I'm writing to address three issues that have come up in the Jive Community:
- Spam attack
- Inbox error affecting Inbox loading
- Akamai error requiring restart
Unfortunately anyone who runs a community will end up dealing with Spam. What we didn't anticipate were the tricks that came with this new wave of spam. We know that you are dealing with some of the same issues in your own communities as well. We've even started a private community for those of us who have to deal with Spam on a daily basis: Spam Management Ideas. This group is discussing creative ways using Jive and associated plug-ins to manage spam. To be accepted in that group, you'll need be active in the community in places such as Jive External Communities ... We don't want to add any possible spammers!
Regarding the recent Spam attack, our team worked quickly to address the posts as well as disable the users. In the process of addressing these attacks, we decided to turn off new user self-registration for 24 hours. We did this starting on Tuesday, March 3, in case you encountered any errors registering your coworkers or team members during that time.
Greater controls in the Jive Community over new user registration
Here's the approach that we are using to address spam in the Jive Community:
- Only new registrations from customer email domains are auto-approved. All new users may register themselves and will be automatically approved if their email domain (@company.com) matches a domain on our Community Domain list. We pulled our community domain list from our list of current customers. We will be updating the email domains as new customers are brought on board. You can manage this list in your own communities in the Admin Console under the People > Settings > Registration Settings path. Enter the approved domains in the box for Community Domain List. What this means for our customers is that if you have contractors who work for you and use non-company email addresses, they will have to go through the moderation queue to get approved. See image below.
- Moderate new users with generic email address. When users sign-up with email addresses not on the approved Community Domain list, they will get sent into a moderation queue. We also maintain a "black list" of generic email domains adding more if spammer slip through. The list includes email domains such as yahoo.com, hotmail.com and yandex.com. We have a standard email response to send to people whose registrations are moderated which asks them about their interest in our community. If they can provide us with the appropriate response, we will allow them into the community.
- New User Content Moderation under consideration. We are considering moderating the content of new users in order to capture those people early on who look like potential spammers. Random posts about nothing in particular are usually a red flag. Other signs of possible spamnation might be a person who re-posts content from anther portion of the site with words like "This is really great" appended to the front of it. While we are not turning this feature on now (because of the new user moderation steps above) we might need to turn it on if spammers still find their way through the net.
Jive Inbox errors
At the same time of these spam attacks, we were experiencing intermittent errors with the Jive Community home page and Inbox links. We investigated the error and determined it was due to a bug that happens when turning off the feature that allows external bookmarks. We had turned that feature off in order to control spam avenues. It was been turned back on until the bug is fixed.
Unexpected Jive Community Downtime
Finally, to round out a fabulous day, we needed an unplanned restart of the Jive Community in order to correct an Akamai error. Around noon on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, we brought the Jive Community down in order to accommodate the required restart. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.
If you have any questions about these events, please let me know in the comments below.