Please delete old spam users

Asked by Connor Imes on 2017-09-26

Question information

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Status:
Answered
For:
Launchpad itself Edit question
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Last query:
2017-10-24
Last reply:
2017-10-24
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) said : #1

This question was expired because it remained in the 'Open' state without activity for the last 15 days.

Connor Imes (ckimes) said : #2

The users still exist. Thanks.

Colin Watson (cjwatson) said : #3

I am somewhat sceptical that the user links in the page history are accurate. https://launchpad.net/~carolin was created in 2012, after the spam in question, so surely can't be at fault here. The page history has https://launchpad.net/~Frederic capitalised thus, which is odd because that's not the capitalisation of the username. https://launchpad.net/~frederic was created several years previously, which also isn't particularly characteristic of spam accounts which tend to be throwaway.

Do you have any other evidence that these Launchpad users are a problem, as opposed to being incorrectly implicated by (perhaps) a user-editable field or something?

Connor Imes (ckimes) said : #4

Hi Colin, thanks for getting back. Those are valid concerns. My suspicion is that the accounts were compromised, and maybe the solution should actually be just resetting their passwords. I don't know how a user could be created after the fact and still have a valid link from the wiki history. I'm not clear on the internals of how LP or MoinMoin handle identification under the hood, I figured there was a unique ID assigned to users that is referenced when an action is recorded (like many databases do), e.g. editing a wiki page. Then if I change my username, as I recently did, it properly updates the wiki page histories to link to my new LP user page. I would have thought if a user was deleted, a wiki history would simply not be able to link back to LP for that edit, even if a new user with that name is created. Of course, this is all speculation on my end.

In any case I was just reporting what I saw. I leave it to your better judgment to determine if/how to proceed. Cheers.

Colin Watson (cjwatson) said : #5

It's hard to tell from this long ago, but I reckon that this is from early enough in help.ubuntu.com/community's SSO handling that it was possible for users to enter their own Launchpad username link, or that it was assumed to be constructible from their wiki username, or something like that. I can't see any other way that it would have been possible to get a capital letter in there.

When I look a bit more closely, though, I see that there's a tooltip on the username links with an OpenID identifier on login.launchpad.net (not the case for more recent edits, but it's the case for these ones). *That* will be reliable. I've looked up both the identifiers in question, and those users no longer exist on Launchpad, so I think the particular spammer accounts in question have in fact been dealt with already.

Colin Watson (cjwatson) said : #6

(As far as I know, username links in wiki edits are *now* reliable, but the tooltip difference indicates that there was definitely something different there seven years ago.)

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