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Re: UnrealSP.org: End of service(?)

Posted: 01 Nov 2019, 04:16
by ividyon
We've had Q&A with very specific Unreal-related questions, and changed them quite often. Things like "What is the name of the starship in which you start the game?", "What is the name of the race of enslaved humanoids on the planet?", "What is the name of the planet on which you crash in the game?", and every time it was newly inserted, there would be a day or two of peace, before the registrations came back.

If I had to hazard a guess, I'd assume that new Q&A are occasionally processed by real humans, and entered into databases which can then be used by the bots. Or it is real humans that register, and later the accounts are used by bots. I cannot explain it otherwise.

Re: UnrealSP.org: End of service(?)

Posted: 01 Nov 2019, 11:02
by salsaSkaarj
ividyon wrote:...
If I had to hazard a guess, I'd assume that new Q&A are occasionally processed by real humans, and entered into databases which can then be used by the bots.

That is a known problem and will always be inavoidable. But using that in combination with the NRU group should prevent most of those polluting the forums. There will always be some "work" for the admin :wink:

Re: UnrealSP.org: End of service(?)

Posted: 01 Nov 2019, 19:24
by radios
I did a search, and I don't see a database with UnrealSP.org logins stored. this may be the work of a small group of people that perhaps were banned from here, and held a grudge. the fake logins should be able to be banned by IP addresses, though.. using proxies or VPN's seems too complicated to be spamming here, there's no monetary gain for them here, just upsetting the site..

Re: UnrealSP.org: End of service(?)

Posted: 01 Nov 2019, 19:50
by salsaSkaarj
radios wrote:I did a search, and I don't see a database with UnrealSP.org logins stored.

And it's a good thing the database isn't visible to visitors :lol:

radios wrote:this may be the work of a small group of people that perhaps were banned from here, and held a grudge. the fake logins should be able to be banned by IP addresses, though.. using proxies or VPN's seems too complicated to be spamming here, there's no monetary gain for them here, just upsetting the site..

There are known bots whose useragent can be used to identify them as members (and permissions can be set for those)
There are recognised bots who are treated as guest because they are not in the database. and do no harm.
Then there are rogue bots and then there are humans. It the latter group who could be a PITA if they choose to, certainly not ex-members as these would be identified easily.

On the contrary, humans will use lots and lots of untransparent proxies and chaining (probaly less VPN because that usually involves payment)

Re: UnrealSP.org: End of service(?)

Posted: 01 Nov 2019, 20:38
by radios
salsaSkaarj wrote:
radios wrote:I did a search, and I don't see a database with UnrealSP.org logins stored.

And it's a good thing the database isn't visible to visitors :lol:

radios wrote:this may be the work of a small group of people that perhaps were banned from here, and held a grudge. the fake logins should be able to be banned by IP addresses, though.. using proxies or VPN's seems too complicated to be spamming here, there's no monetary gain for them here, just upsetting the site..

there are humans. It the latter group who could be a PITA if they choose to, certainly not ex-members as these would be identified easily.

On the contrary, humans will use lots and lots of untransparent proxies and chaining (probaly less VPN because that usually involves payment)
I used to be a Super Moderator on an unrelated site, with well over 3 MILLION members, and I can tell you that ex members can not always be identified, except by their posting style, I used to get them by that, I was very good at recognizing by posting style.. you have to think WHY would someone spam UnrealSP.org?. there has to be a good motivation for that!.. there's no money or access to something valuable here, except what's freely available to registered members.. even then, everything posted is available to guests, too.. so. motivation is the key here..

Re: UnrealSP.org: End of service(?)

Posted: 03 Nov 2019, 08:13
by xRedStar
well if this site ever goes down, i hope it will be archived.

Re: UnrealSP.org: Development hiatus

Posted: 03 Nov 2019, 13:15
by ividyon
Enough donations have flown in to prolong the domain's lifetime, though it is telling that despite all the claims of interest in the site's future, there were only 3 contributions over 2 weeks.

I am changing the name of the thread from "End of service". Whatever the results of this discussion, the site will not be shutting down.

Re: UnrealSP.org: Development hiatus

Posted: 04 Nov 2019, 02:48
by zYnthetic
I doubt very much that individuals would target USP over a grudge, at least in the degree it exceeds a level mods can't deal with. The forum gets bots because forums are often weak targets. In the scope of possible attacks, bots are mostly a nuisance compared to what could happen. I've expressed before the most demanding option would be continuing the forums with the goal of revitalizing them and security is precisely why. If someone is determined to carry this baton it's going to mean keeping up with the news on a regular basis to stay ahead of developments that could have a negative consequence.

Re: UnrealSP.org: Development hiatus

Posted: 06 Nov 2019, 23:27
by radios
ividyon wrote:Enough donations have flown in to prolong the domain's lifetime, though it is telling that despite all the claims of interest in the site's future, there were only 3 contributions over 2 weeks.

I am changing the name of the thread from "End of service". Whatever the results of this discussion, the site will not be shutting down.
sadly, not many members can afford $9.95/year. that is the reason why..

Re: UnrealSP.org: Development hiatus

Posted: 18 Nov 2019, 04:06
by Buff Skeleton
Glad to see the site is sticking around a bit longer. I pretty much grew up here, so it holds a special place in my heart, and I'd hate to see it shut down for good. But I definitely understand how much of a pain in the ass it is to deal with the current issues with spam bots and the like.

I hope at some point we can reopen registration for new folks, since this recent wave of retro FPSs is definitely generating interest in the older classics again, and I think it's only a matter of time now before Unreal gets another day in the sun. Hopefully, at least!

I'm waaaaaay out of touch with running forums, let alone forums with more than 2 active users, so I wouldn't know what to do about any of the issues. If updating the forum software is a viable solution, even if it breaks some of the customization we have, I think that's a good start, though.

Worst case, we can live with the stock phpBB uggo color scheme for a while (unless they ship with a dark theme now). We could also convert existing reviews and such into forum posts in read-only forums so the content is all there, even if it's not as pretty as before. But I have a feeling that an update is basically the minimum requirement for any chance at defeating the bots. Is that about right?


Oh, and uh -- the donate button in this thread links to an all-German Paypal page so that maaay have something to do with the lack of them :T And it just points at Ividyon's personal gmail account, which people might not realize is tied to this site. Makes it look like it's not legit. I definitely want to shell out some donation cash since this site has been such a big part of my modding career, but I'm not 100% sure what everything says on the Paypal page since it doesn't let you translate any of it :V

Re: UnrealSP.org: Development hiatus

Posted: 18 Nov 2019, 10:25
by salsaSkaarj
Buff Skeleton wrote:Worst case, we can live with the stock phpBB uggo color scheme for a while (unless they ship with a dark theme now).

The defaulte them of phpBB is prosilver but there are many styles with a completely different look and feel available.

One style which is released is Prosilver Dark Edition but there a style in development which would suit Unreal even better: Element

Re: UnrealSP.org: Development hiatus

Posted: 19 Nov 2019, 15:28
by radios
Buff Skeleton wrote:

Oh, and uh -- the donate button in this thread links to an all-German Paypal page so that maaay have something to do with the lack of them :T And it just points at Ividyon's personal gmail account, which people might not realize is tied to this site. Makes it look like it's not legit. I definitely want to shell out some donation cash since this site has been such a big part of my modding career, but I'm not 100% sure what everything says on the Paypal page since it doesn't let you translate any of it :V
Google translate may work, you input the URL, and it translates what's on the pages!.

Re: UnrealSP.org: Development hiatus

Posted: 10 Jan 2020, 07:48
by Diego96
At least this forum gets some activity unlike No Guts No Galaxy (a Battletech forum) where I used to post simple mods. That site stays afloat thanks to Patreon so I don't really see why this one should stop working unless you want to ignore that option.