More on Spam

I have discovered some useful information regarding the recent spam attack, and have put in place some extra countermeasures that, at least for now, have enabled me to switch the Last 10 Updates and new users back on.

If you discover further spam please let me know the username as soon as possible so that I may act to remove it. I can’t guarantee that my changes will have solved the problem, but they may delay further spam from arriving.

Thanks to everyone for their patience!

New Users Disabled, Last Ten Updates Disabled

New User Signups are disabled until I can find an appropriate method to block the spammers, my adjustments last night were completely fruitless. I’ve also temporarily disabled the Last Ten Updates because that’s clearly the only place of any interest to them since that’s where the Google Pagerank is. I shall be considering options over the next few days and apologise for the temporary inconvenience.

These spams must be deliberate acts by humans because the methods needed to get a diary post onto the system would require at least a pre-programmed script. So it is unlikely that they are ‘zombie’ PCs .

Of course, I’m quite flattered. For someone to spend so much time and effort getting around all the various  systems just to post up entries that will be deleted a few moments later is a sign that DearDiary must be a worthy place to post these days!

Diary Spam

I have noticed a disturbing new phenomenon for DearDiary – diary spam. There have been a number of instances where diaries are created with entries that are selling something, often from China. This is quite a surprise because it is not all that easy for a new diarist to sign up automatically, and most spammers like things to be completely automated.

DearDiary.Net is not a place for people to advertise their commercial products for free and I shall be updating the Acceptable Use Policy to be more specific in Section 2 where it states that diaries may not link to certain places, and may not participate in commercial banner campaigns to include that they may not be created purely for commercial gain. In the meantime I shall be removing any diary I come across with content just meant to be spamming people under Section 6 of the Acceptable Use Policy.

If you come across such a diary, please notify us soon as possible – we do not wish for these companies to benefit from DearDiary’s page rank on Google and they will be immediately removed!

Notifies Delayed

Many of you have already discovered, and e-mailed me to let me know, that there was a slight problem with the notifications leaving the server during last week. Unfortunately the nature of the problem was such that I couldn’t reply to individuals to let them know, because, well, mail to those individuals wasn’t leaving the server!! Catch 22.

It was basically a side effect due to the IP Address change. The people in control of the domain name system hadn’t added ‘pathfinder.kabarty.com’ (the name of the server) to the domain name system for the new IP and as such a number of service providers, the biggest being AOL, said ‘no name, means no mail’ and issued a ‘temporary rejection notice’ to our server. This meant our server held the mail for up to 5 days before deleting it.

Thus, once I asked the provider to set things up properly, AOL (and the other providers who’d been rejecting our mail) suddenly started accepting it all again, and the server gleefully sent out any that were waiting to – including those in the 5 day backlog. So, for some time people will have seen no notifies and then got a whole bunch in one go.

Apologies for that, and apologies that I couldn’t respond to each person that mailed about it – there was just too many of you and the server wasn’t sending mails to you anyway!

Steve.

IP Address Change

Unfortunately an IP Address change was forced upon me by the hosting provider, which resulted in an outage for some while I figured out a way to get the server to respond to both IP addresses until the DNS updates.

Most people probably haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about. Suffice to say if you didn’t see a ‘Server Maintenance’ screen you don’t need to worry, and if you DID, it should be all over now 😉