The FloodBot Gazette

Lorenzo J. Lucchini ljlbox at
Mon Sep 13 11:37:35 UTC 2010

Recently I've been making some modifications to the floodbots, mostly in 
response to the spam #ubuntu (and much of freenode) has been getting lately.
I'll share the more important changes.

The most prominent new feature is that when someone joins #ubuntu-unregged 
(which is happening more and more as #ubuntu is set +r quite often), they are 
asked a human-answerable question, which is hopefully very easy for any 
English-speaking human to answer, but not for a bot.
If the user answers the question correctly, they are /invited to #ubuntu, 
which lets them join without going through the whole registration process, 
which has proven too complicated for many (though the bots' messages still 
encourage registration).

Secondly, whenever a user joins #ubuntu, a passive open proxy check is 
performed; if the user's host is recognized as an open proxy, the following 
- they are ban-forwarded to #ubuntu-proxy-users
- they are kicked with a message stating that open proxies are not allowed
- they receive a private message explaining that if they don't believe to be 
using an open proxy, they should join #ubuntu-ops to have their issue sorted
I recommend that operators suggest registering and obtaining an unaffiliated 
cloak from freenode to people whose host is mistakenly detected as an open 
proxy (although I would still appreciate being informed about such 

Lastly, a subtle change has been introduced into the mute-triggering 
anti-flood code, such that spammers should be detected more easily and muted 
sooner (although, unfortunately, the bots and freenode servers have intrinsic 
lag that prevents them from being able to mute after just one line, if 
spammers send messages quickly).
I'll leave the details of this to your imagination, although ops are always 
free to join #ubuntu-ops-monitor (ask for a +I line if you can't access it) 
and inquire further.
Since every change to the flood code increases the likelihood of 
mis-triggering over benign messages, please let me know if you see this 

by LjL
ljl at
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