Fwd: SQLPython ticket spam

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Catherine Devlin

Apr 26, 2010, 11:48:53 AM4/26/10
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Hi, William!  Let me respond to the group so everybody will know what is going on...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: William McVey <w...@wamber.net>
Date: Mon, Apr 26, 2010 at 10:15 AM
Subject: SQLPython ticket spam
To: Catherine Devlin <catherin...@gmail.com>

Hi Catherine, I am wondering if I'm the only one getting these spam messages in email. I've been seeing a lot of spam coming from the sqlpython assembla trac instance. Oddly, there seems to be two separate ticket hierarchies. One system (at http://trac-hg.assembla.com/sqlpython/report/6) appears to be using the classic trac ticket interface, and has been overrun with spam messages. The other system (at  http://www.assembla.com/spaces/sqlpython/tickets) seems to be a customized Assembla workspace ticket system and seems to be where the active tickets are being added. At least so far, that system seems to be spam free. What is particularly odd though is that if you use the assembla stream interface (at http://www.assembla.com/spaces/sqlpython/stream) you see the activitiy from the old ticket system in the stream, and this is also mailed out to the people who have chosen to monitor activity within the project via email.

I personally sympathize with the desire to keep old tickets available for reference; however, that noble goal is being corrupted by spammers exploiting a loophole in the trac system that allows anonymous posters to basically "take over" the ticket, changing the title of the ticket and posting linkfarm pages to manipulate their search result standing. This, to me at least, invalidates the motivation for keeping those tickets around. Considering this, would you be opposed to the wholesale removal of the old trac system (which would also avoid a level of confusion among new users)? I don't know enough about assembla's site to know if this is even possible though. If it isn't, would you consider the bulk removal of all closed tickets on that site, and the migration of active tickets to the newer interface? So far, I've only seem spammers hijack previously opened tickets with their spam contents. I've not seem them actually create new tickets. I would be willing to help in the migration effort, but I can't help in the deletions, as my id in the group (wamcvey) appear to lack delete capability.

  -- William


Ugh.  OK, so as William (and maybe others of you) have noticed, some enterprising spammers, apparently believing that the ninth circle of hell is for wusses and wanting a TENTH circle all for themselves, invented Trac spam. 

Assembla confused us all by first making a plain-vanilla Trac system available, which sqlpython used (under the "Mercurial & Trac" tab); then making a new customized Assembla trac system, which worked better (under the "Tickets" tab); I started using it, but didn't do a very good job of closing the old one off.

So anyway, I eventually (tried to?) turn off new posts to the old Trac, belatedly corrected a pointer to the old Trac spammer in the docs, but hadn't yet gotten around to getting rid of the old Trac successfully.  I didn't realize that I wasn't the only one getting these spams, though.  Today I went back in to try again to get rid of the old Trac system completely.  I think I successfully shut it off... the tab at Assembla still reads "Mercurial & Trac", but if you choose it you only browse the hg repository; no tickets.  Whew.  Still, even having the label on the tag is confusing; I just don't know how to get rid of it.

In other news... as soon as the next Gerald point release goes out, I should be able to do a little cleanup and release of a sqlpython release that should clean up some of the connection problems people have been having - and, I dearly hope, the speed problem.  If the speed problem persists, then we'll get radical and come up with something.  I've been held up by some other work that should end at the end of the month.

So anyway... thanks for your patience, and we'll get things cleaned up soon!
- Catherine
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Catherine Devlin

Apr 26, 2010, 12:25:58 PM4/26/10
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