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Author Topic: Unusually large amount of new users in the past week (bots)  (Read 1711 times)
MadZ
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January 29, 2015, 09:27:44 PM
Last edit: January 29, 2015, 09:54:17 PM by MadZ
 #1

As can be seen here, it appears that the number of new registrations in the past week has been 5-6x the daily average for the rest of the month. I've included the chart below from that page as a reference:

Code:
Monthly Summary New Topics New Posts New Members Most Online Page views
January 2015 11521 297119 17388 0 59378692
2015-01-01 297 9080 207 0 2593190
2015-01-02 359 10490 286 0 2720551
2015-01-03 353 11439 331 0 2406906
2015-01-04 421 11733 259 0 2723954
2015-01-05 419 11827 294 0 2758409
2015-01-06 437 11979 279 0 2453940
2015-01-07 399 11183 273 0 2481575
2015-01-08 371 11081 292 0 2334845
2015-01-09 398 11608 258 0 2283513
2015-01-10 298 10820 292 0 2233034
2015-01-11 359 10573 331 0 2285669
2015-01-12 442 11915 459 0 2322419
2015-01-13 507 4197 419 0 725035
2015-01-14 504 13806 287 0 2604155
2015-01-15 457 11533 295 0 2209029
2015-01-16 397 11369 260 0 2034912
2015-01-17 376 9541 247 0 1800851
2015-01-18 334 9925 215 0 1716400
2015-01-19 380 10634 309 0 1911358
2015-01-20 482 11233 292 0 1997317
2015-01-21 438 9774 328 0 1792207
2015-01-22 0 0 0 0 6
2015-01-23 635 9703 1781 0 1578290
2015-01-24 313 7619 1423 0 1514065
2015-01-25 420 10796 1573 0 2022088
2015-01-26 498 12137 1687 0 2155157
2015-01-27 470 10786 1644 0 2020900
2015-01-28 382 11005 1645 0 1942642
2015-01-29 375 9334 1422 0 1756368

While at first this might appear to be a good thing, a quick look at the members list sorted by registration date reveals that these are mostly just bot accounts. Here are a few examples from just the past 30 minutes (they are being registered in a steady stream):

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=425081
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=425079
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=425077
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=425075
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=425070
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=425068
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=425067
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=425066
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=425065
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=425062
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=425059

Fortunately, they don't seem to be posting, and a few Most appear to have been banned according to the modlog, but it does seem rather interesting that this flood of bot accounts began right after btctalk's downtime one week ago. Perhaps some security feature with user registration was changed/disabled once the website came back up?
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January 29, 2015, 09:33:03 PM
 #2

I can tell you that almost all of these bot accounts are posting, but we remove these topics almost instantly, so you don't notice it. Wink
However, I have no idea why there are so many joining lately nor do I know how it happened. It seems that someone wrote/has a good program to create all these accounts.

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January 29, 2015, 09:45:32 PM
 #3

I've reported god knows how many of these over the past week or so. They are posting the same stuff so pretty easy to identify. They also post in the same sections, but it seems to be random as I haven't noticed any posting patterns. Just look at the modlog, the majority of those accounts getting nuked are these bots.

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January 29, 2015, 09:49:39 PM
 #4

There's been a concerted effort to weaken the default trust... If achieved, automated scamming will have high success rates.
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January 29, 2015, 09:53:28 PM
 #5

I can tell you that almost all of these bot accounts are posting, but we remove these topics almost instantly, so you don't notice it. Wink
However, I have no idea why there are so many joining lately nor do I know how it happened. It seems that someone wrote/has a good program to create all these accounts.
if you look at the profiles of some of the example accounts then you will see they have webpages associsted with them. They are probably trying to improve the SEO of their websites.

From what I can tell banning/nuking users does not delete information/links in their profile so they can continue to add crap to their profile (links, contact info ect)

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January 29, 2015, 09:53:49 PM
 #6

I think the registration captcha needs some buffing up.

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January 29, 2015, 09:58:15 PM
 #7

I think the registration captcha needs some buffing up.

Yep, theymos should upgrade it to a tougher captcha which serves no problems to real users.

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January 29, 2015, 10:02:23 PM
 #8

For the ones you listed, the Bitcoin addresses are actual places.
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January 29, 2015, 10:05:37 PM
 #9

I can tell you that almost all of these bot accounts are posting, but we remove these topics almost instantly, so you don't notice it. Wink
However, I have no idea why there are so many joining lately nor do I know how it happened. It seems that someone wrote/has a good program to create all these accounts.

That is unfortunate, I haven't been around enough this week to see that many of these posts, props to the staff for keeping the forum so clean given the volume of topics they must be dealing with. Like I said, it appears that this all began right after the forum went down, perhaps something was disabled that was preventing this previously (similar to how the search function wasn't fully operational for a few days).
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January 30, 2015, 06:04:30 AM
Last edit: January 30, 2015, 06:26:49 AM by gogxmagog
 #10

I don't understand how it is bots? I am seeing tons of new accounts who put questionable posts, but they seem like they are controlled by a human at least. Is the bot merely used to generate the account?

Its hard for me to report, because most of the time I'm busy actually trying to follow what the adults are saying in the threads, and it is very distracting trying to figure out if these goofs are spam-puppets or just totally stupid? I'm going to go back over my today's activity and try and find the few ones I've seen this afternoon and do some reporting. It's Time!

P.S. There have been these weird "I lost my coins to website x" threads popping up too. Real users are suggesting that these are controlled by organized crime, trying to get help with hacked coins (?) I'm sure the MODs are aware of these.

let me go and report some of them now. You all should, we need to be more vigilant, clean this place up a little, protect our community. Its becoming embarrassing, and not good for BTC's image. And, maybe you've noticed, I'm REALLY hard to embarrass

UPDATE- ok, I just reported a few, mostly thread starters. It is hard to tell sometimes, because, I really feel that it is ok to go for lulz sometimes, and if you do, keep it brief, so serious readers can skip it easy. I just dont always know, seems like a lot of the threads in main discussion are frivolous, but some have substantial and/or thought-out content. Of course, a well trained gold-farming slave poster would be able to construct posts with a little meaning at least. I think the gold-farmers could be getting wise?

anyway-bed time for me. will do my part to report every new instance I see here tomorrow. g'nite
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January 30, 2015, 06:28:36 AM
 #11

I think the registration captcha needs some buffing up.

Seconded.
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January 30, 2015, 07:27:02 PM
 #12

I think the registration captcha needs some buffing up.

Seconded.

Thirded.

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January 30, 2015, 10:33:04 PM
Last edit: January 30, 2015, 10:44:31 PM by gogxmagog
 #13

yes, because obviously I can't tell which posts are bunk and which are ok. 0 out of 3 correct in my reportings yesterday.
The weird thing is, I see these threads, that look like throw aways, and maybe they are, meaning; some puppet throws out some generalized statement or question, like "do you like bitcoin?" and it looks like shit, but all of the sudden dozens of users are commenting and a discussion crops up despite the weak starter.

Like I said before; who's to say the average gold-farmer can't think of relevant things to say?

EDIT- 2 seconds after I posted this, looky what I stumbled across in the main discussion https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=12156.msg10311836#msg10311836
The Gentleperson's Guide To Forum Spies (spooks, feds, etc.)
looks like they have an instructions sheet now
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January 31, 2015, 11:22:01 AM
 #14

those people are creating bitcoin accounts with bots and selling them
admin should put new limitation and rules for registration or close the registrations
change the member ranking system as most new account are created for signature campaigns
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January 31, 2015, 11:43:33 AM
 #15

those people are creating bitcoin accounts with bots and selling them
admin should put new limitation and rules for registration or close the registrations
change the member ranking system as most new account are created for signature campaigns

They message with bots? It should be easy to find them and the messages are probably not constructive.
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February 03, 2015, 06:27:52 AM
 #16

I think the bots only create the accounts. I can't see a bot making any sort of constructive comments, not that the humans controlling these accounts are much better. Most of the time I can't tell if they are puppets or just really dumb, but they are all definitely human.
The thing about dumb posts is; this is a very good place to learn. If they are just plain stupid they need to be here, and shouldn't be penalized. Obviously, if everything they post is useless they need some guidance.
I worked in a vintage fashion boutique years ago, everyone there was kind of a snob, and they treated poorly dressed customers very badly. I never got that line of thinking. The slobs are a perfect canvas, you can change their whole life by tidying their look. I could and did and won many loyal customers.
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February 03, 2015, 06:44:23 AM
 #17

I think the bots only create the accounts. I can't see a bot making any sort of constructive comments, not that the humans controlling these accounts are much better. Most of the time I can't tell if they are puppets or just really dumb, but they are all definitely human.
The thing about dumb posts is; this is a very good place to learn. If they are just plain stupid they need to be here, and shouldn't be penalized. Obviously, if everything they post is useless they need some guidance.
I worked in a vintage fashion boutique years ago, everyone there was kind of a snob, and they treated poorly dressed customers very badly. I never got that line of thinking. The slobs are a perfect canvas, you can change their whole life by tidying their look. I could and did and won many loyal customers.

I don't think you're talking about the same thing everyone else is, the bots are most definitely bots, and the posts are clearly made by a bot.


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February 03, 2015, 11:34:29 AM
 #18

I think the bots only create the accounts. I can't see a bot making any sort of constructive comments, not that the humans controlling these accounts are much better. Most of the time I can't tell if they are puppets or just really dumb, but they are all definitely human.
The thing about dumb posts is; this is a very good place to learn. If they are just plain stupid they need to be here, and shouldn't be penalized. Obviously, if everything they post is useless they need some guidance.
I worked in a vintage fashion boutique years ago, everyone there was kind of a snob, and they treated poorly dressed customers very badly. I never got that line of thinking. The slobs are a perfect canvas, you can change their whole life by tidying their look. I could and did and won many loyal customers.

I don't think you're talking about the same thing everyone else is, the bots are most definitely bots, and the posts are clearly made by a bot.



This should stop once the new forum software comes out , seriously .
as a start , we can start using Captcha's  , Email Confirmations (I still don't understand why we aren't using them now to be honest) . This should decrease the amount of BOTS since there is some advanced bots that use DeathByCaptcha etc ...

~ Madness

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February 03, 2015, 11:39:12 AM
 #19

I think the bots only create the accounts. I can't see a bot making any sort of constructive comments, not that the humans controlling these accounts are much better. Most of the time I can't tell if they are puppets or just really dumb, but they are all definitely human.
The thing about dumb posts is; this is a very good place to learn. If they are just plain stupid they need to be here, and shouldn't be penalized. Obviously, if everything they post is useless they need some guidance.
I worked in a vintage fashion boutique years ago, everyone there was kind of a snob, and they treated poorly dressed customers very badly. I never got that line of thinking. The slobs are a perfect canvas, you can change their whole life by tidying their look. I could and did and won many loyal customers.

I don't think you're talking about the same thing everyone else is, the bots are most definitely bots, and the posts are clearly made by a bot.



This should stop once the new forum software comes out , seriously .
as a start , we can start using Captcha's  , Email Confirmations (I still don't understand why we aren't using them now to be honest) . This should decrease the amount of BOTS since there is some advanced bots that use DeathByCaptcha etc ...

~ Madness

Read the satoshi's post:


"Is there any reason to have e-mail confirmation? If you're doing that out of spam concerns, I've already got that covered. I made some customizations to the registration HTML so any spambots designed for SMF won't be able to figure it out. The CAPTCHA image URL requires an extra parameter, and there are 3 different CAPTCHA images, but only one shows because the others have stuff like width=0 height=0."

Source : https://bitcointalk.org/first_topics/4.pdf

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February 03, 2015, 01:31:17 PM
 #20

I've reported god knows how many of these over the past week or so. They are posting the same stuff so pretty easy to identify. They also post in the same sections, but it seems to be random as I haven't noticed any posting patterns. Just look at the modlog, the majority of those accounts getting nuked are these bots.

if they post the same text/msg...
they really have a bot who post automatically...
i check all users post above..
but no threads fond..
all are 0/0 post/activity...
maybe you ahve deleted all they posts...

but i'm curious..
wich kind of msg they post?

thanks!

 
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February 03, 2015, 09:36:46 PM
 #21

One option could be to charge a micro amount of BTC to join the site. Dont flame me for this suggestion Wink But perhaps a small fee of 0.00100000 ($0.22) would at least cut down on bots creating spam accounts.

I cant see 22 cents as being a reason why someone wouldnt join. A person with no BTC could easilly get that BTC amount from faucets in no time at all.

Just a thought!

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February 03, 2015, 09:44:02 PM
 #22

One option could be to charge a micro amount of BTC to join the site. Dont flame me for this suggestion Wink But perhaps a small fee of 0.00100000 ($0.22) would at least cut down on bots creating spam accounts.

I cant see 22 cents as being a reason why someone wouldnt join. A person with no BTC could easilly get that BTC amount from faucets in no time at all.

Just a thought!

Strato

could this be the reason ..
I had not thought!


 
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