guts ,

Which countries are these spams coming from?

7heo , avatar

RU / CN / KP / IR (strike out what does not apply)

TheAnonymouseJoker Mod , avatar

Ah yea never US / CA / UK / DE / FR / IT / AU / NZ, always the same map.

7heo , avatar

Why would the countries that literally can MITM and censor content at the source would ever do spam campaigns? 🤨

At some point, use your brain... As with the freedom of speech, if you don't use it, it will become powerless.

TheAnonymouseJoker Mod , avatar

Because it happens? Use your own advice. Western countries do that enough to need to formulate propaganda about "foreign" enemies. Guess who invented telemarketer spam and email spam?

neuracnu , avatar

These are legitimate challenges that activitypub faces. I’m glad that they’re popping up like this so they can be observed, mitigated and planned for in the future.

Rob ,

email verification might slow *spam down, but manual approvals seems like the best option from having the best results out of the two. You could be more able to tell if someone is a spammer or even a ban evader potentially before they are approved to join the server.

haui_lemmy , avatar

I think the best solution are federating ip bans and maybe mass registration prevention.

The idea would be to note your ip in the account which then gets federated and if this ip registers a third account, it gets blocked. (Two might be a changing ip or a lost password)

cmnybo ,

IP bans are not very useful considering that almost nobody has a static IP these days.

CGNAT IP addresses change frequently and can be shared by over 100 users. I find it very annoying to have to connect to a VPN until my IP changes because someone else got the IP I'm using banned.

Browser fingerprinting would be a better way of detecting ban evaders.

haui_lemmy , avatar

They‘re useful for a very short amount of time and add frustration for the spammer but yes, the downsides are large as well.

If a person knows how to change their ip after being banned, they probably dont use a normal browser either, dont you think? Or have I missed something about browser fingerprinting? You can post to lemmy over an api, right?

mnglw ,

browser fingerprinting is inherently bad for privacy and would require scripts that nobody wants to run

not to mention the GDPR issues with servers having that amount of data

cmnybo ,

I'm not a fan of fingerprinting either, although good luck avoiding it considering just how much of the web is behind Cloudflare.

mnglw ,

the fediverse largely prides itself on no tracking, in fact in the past instances that used cloudflare have been harshly criticised.

This is against the fediverse's core values

xthexder , avatar

I've had my server behind Cloudflare this entire time. Should I not be doing that? At a minimum I need something to hide my server's real IP.

mnglw ,

most of my friends (and me myself) have far more than 3 accounts. Many instances I've been on have died, leading to me having to move and my old account on dead instances still being in databases. That said, even without that, I have far more than 3 active accounts

sure we dont have hundreds or thousands like spammers would but putting an arbetrary number on "amount of accounts an IP can have" is against what the fediverse is

haui_lemmy , avatar

I get that. Still, there are solutions to this (dead servers obviously wouldnt count for example) and having multiple accounts might just be your hobby but so could vote manipulation, negatively overwhelming a certain post and other egregious behavior be. Multiple accounts are like amassing wealth, its ultimately just means to do things that arent great for the community.

Account migration should be high priority imo though. Its pretty bad that we have no way of doing this in lemmy atm. Mastodon does have it but I‘m not sure how well it works atm.

mnglw , (edited )

what if one wants accounts on say, 3 mastodon servers (one personal, one public, one backup, this is entirely reasonable, but many have more reasons for making separate accounts) and then wants a separate Lemmy account or two, because they prefer the Lemmy interface for specifically that. Or maybe someone wants to separate their work and personal life in addition. Or! They're a minority and have specific reasons to separate their accounts. Or they're an artist and want a separate art account

and then other fediverse software comes along that interacts completely differently than content aggregation (Lemmy) or microblogging (mastodon etc). Neither federates properly yet and wont for a while, so guess what, another account

you see how this doesn't work?
it has nothing to do with amassing wealth or voting manipulation as this is a problem across fedi (and voting isnt even a thing outside of Lemmy etc) and more to do with accessibility
There are valid reasons to have several accounts to the fediverse, and it goes against the spirit of the fediverse to stop that.

haui_lemmy , avatar

I agree that there are reasons to have multiple accounts. There is a natural limit to what a person can reasonably (without using bots and such) fill with cotent though. We‘ll see how it plays out.

Rob ,

True. I was really talking about what's already available to most Mostodon admins. If somehow this could be added in to Mastodon that would be great. (never hosted an instance in my life.)

ryannathans ,

Manual approvals aren't scalable

onlinepersona , (edited )

Sometimes, that's a good thing. Not every instance wants hundreds of thousands of users.


Dave , avatar

I'm gonna take this opportunity to mention LemmyAutomod, for Lemmy instance admins.

This massive spam attack was unrelenting, but it came in the form of a large number of spam posts that had a small amount of variation. Using the above tool, it really helped to catch most of the spam within seconds or minutes of being posted.

The dev is really helpful, which is good because I needed some hand-holding, but it has been a fantastic tool with this latest spam wave being the first true test of it. When the spammers started posting images of URLs instead of links, the dev added functionality to detect images that were the same or similar to a reference image.

In addition, there's also a Lemmy spam defense Matrix chat set up by where instance admins post spam accounts so others can ban them on their own instances (and add them to their automod).

Fisch , avatar

Tbh this is kinda making me want to spin up a Lemmy instance to try out this tool haha

onlinepersona , (edited )

In addition, there’s also a Lemmy spam defense Matrix chat set up by where instance admins post spam accounts so others can ban them on their own instances (and add them to their automod).

Lemmy doesn't have subscriptions to ban lists? 🤔


Dave , avatar

Lemmy doesn't have a lot of things. It's not a finished product, but more like something that was in the process of being built when suddenly tens of thousands of people started using it. They didn't even finish the planned roadmap as they had to pivot to rewrite stuff to handle the influx of users.

onlinepersona ,

A simple no would've sufficed.


Kbin_space_program ,

Kbin, literally haven't seen any spam, seen lots about how the fediverse Admins are taking care of it.

So, thank you mods and admins.

kreynen ,


@ardi60 This has not been my experience at all. There was/is a lot of spam lingering on KBin long after it was removed from the federated source. I don't know if that's an issue with the removal being done in an unfederated way (bulk deletes at the db level), a sync issue cause by the recent outages or just a general federation bug.

My account has been @'ed in hundreds of comments and some of the most popular Kbin magazine where Earnest remains the sole moderator were flooded with spam.

Even this morning I tried reporting spam from a account only to be told it had already been report... and yet 16 hours later the bot is still posting with this account.

I'm glad you've found usable through all this, but the spam is tbere.

independantiste , avatar

On Fosstodon I didn't see a single spam message, the only reason I learned there was a spam attack was through people complaining about it. I guess it comes down to selecting an instance with good moderation

tedu ,

The list of accounts mentioned in the spam posts were harvested from the timeline, so if you don't have followers there you did not receive any.

aeharding , avatar

I haven’t seen any spam ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Grouchy ,

Mastodon and friends are built as open conduits with very little in the way of safety or permissions. Spam should be expected.

It's not a Fediverse vulnerability. It's a Mastodon vulnerability. Don't want spam? Use a better fediverse technology.

SnotFlickerman , avatar

Or find a better Server Admin and Server.

cosmic_slate , (edited ) avatar

[Thread, post or comment was deleted by the author]

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  • helenslunch ,

    They already do

    otter , avatar

    Would it be possible to downrank / soft filter the instances that are more at risk? I'm not sure what that would look like exactly, but it would be nice to find a middle ground between accepting spam and defederating away

    WarmSoda ,

    Deleted. I dumb.

    Pronell ,

    So I assume this attack was reported by the perpetrators, as spam on Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit are far far worse problems.

    autotldr Bot ,

    This is the best summary I could come up with:

    Over the past several days, attackers have targeted smaller Mastodon servers, taking advantage of open registrations to automate the creation of spam accounts.

    While this is not the first spam attack that has impacted the Fediverse, Rochko notes that only larger servers like had been targeted previously.

    What’s different this time is that the spammers targeted the smaller and even abandoned servers offering open registration, allowing the bad actors to quickly create accounts and generate spam.

    Because Mastodon’s smaller servers are often hobbyist projects run by enthusiasts they were vulnerable to this sort of attack.

    Many servers were simply shut off as their admins decided it would be easiest to wait out the attack or abandon Mastodon altogether.

    “At the moment, there are no good built-in tools to handle this, as this is a complex issue — federated networks are not easy!

    The original article contains 1,023 words, the summary contains 143 words. Saved 86%. I'm a bot and I'm open source!

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