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Is centralized antispam still working?

Started by on Jan 22, 2014 – Contents updated: Jul 05, 2016

Jan 22, 2014 21:06    

I've got a blog and frequently report spam to the centralized blacklist. I haven't seen an update import new blacklist entries since July 2013.

Is that intentional? Admittedly, I'm still running an old version (v3.3.3). Do I need to upgrade for it to continue working?

Feb 24, 2014 16:16

I was formerly the 'spam janitor' with the job of reviewing and publishing the spam submissions. Although the antispam central blacklist is still running it is indeed hardly ever updated now. There are two reasons for this.
1) The recent versions of b2evo don't seem to interact with the blacklist in the same way, and for whatever reason the number of submissions to the blacklist is lower than it used to be.
2) Spam is getting cleverer and our way of identifying spam which dates back many years is not as good as it used to be - in fact, it's pretty poor nowadays. Obviously I'm not going into the detail of what criteria we use to detect spam but suffice to say it isn't flexible enough to respond to the fast-changing tends in comment spam.

The developers are aware of this issue and as a result there is likely to be a review of the antispam system in a future release. In the meanwhile the existing system still has a good hit rate for quite a lot of traditional spam, so do keep using it, but updates are likely to be few if any until the system is reviewed.

Mar 06, 2014 15:36

Thanks @filthio for the heads up.

Just for the records, this is the current update timestamp of the antispam central blacklist:

New latest update timestamp: 2014-02-24 21:10:18

Regards!

Mar 08, 2014 19:39

Yes, I went in and had a quick go :)

I have a document with some more detailed observations which I'd be happy to share with any suitable person who wants to have a go at the antispam development. FP has seen a version of this already.

Jun 06, 2016 07:42

So you guys are working on it? Lately I have experienced several scheduled task errors from 3 different b2evolution 6.7.3 instances, of the form:

-------------BEGIN-----------------------
Requesting lock on task #418 [Poll the antispam blacklist]

Starting task #418 [Poll the antispam blacklist] at 22:05:21.

Task finished at 22:05:22 with status: error
Message: [Error code: 100 ] Latest update timestamp: 2014-02-24 21:10:18
Requesting abuse list from antispam.b2evo.net...
Remote error: Didn't receive 200 OK from remote server. (HTTP/1.1 500 Internal Server Error) (5)
--------------------END---------------

Best Professional Regards.

Jun 08, 2016 23:17

Yes, the server died big time last week. We are working on a new system. It is not critically urgent. Expect approx 10 days before fix.

Jun 16, 2016 19:58

Aha! This explains the email messages I have been receiving. I'll check back to see what progress in a few days.

Jun 17, 2016 00:08

This is still item #3 on our TODO list and keeps getting passed by more urgent bugs.

Jun 26, 2016 16:52

Quick update: we are making some progress on this.

We have a new system that will allow anyone to run a central antispam blacklist if they wish to (so you don't have to be dependent on us for updates if you don't want to).

We are also currently reconstructing the full central list and we are augmenting it with some additional strings.

Jul 05, 2016 22:46

OK, so the antispam server is back up now, and with some additional blacklist strings to serve.

Your system should be able to continue polling without any action on your part.

Please let us know if anything looks wrong.

Also please feel free to start reporting strings again. We have a better system to moderate them now ;)


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