL IRC network banned their countries stating abuse from the IP blocks.

If you are tired of cleaning up posts, you should give up your status. I manage dozens of mailboxes and they all have RBL enabled. Does it still bother me? Hell yes. I never leave Spammers alone with such passive methods, I still submit 30 spams a day to Spamcop perfecting their RBL and giving chance to ISPs to clean up the mess instead of blocking countries. Results vary, I have figured after setting up their own anti-spam organization (academic), the horrible situation at Korea has been lightened a lot.

About those E-Commerce sites blocking countries: They are tiny. Lets enable such thing on Amazon sized site and see the feedback. I have been always understanding to small companies who asks additional info when I purchase something expensive online and lived the hassle but I have NEVER seen a single company who labels me as a potential thief and block my IP range. If I see such a thing, there are many civil rights organizations, I would make sure they hear it...

In fact, these days a single popular post on Digg.com like sites would mark the end of your company and as far as I see, there are many games going on in commercial Mac coding and make sure a user won't happen to post such thing, a PR company who are in such matters will do it.

This isn't a homebrew gamer forum or a open source, no income projects forum. This is forum of Omni Group, a commercial company with policies such as:

"We don't discriminate based on anything that would upset you, like race, age, sex, religion, or sexual preference. "

Last edited by Ilgaz; 2007-04-08 at 05:07 AM..
 
How many times do I have to say it? Blocking IP ranges does not always equate to blocking specific countries. I gave you one example of a country being blocked, and even said it was for a site with a different market than the OG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilgaz
I will try to be more simple while expressing my opinion:
Has nothing to do with being simple, just try sticking to the facts. When you throw stuff in how this forum should use captcha (when it already does) you just add noise to your argument.

Quote:
Blocking IP ranges is totally sending message "Your country is full of crooks" and nothing else.
HOW? Seriously. An IP range doesn't always equate to a country. More often than not, it's not. Like I've now said many times, it doesn't have to be an entire country, just a range.

Quote:
Lets say they blocked some tiny country which doesn't have a single customer, what if an Omni app owner travels there and needs immidate technical support?
Did I ever say they should block their email originating from the same IP addresses? No. Did I ever say they should block specific countries from calling them? No. So there's two ways a user can get support.

Quote:
What if people like me completely completely changes their attitude to Omni group and call them American/European centric ignorant company who punishes people based on their location?
That's your choice.

Quote:
I have been supporter of Gizmo project and advertised it in every single platform you can imagine. When the day they have put a totally ignorant list of fraud countries and announced they won't allow calls to them or from them, that was the day I called them as paranoid on versiontracker and deleted all traces of application. As I still have sympathy to a open project with standards support, I didn't write the first thing came to my mind.
How about this - if you're going to dish out insults why not back it up with some facts? I haven't found a single thing about Gizmo's block that would justify you calling them ignorant or paranoid.

Quote:
If you are tired of cleaning up posts, you should give up your status.
What are you talking about?

Quote:
About those E-Commerce sites blocking countries: They are tiny.
They're tiny? How would you know what companies I've worked for? If you did some homework, you can fairly easily find a list.

How about sticking with facts? When you go making stuff up like this it really kills your argument.

Quote:
Lets enable such thing on Amazon sized site and see the feedback.
Many of the sites I've worked on are around that size.

Quote:
I have been always understanding to small companies who asks additional info when I purchase something expensive online and lived the hassle but I have NEVER seen a single company who labels me as a potential thief and block my IP range.
There are many. The blocks I've implemented on large sites usually provide different content rather than flat out saying they're blocked.

Quote:
If I see such a thing, there are many civil rights organizations, I would make sure they hear it...
Please list one along with their response stating that blocking an IP range is a civil rights violation.

Quote:
"We don't discriminate based on anything that would upset you, like race, age, sex, religion, or sexual preference. "
And as far as I know, no race, age, sex, religion or sexual preference comes with its own IP address.
 
 


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