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Wiki users

Posted by Dust 
Wiki users
February 21, 2019 05:30AM
Someone might want to look at the new users being created on the wiki...

fairly obvious bots

Re: Wiki users
February 05, 2020 11:26AM
Hey Dust,

I know this thread is old, but I did look into the user creation issue. I classify it mostly as an annoyance because 95% of the time, they are unable to post any SPAM. However, it does highlight just how useless reCaptcha is.

My plan was to purge the obvious SPAM accounts (random firstname + random lastname + number) without any post history when the database started to fill up with too many. However, there are only about 2000 accounts matching that format as of today, which shouldn't be a problem from a SQL performance or disk space standpoint.

So, the only annoyance is seeing them being created in the recent change log.

I also, two years ago, experimented with using custom Captcha questions. (e.g. What color is the RepRap logo?). It worked for a week or two before the bots were able to get through. It sounds kinda crazy, but I don't believe that they are 100% bots. From past research, the owners of the bot SPAM system actually have humans solving Captchas in a sweat-shop like scenario because people in 3rd-world countries don't mind making a few bucks a day doing the repetitive tasks.

If you have any ideas, let me know. Feel free to hit me up to chat about it as well.
Re: Wiki users
February 05, 2020 05:01PM
... no, the "bots" are often supported by or merely humans ... don't know, what's motivating them confused smiley

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Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: Wiki users
February 06, 2020 09:31AM
The bots are usually spamming with the goal of improving SEO of their target website, which is usually why they try spamming links (search: backlinking). In some other cases, they're just spamming advertisements.

They are actually bots, as evidenced by the fact that the output they produce is often following a very similar pattern (look at their username structure, or the pattern they use on their user talk pages). However, when they encounter a Captcha, the bot sends an API request over to a Captcha-solving farm and the answer is relayed back to the bot. You can see this ZDNet article as a research starting point: "Inside India's CAPTCHA solving economy" [www.zdnet.com]
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