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Website update – moderating all first posts and comments

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    Despite my best efforts, some spam has recently crept through the defensive lines. To make it easier to stop this and to also prevent more dangerous situations where malicious code might somehow find its way through, I have set up a system where users’ first forum posts and comments will be moderated and displayed only after I have manually approved them.

    There is sadly no way for me to pre-approve users, so this means that ALL first posts after this change will need to be moderated — including those of you who have been posting here for years. Once your first post after this change has been approved, the subsequent posts will go through as usual, without my judging eye.

    I apologise for the inconvenience.

    It’s interesting (and a little sad) how active spammers and hackers have become in recent years. You may, in fact, have noticed last summer that every now and then, the website was down for brief periods of time. It had nothing to do with my hosting provider and everything to do with automated hacking attempts — for months, we were targeted by tens of thousands of daily attempts to hijack the website. After setting up upgraded systems to block most attacks before they can even take place (and thus making it much easier for the server to deliver pages to those who actually deserve them), these numbers have dropped considerably. But even now, we get over a thousand brute force attacks and a dozen or so more complex attempts at infiltration each week. This, on top of the more harmless but no less annoying accounts that just register to post spam links.

    I do miss the old days when one didn’t have to constantly worry about these things.



    Sadly it is the reality of almost all websites. Even my site for my band and podcast suffer from it and we have a couple hundred guests at most. 🙁 Hang in there and Happy Christmas.



    Absolutely, the bots really don’t discriminate. Every website I maintain has the same problem. The mind boggles how much computing power is wasted each year in running those attacks and the systems that are designed to stop them. They say that the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies is alarming. I wonder how it compares to this.

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