XMPP Service Operators - 2021-12-05

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  161. TheCoffeMaker cyberdelia's public MUCs were his target too ... but two days later, with second jid ... but what moparisthebest said is true, malisious reports are a threat too. I did solve it by closing registation and only giving accounts to users that I know and trust, their families and friends, but that's my usecase ... If one of cyberdelia's accounts is causing issues I can take may car and drive to his/her home and have a talk (meaning I really khow who they are) ... but how to solve without making XMPP another email like service administration hell ?
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  198. MattJ TheCoffeMaker, that's pretty much the use-case Snikket tries to satisfy (a server for family/friends/people-you-know), while trying to make it as easy as possible (easier than email hosting for sure)
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  284. kikuchiyo moparisthebest: > Like I don't like you so I report everything you say as spam, that kind of thing It's not a system that uses manual reporting, not even content, but bulky traffic.
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  287. kikuchiyo > setting up a central server to handle reporting and checking is easy, though probably a privacy nightmare It's a distributed system, DCC servers exchange common checksums.
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  318. MattJ The problem with applying content analysis is that there is often too little data to work with
  319. MattJ Which is one reason a bunch of spam senders first send "Hi" or "Hello" (often in Russian)
  320. MattJ If you successfully match this, you also flag pretty much anyone starting a conversation as a spammer
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  322. MattJ I meant to say "the problem with applying content analysis **in IM**"
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  324. MattJ What works for email doesn't map well to shorter message
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  348. kikuchiyo > Hi is ping spam.
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  352. kikuchiyo Private chats are different and should not be monitored (since they should be encrypted anyway).
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  376. kikuchiyo Spam filtering should be applied to non-members in unmoderated rooms. That way it would keep public MUCs relatively open.
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  404. kikuchiyo _Monolog prevention_ A related problem are *monologues* - meaning single users spamming public space with preaching/ranting/bulky links. E.g. there was a troll attack in several open MUCs Nov 5th remember? > Hello human!!, I have the best gay porn for you, your friends and family :D! You're welcome! [...] A prevention could be similar to iPhone's brute force mitigation: slow down sending frequency if nobody responds. That would have prevented the infamous Darkijah spam too.
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  456. MattJ The problem with all the things you are suggesting is that they have a high chance of false positives
  457. MattJ You just sent 4 messages with nobody else responding, I sent 5 before that
  458. MattJ Rate limits already exist, but there is a line to choose between aggressively stopping/slowing bursts of spam and disrupting normal communication
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  502. mathieui The truth here is that there is no way to get an universal rule for this, doing things à la IRC (aggressive rate limit on everything) is painful in many cases, the only appropriate way would be to plug some kind of auto moderator that room owners tailor to their needs
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  542. kikuchiyo > the only appropriate way would be to plug some kind of auto moderator that room owners tailor to their needs That would not be aware of bulk spam in other MUCs. That's where DCC is better.
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  546. kikuchiyo > You just sent 4 messages with nobody else responding, I sent 5 before that Wouldn't be a false positive for members, if the spam filter is applied to non-members only.
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  549. jonas’ sending a bunch of messages is typical though for a well-formulated support case
  550. jonas’ and having noone reply initially is also typical
  551. me9 Would false positives even matter much if spam filtering was only applied to non-members as kikuchiyo suggested? Anyone who wouldn't want to be affected by that would just need to convince an admin to make them a member.
  552. me9 kikuchiyo: Oh, you just said the same thing. ^^
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  554. kikuchiyo me9: 👍
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  559. emus maybe more limits if this is the first message posted at all
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  566. me9 emus: What kind of limits do you mean?
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  573. Martin Someone who joins a support muc for the first time because he needs urgent help might not be member.
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  575. me9 Uhh, but when I think about it, having an annoying and IRC-like rate limit thing that doesn't work all that well, and applying that to every new participant is not a very elegant solution, is it?
  576. me9 Martin: Yeah, right. And limiting such support cases wouldn't be great.
  577. Martin You could have a voting mechanism for members and if $threshold members report it as spam mute the person. But that might be abused.
  578. me9 That's like the community being an admin if "powerful" enough. Meh.
  579. Martin I'm also annoyed by spammers and if I knew a good solution I'd tell you but I think a lot of clever people thought about this and we still have no solution.
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  593. Licaon_Kter This was my experience with IRC > Eg. Distros having IRC for support, install it, have an issue, join...50-100 people on..."hey, can anyone tell me why X isn't working?" > Wait...no answer for a while, neither RTFM nor Hi nor anything. > IRC is dead...
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  596. Sapotaceae I love seeing the Matrix rooms with 1k+ memebers, but still dead
  597. Sapotaceae because they're literally 👻️
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  622. MattJ Martin [13:39]: > You could have a voting mechanism for members and if $threshold members report it as spam mute the person. But that might be abused. We had this feature in an XMPP bot 10 years ago... I guess it didn't take off 🙂
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  624. MattJ I did use it in the crazy off-topic channel on conference.jabber.org, but I believe it was often gamed
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  714. TheCoffeMaker Sorry for the delay ... Had to go to bed 😅 ... too much wine for the night TL:DR: What can we do for the smallest servers? coz this can be a serious issue to get people/communities deploying new XMPP nodes. MattJ: For our use case, while you are not publishing or sharing your domain name it will away from spammers ... mine actually was running with no issues till yesterday ... a good bunch of years, around 10 years now. The problem with spam control in a distributted environment is trust, how can we trust each other? I mean, for big servers it's easy ... but what about the smaller servers like mine or others like MattJ said? ... how can u trust in me? I can take local actions like banning the jids at server level, but If I report a 404.city or jabber.org user in the distributed system or what if I deploy lots of servers just to handle the ranking? Sorry for the long message
  715. TheCoffeMaker Sorry for the delay ... Had to go to bed 😅 ... too much wine for the night TL:DR: What can we do for the smallest servers? coz this can be a serious issue to get people/communities deploying new XMPP nodes. MattJ: For our use case, while you are not publishing or sharing your domain name it will away from spammers ... mine actually was running with no issues till yesterday ... a good bunch of years, around 10 years now. The problem with spam control in a distributted environment is trust, how can we trust each other? I mean, for big servers it's easy ... but what about the smaller servers like mine or others like MattJ said? ... how can u trust in me? I can take local actions like banning the jids at server level, but If I report a 404.city or jabber.org user in the distributed system but it only spam on my server or what if I deploy lots of servers just to handle the ranking? Sorry for the long message
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  718. kikuchiyo > That's like the community being an admin if "powerful" enough. Meh. It's better to discriminate *traffic patterns* than jids or content to preserve freedom of speech.
  719. Menel Wenn can do this: https://blog.prosody.im/simple-anti-spam-tips/ https://github.com/JabberSPAM The simpelest thing is, have some burden to register.
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  740. TheCoffeMaker Nice article Menel , thx ... Will have a deeper look at it as soon as we can sit and try the recommendations
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  752. kikuchiyo > The simpelest thing is, have some burden to register. Not if you want to encourage self hosting like snikket. Spammer can be their own operators and you end up discriminating servers/IPs instead of traffic.
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  759. Menel I'll of course block the whole server after the steps listed on that github, especially if its snikket. I've no problem discriminating against that server.
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  764. Menel Thinking of it... If its snikket and I get spam from multiple accounts there, I'll assume its a server dedicated to spam and will not wait that long for a response
  765. me9 has joined
  766. Menel The good thing about an invite system.. Its very unlikely to be a source of spam. Since its not a thing to register anonymously. (Its possible, sharing invites randomly in the internet.., but not the snikket intend) So I don't think I'll see snikket spam
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  775. Sapotaceae Is there a list of servers that require registration so one can only allow those?
  776. antranigv has joined
  777. Sapotaceae Like ones that meet a criteria for eg. Captcha at a minimum or manual approval
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  779. TheCoffeMaker Menel: me neither .. But who knows ... I think that ita like u said ... If we see a lot of spamming comming from one server and no other jids seem to be real ... blacklisting the server is a good option ... But again ... We are talking abt trust ... Sapotaceae ... What will happend with nodes like mine that are not providing thos mechanisms?
  780. TheCoffeMaker Menel: me neither .. But who knows ... I think that its like u said ... If we see a lot of spamming comming from one server and no other jids seem to be real ... blacklisting the server is a good option ... But again ... We are talking abt trust ... Sapotaceae ... What will happend with nodes like mine that are not providing thos mechanisms?
  781. TheCoffeMaker Menel: me neither .. But who knows ... I think that its like u said ... If we see a lot of spamming comming from one server and no other jids seem to be real ... blacklisting the server is a good option ... But again ... We are talking abt trust ... Sapotaceae ... What will happend with nodes like mine that are not providing those mechanisms?
  782. Sapotaceae Why wouldn't one have such mechanisms in place?
  783. Sapotaceae Why would you want someone to be able to mass create accounts on your server?
  784. Sapotaceae Open question
  785. TheCoffeMaker In my use case .. i dont cause registration is closed and only give accounts to people I know and trust
  786. Sapotaceae Yes so that meets the 'manual approval' criteria
  787. TheCoffeMaker But thats my use case
  788. Menel If the federating xmpp network would be as relevant as WhatsApp/email. I'm sure the same bad blocking etc would be nessesary as its in mail. Because the spam would be unbearable otherwise.
  789. TheCoffeMaker > Yes so that meets the 'manual approval' criteria Yeap
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  810. moparisthebest Captcha doesn't stop these people at all
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  812. moparisthebest Captcha doesn't even stop bots, it's all for training image recognition ai now
  813. Sapotaceae It is still some barrier
  814. Sapotaceae Combine it with aggressive rate limits
  815. Sapotaceae Per IP and global
  816. Link Mauve Barrier for regular users mostly.
  817. Sapotaceae Yes captchas are an accessibility hazard
  818. MattJ Sapotaceae, we did that on jabber.org, and we were still getting 200 spam registrations in a day
  819. Link Mauve And rate limits for regular users who only have a single IP, while spammers have unlimited IPs.
  820. Sapotaceae Yes I remember someone here said that someone did 2000 hcaptchas in a day
  821. MattJ Yes, the registrations were from all different IPs, they went through reCaptcha (the original version)
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  823. Sapotaceae Spam is hard. I'm not an expert. What is the path the community needs to take to further combat it?
  824. Sapotaceae I know few people even bother with implementing the jabberspam blocklist
  825. jonas’ it also doesn't help with egress spam at al
  826. jonas’ it also doesn't help with egress spam at all
  827. Sapotaceae The Tor network has a function where newly added nodes aren't advertised until a period of time has passed and then it starts slowly ramping up traffic towards then. What about a function where new users have no voice by default until they've been manually allowed, but if they get approved on one well-known/longstanding server then they are in the future granted voice by default.
  828. wladmis has joined
  829. jonas’ Sapotaceae, has the same issue as the reverse approach, really.
  830. jonas’ (also, it isn't working really well with Tor, or so I hear (KAX17))
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  832. moparisthebest Sounds pretty hostile towards new users though
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  834. Sapotaceae 🤷
  835. Martin Also, how would you know how old an user on a remote server is?
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  837. moparisthebest I'm not trying to shoot down every idea, it's just a hard problem, I haven't seen anything that's not a dial between "super real user hostile vs free spam"
  838. Sapotaceae Yep
  839. jonas’ relevant: https://craphound.com/spamsolutions.txt
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  844. Sapotaceae 🤣
  845. Calvin Why do people spam XMPP anyway? I get that it’s easy in some sense, but there aren’t that many users on public servers, are there? Seems like you would have very few (if any) people biting for a scam. Is it really profitable?
  846. moparisthebest All of that is too real lol
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  848. moparisthebest This one made me laugh out loud: > It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
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  852. jonas’ Calvin, [x] Extreme profitability of spam ;)
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  855. Calvin lol
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  857. moparisthebest Calvin: my gut feeling is the same as yours, it shouldn't be profitable, but obviously is or it'd stop on it's own
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  862. jjrh It's cheap to spam so even if it only ever works 1/1000000 of the time it was profitable.
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  866. jjrh IRC has a bunch of spam and I can't imagine people going "oh that's something i'm interested in!" but clearly it does work or they wouldn't do it.
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  868. Sapotaceae Matrix too
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  870. rozzin moparisthebest: my gut feeling is there's a first mover / early adopter cohort for everything—roughly definable as the ones who try things out that *aren't* profitable in hopes that they just aren't profitable *yet*....
  871. rozzin moparisthebest: well, that and "what do I have to lose vs. what do I have to gain" risk/reward calculations.
  872. jjrh Really though, how much does it cost to spam XMPP?
  873. Sapotaceae You can probably make a spam bot in 30mins
  874. Sapotaceae So $0
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  876. rozzin Interestingly the "daniel" person who mass-pinged MUCs the other day with "I... can accept money" got some "WTF are you doing?" type responses... and engaged with those people; rather than being a send-only "visit this URL" or "contact this address" mass-poster.
  877. Martin Seems to be a meatbot. 😃
  878. rozzin Yeah.
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  880. rozzin In any case, I see something like 1 spammer every 6 months or something on XMPP..., which makes me doubt the "risk/reward" calculations of people jumping to "fix the spam problem with XMPP".
  881. Sapotaceae My concern is that it could get worse at anytime and we'll be headless chicken
  882. rozzin ... though my personal favorite idea is something like "just block and service that has more than 1000 users".
  883. rozzin ... though my personal favorite idea is something like "just block any service that has more than 1000 users".
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  887. rozzin Projects lile Snikket that could radically increase the hoster/user ratio are of great interest for me.
  888. jjrh I think a simple central 'block list' and a server module that checks it for updates would be fine.
  889. croax jjrh: then we get back on the _general_ definition of spam and get ready to have removal requests
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  891. rozzin I feel like that was probably a more interesting line of inquiry 30 years when it was a new idea in e-email administration.
  892. jjrh Eh I think it's a trust thing, if say conversations, XSF, and prosody main muc's all block the same person I can be pretty certain that is spam
  893. Menel > I think a simple central 'block list' and a server module that checks it for updates would be fine. You mean a bit like the one mattj just wrote while we were talking? https://modules.prosody.im/mod_muc_rtbl.html
  894. jjrh sure.
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  897. Sapotaceae Oh wow
  898. Sapotaceae 70 mins ago? Where was it mentioned?
  899. jjrh I think people just find spam to be a interesting technical problem to solve.
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  901. Sapotaceae I assume it has more bits in snikket?
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  903. rozzin BTW I'm still trying to figure out this "e-mail spammers apparently don't use DNS" phenomenon that I noticed a couple of years ago.
  904. jjrh What is snikket anyways? Just a easy to install XMPP server?
  905. Menel Yes
  906. Sapotaceae Along with tons of polish on top
  907. Menel More on snikket.org
  908. jjrh Yeah i'm looking at the website it's unclear to me.
  909. Ellenor Bjornsd. > moparisthebest wrote: > When I read DCC I immediately think of the bad old days lol https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_Client-to-Client You mean Jingle before there was XMPP? :)
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  911. jjrh I feel like they could explain their technology stack a bit more. Like it's not even clear to me what the server is (I can guess by the modules it's prosody)
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  913. Menel jjrh: its prosody in a docker, preconfigured with special modules for family and friends. Has a admin_web interface, coturn in docker, and advanced forks of other apps for android and iOS
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  916. jjrh Would be nice if they explained that a bit more - like going to the website it's not even clear it's based on XMPP 😛
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  918. jjrh That said, it's a great idea 🙂
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  921. MattJ jjrh, Snikket isn't really aiming at people who already know what XMPP is. In fact if you already know what XMPP is, you very likely know enough to configure Prosody or ejabberd yourself
  922. MattJ Still, there are some more detailed explanations, such as https://snikket.org/about/goals/
  923. MattJ and https://snikket.org/open-source/
  924. Licaon_Kter jjrh: > Would be nice if they explained that a bit more - like going to the website it's not even clear it's based on XMPP 😛 If you care what's under the hood, you are not the target audience
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  926. Licaon_Kter > Along with tons of polish on top It's mostly English, not Polish :)
  927. jjrh That's fair. I guess it's more a question of if there is anything Snikket offers that is of benefit or interest to someone like myself. I gather not.
  928. MattJ The only thing it has that can't easily be replicated in a DIY XMPP setup is the web interface
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  930. jjrh What do you use for a web client?
  931. MattJ It doesn't have an official web client right now
  932. jjrh I seems you're not recommending any desktop clients either?
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  934. MattJ There's no official desktop client either. See https://snikket.org/faq/#q-can-i-use-the-snikket-apps-with-a-non-snikket-server for alternative client suggestions
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  937. jjrh Please don't take what I say as negative or critical - I think Snikket is a fantastic idea and exactly what the XMPP ecosystem needs.
  938. MattJ Haha, no, it's nothing I've not heard before... believe me :)
  939. MattJ Snikket does not present itself the same as other XMPP projects, does not target the XMPP community, and therefore is often misunderstood by XMPP folk when they first encounter it
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  941. jjrh I mostly am interested in what you guys are doing to overcome the problems I run into which are mostly windows, osx and ios clients.
  942. jjrh And webclient - but converse.js is pretty good, could just use a bit of UI love.
  943. MattJ iOS has been quite a journey, but we ended up building on top of Siskin (including sponsoring some stuff)
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  946. MattJ Web is probably the next focus, just because it's an easy way to reach every platform. And yes, Converse.js is definitely one of the options.
  947. jjrh iOS is by far the most difficult I have run into - a coworker who would like to use xmpp on his iphone has basically given up.
  948. MattJ Right. That's the story I've heard so many times, and have spent most of my time this year trying to fix :)
  949. Calvin The latest Siskin release seems miles better at least (as a sad iOS user who has given up many times)
  950. MattJ Yes, definitely
  951. jjrh Converse.js really just needs someone to make it look like matrix/slack/discord/whatsapp/messenger. A young hipster webdev basically 🙂
  952. Link Mauve jjrh, I did that once, it’s the concord theme.
  953. Link Mauve My inspiration was Discord back then, from a few screenshots people provided.
  954. Link Mauve I was fed up of everyone calling it “not modern”, so I just copied all of the colours and some other elements, and they were all “woah it looks modern!” afterwards. ^^'
  955. MattJ :D
  956. Link Mauve So dull grey > orange.
  957. jjrh got a screenshot? google isn't giving me much
  958. Link Mauve With > meaning “looks more modern than”.
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  961. Link Mauve jjrh, https://github.com/conversejs/converse.js/pull/1167
  962. jjrh nice!
  963. Link Mauve It changed a bit since then.
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  968. jjrh Personally I /hate/ the whatsapp/messenger/discord style where all the chats are grouped together and you can't distinguish between a chatroom and 1-1 and there is no roster and what not, but I know others really like that.
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  970. jjrh MattJ, you mentioned converse is /one/ of the options, what else are you looking at?
  971. MattJ https://snikket.org/faq/#q-what-about-a-web-client
  972. MattJ (guess the questions I get asked a lot)
  973. jjrh heh
  974. jjrh Any of them other than converse do omemo?
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  982. MattJ Movim does, I think JSXC... might? Would have to check. xmpp-web does not.
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  984. Calvin Isn’t movim’s omemo server-side?
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  986. MattJ Most of Movim is server-side, so it wouldn't surprise me. Note that the Movim server != the XMPP server though (e.g. you could run Movim locally or whatever)
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  1112. kikuchiyo Why is there is no support for traffic discrimination, but for other forms of anti-spam?
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  1124. kikuchiyo > And rate limits for regular users who only have a single IP, while spammers have unlimited IPs. DCC discrimination against repetitive content patterns avoid this pitfall.
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  1132. moparisthebest kikuchiyo: I think you are right that there is no reason for the same message to be pasted across multiple mucs, now: 1. How do you share this info in a privacy respecting way? 2. Once spammers catch on, how does it handle slightly changing messages?
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