I am sick to the fucking bollocks of "The Kitchen Gangster" Vance Miller and his fucking spam.
Vance Miller is a violent criminal and con-man who runs a staggering number of kitchen suppliers which are all dodgy as fuck. As well as continually ripping people off for badly-installed shit-quality kitchens he does things like kidnapping people and punching women in the face. He has a serious criminal record as long as your arm and he ended up fucking off to China when things got too hot for him in the UK. He now runs his kitchen businesses from China so he can more easily pretend they're not his. He is, to sum it up, a total and utter fucking cunt.
There are craploads of websites with long, long lists of complaints from people who have been ripped off by this shithead, interspersed with the occasional incongruous post of cocksucking praise from his shills. Said shills also periodically fuck up the Wikipedia page on Vance Miller by inserting made-up bollocks about him being really hard done by by people who have it in for him for no reason, and have created at least one website (which I will not honour with a link) to take the piss out of someone who posted on facebook about what a cunt Miller is.
The shills have also posted on as many UK local newspaper and local community websites as they can to say what a wonderful bloke Miller is (not). These posts are easy to recognise in Google snippets because they copy and paste one of maybe five or ten fixed paeans onto loads of different sites, so you get the same wording cropping up in loads of different search results. It is most unfortunate that a lot of these local sites are practically unattended, so nobody with the facilities to delete the spam sees it and spam posts can stay up for years. They have also set up numerous entire fake websites that at first glance look like people complaining about Vance Miller but if you actually read them turn out to be the opposite, and websites/spam posts that claim such-and-such a shit kitchen company isn't Miller's when really it is. Basically, the situation is: anything complimentary on the web about Vance Miller is bullshit made up by his shills; anyone who is not paid by Vance Miller only posts on the web about what a cunt he is; anything that goes out of its way to say it isn't Millers actually is Miller's. It really is that simply divided.
Vance Miller also employs a whole bunch of actual human spammers who post shit on forums advertising Solid Wood Kitchens, Stil Haus Kitchens, Rock Solid Kitchens and loads of other similarly-named outfits, usually under titles like "Cheap Kitchens (name of town)". Being humans they are able to defeat the usual anti-spam measures which are effective against the usual spambots. They are also capable of getting angry and posting random swears in Indonesian when more closely targeted anti-spam measures automatically convert their spam posts to personal insults against the spammer. They attack a fucking huge number of forums, which they find by googling for the copyright notices of the forum package. They are incredibly persistent and will keep on attacking the same forum for literally years even though the forum software has been patched to fuck their spam posts up and make them useless.
The spammers and the shills are not, by and large, the same people. The spammers come from Indonesia or other places in that part of the world and have crappy English. The shills have fair-to-middling English and usually post from IPs in the UK (sometimes from other Anglophone countries). (I find it amusing that one of the Wikipedia shills calls himself "Puttenhoe_wiki" because I know a lot of people from there and every single one of them is a fucking dodgy cunt.)
Everyone who has been targeted by these spam cunts hates Vance Miller's guts and would like him to just fuck off and die at the very least. He is a piece of shit and it does not take much effort on google to find extensive confirmation of this. He ought to be put in the stocks and be forced to continually read out his kitchen spam out loud while his victims take turns to throw shit at him.
Apparently his latest trick has been to DoS the moneysavingexpert.com forums by having what looks like his whole bleeding spammer army all create accounts and post spam at the same time, faster than the mods can delete them - it seems they were going at a rate of one new account per second at one point. There was so much shit being posted that the forum became unusable. Unfortunately the level of technical expertise on that forum seems to be pretty low, so rather than simply disabling registration and deleting all the spam in one fell swoop with a line of SQL, they carried on just trying to delete them one by one by hand and also caved to their demands to remove some thread or other that was complaining about Vance Miller.
It appears that the thread that had got their backs up was this one, and various bits of it have now been replaced with "[TEXT DELETED BY FORUM TEAM]". However I have managed to locate a copy of the original post from before it was messed with so here is the unedited text (saved copy of webpage) Fuck you Vance Miller you cunt and your cunt spam army
best value kitchens of europereviews scam
another of the "£595 solid wood kitchens"spammers sites
google "miller kitchen gangster"
U B E R kitchens
solid wood kitchens
ex display kitchens
ex display kitchens1
avoid like the plague, poor quality units , missing parts
and I can open to bump it and then close again ;)
best value kitchens of europe reviews scam site avoid
Spotted some more scam names they have set up
all the same SCAMMERS .......share the same number 0238 001 0601
must drive them up the wall that they cannot reply to the thread to say how wonderful the sites are !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Telephone Call to Kitchens Uber about their Spamming & Scamming
Anyway, here are a few tips for forum admins afflicted by these wankers:
First off, if you are being DoSed/flooded like moneysavingexpert.com were, block the IP ranges listed on this page using iptables (eg. iptables -A INPUT -s x.0.0.0/8 -j DROP) as a temporary measure while you get more closely targeted measures in place (note: don't block 188.8.131.52/8 though because that range is used by Western mobile phone operators despite being allocated to APNIC). Usually they are coming from Indonesia, sometimes India.
Remember that these are NOT spambots, they are actual humans being paid to post spam. Therefore, anti-spambot measures such as CAPTCHAs and tricky questions will not work. They also learn to work around unfamiliar spam mitigation measures.
People making "Help! How do I stop the kitchen spam?" threads on support forums almost always receive replies of "install [poster's favourite hack/tweak/mod/plugin]" from people who haven't had to deal with it themselves (often because they're not from the UK). This is the WRONG ANSWER. You need to make sure the people saying it understand that we are trying to stop human spammers, not bots. They may insist that it must be bots because of the volume. It isn't. It's coming from places where it is easy to find thousands of people willing to post spam by hand all day for a penny a day because the alternative is shovelling shit all day and all night for a penny a week.
If your forum package is worth a wank it will have facilities such as forcing all posts from new users to be moderated, and limiting the number of posts new users can make. You can use the force-moderation option to prevent the posts appearing and you can use the posting limit to prevent flooding.
Also set your forum so that new users cannot send private messages to other users. These human spam cunts will sometimes switch their attack mode if they realise that their posts on the public part of the forum aren't being allowed, and instead send their spam as private messages to loads of users. This tends to really piss people off.
However, that is something of a second best from their point of view, since what they really want more than humans reading their spam is for search engines to read it. They are fond of sneaky tricks that take advantage of the fact that a search engine does not index a forum the same way that a human reads it; as well as posting obvious spam threads that everyone sees straight away, they also like to try and post spam in such a way that humans probably won't see it, so it won't be deleted but will remain for the search engines to index it.
Disallow signatures. These cunts like to put the URL of their kitchen scam site in their signatures to boost its search engine ranking. Often they will create accounts with such a signature but never post anything from them; the idea is that forum admins are unlikely to notice the account since it never does anything, but search engines will still index the URL in the signature in the account's profile page. If your forum settings include an option to block signatures from being displayed but still allow users to create them, this is the one to use as the signatures will be visible from the admin panel only and it makes the spam account easy to spot. Similarly, do not allow new users to put links in their posts if your forum has a setting for this.
Sometimes they will create "sleeper agents", ie. register an account, do nothing with it, but come back to it several months later to post spam with it.
Sometimes they will post something which is intended to look non-spammy on an existing thread, preferably a popular one, then come back a few days later when the thread has grown a few more pages and edit their old post to include a spam URL. Setting a timeout beyond which users cannot edit their posts will help deal with this.
Sometimes too they will come back after a few months to look for the spam they posted before and see if it's still there, then post some more when they find it gone.
Check the email addresses they are registering with and consider blocking the email provider if it's dodgy. Sometimes they use "normal" email providers (hotmail, gmail etc) which obviously can't be blocked, but sometimes they use one of the numerous providers of "disposable" email addresses. In this case you may want to block the provider (which will stop them only until they switch to another one) or you may want to continue to allow it so that it acts as a red flag.
Use your swear filter to replace "kitchen" with "dildo" or other random gubbins to taste. Note that this may only work for a little while until they start inserting extra spaces or using "!" for "i" or other such techniques; if your swear filter supports regexes then of course you can allow for this. Beware of swear filters that are deliberately made to not operate on URLs to avoid the "Scunthorpe effect" breaking links.
What does appear to have succeeded - and it still took a while - is an approach based on writing custom modifications to the forum software. The idea is that it is much easier to detect a spammer from what they post than it is to detect them before they even register. So the registration procedure just has the usual anti-bot measures to stop "normal" spam, and the "special measures" against human spammers kick in when the spammer posts. The custom software looks at the entire content of the post - not just the text, but all the associated metadata both of the post and of the account. It also includes regex replacements to deobfuscate words with extra spaces and "!" for "i" and all that shit. If it detects enough factors indicating the post to be spam, it replaces the post title with a randomly-chosen rude phrase; replaces the entire content of the post with a rude rhyme, a randomly-generated insult against Vance Miller, a randomly-generated insult against the spammer, and the spammer's email and IP; prevents any edits to the post being entered into the database, so it looks to the spammer as if they can edit it but the edits don't "stick" and they waste time trying to correct it; and disables the spammer's account so that once they log out they can't log in again.
The result - after the spam detection factors had been suitably adjusted - was that no matter what the kitchen spammers did, they could not avoid their post being converted to a stream of obscenities unless they posted something so watered down that it no longer worked as spam. It still took several months before they had all learned that the forum was no longer worth their while to attack, but at the moment at least it is looking as if they did all learn eventually. Possibly the measure which was most successful at getting it through their heads not to bother with the forum was changing the custom software's action on the post title, from just replacing the word "kitchen" with "dildo", to replacing the entire title with a randomly-generated phrase like "Please help me fuck this horse" or something along those lines.
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