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My IP address has been banned from the Ubuntu forums for spam but I have no knowledge of the spam or what could be happening. I have been in touch with the admins there but they refuse to help basically saying "We will un-ban you when you stop the spam." Since I don't know what is happening it feels to me like a security problem or maybe a virus on my Ubuntu machine is sending spam? I know people say that Ubuntu is virus proof but could this be an exception?

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Dynamically assigned ip address? –  andol May 12 '12 at 11:47
    
Yes, I think it probably would be. –  Chris May 12 '12 at 13:00
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5 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

This has been explained to you in multiple emails.

We do not blacklist IP addresses for single spam posts. We block IP addresses for sustained spam over days or more often weeks.

If we unblock your IP, you will post once or twice on the forums, then the spam will start, and we will then have to block the IP again.

So the solution is to either :

  1. Ask you to stop spamming the forums. You say you are not and I believe you. So ...

  2. You will have to wait until the party or parties responsible stop spamming the forums. We review banned IP addresses from time to time and will reverse the ban when the spam stops.

In the mean time you will have to use other support methods such as Ask Ubuntu, irc, or launchpad.

Why are you re-installing your OS ? I never advised that. How does that stop some third party from spamming the forums from your IP ?

You can lodge a complaint with your IP provider or you can contact the local authorities, but often they are disinterested. If you do identify the spammer, and get them to stop, I will unban your IP. Otherwise we wait them out. They usually go away eventually .... Sometimes they come back and are re-banned. In the case of your IP, with the previous history, it is likely to remain banned for some time.

We are blocking an 'block' of IPs - so in other words, because of the way your ISP gives you an IP address, someone on your block of IPs (aka, someone in your internet phone number area code) is spamming and so it's easier for us to block the entire block instead of just the specific spammer IP, since it changes every day.

Possibilities:

  • Your WiFi is not secure.

  • Your ISP is cycling IPs in a really odd fashion.

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How does a 3rd party get access to your IP? Just wait it out is a pretty unsatisfying answer. –  KennyPeanuts May 12 '12 at 14:34
    
it was suggested that he have a virus or some kind of program in his computar that was spamming the forums. –  Alvar May 12 '12 at 14:38
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Just like the OP , spamers use DHCP or change IP adresses. To stop spam we start with 11.22.33.1 , they then change to 11.22.33.2 , so with bad actors we then need to ban 11.22.33.* The OP is in a particularly nasty IP range, and is so collateral damage, and has a long wait. Collateral damage also occurs with public IP of large organizations or Universities. Please stop giving bad advice. The OP does not need to re-install his or her OS, no evidence to suggest a virus, trojan, intruder, cracker, etc although obviously we do not know. –  bodhi.zazen May 12 '12 at 15:03
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@DQdlM Web admins do not like "wait it out" any more then you do. The problem is who is going to stop the spam ? IP providers ? The police? the CIA? TOR ? you ? the president ? –  bodhi.zazen May 12 '12 at 15:09
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One more thing you can do. As it is a range of IP addresses, not yours specifically, you can contact your ISP, explain the problem, and ask to be reassigned to a different IP address. A good ISP would not only do as you ask, but also ask for more information to locate the spammer. –  Paddy Landau May 16 '12 at 8:48
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It could be that someone else has got your account details and is posting spam using them from other computers. So I would try changing your password to exclude that possibility and see if that causes the spam to stop.

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Actually, it seems like his IP address is blocked. Not just the account. –  jokerdino May 12 '12 at 12:36
    
Thats what I thought, I have even asked them to delete my accounts. –  Chris May 12 '12 at 13:00
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Router
If the problem is with your Ip. You could reset your router and get a new global Ip. that way you would get a new Ip that is not in use, and you wont spam. If now there isn't something wrong with your computer.

  • Check your network, how many clients are connected?
  • It could be that your wireless isn't secure enough, change the password, change the name and change the encryption type.
  • Do you know who ownes the clients on your network?

Not a Virus
it's not a virus. a virus is a program that installs on your computer by itself, it's really unlikely that it's a virus.

Trojan?
But it could be a trojan. A program that you have installed and isn't what you think it is.

this is ubuntu.com's offical antivirus page. I hope you find what you are looking for there. I still think a fresh install is the best way to go.

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Is there any AV software to scan for Trojans to maybe save me having to re-install? –  Chris May 12 '12 at 10:38
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How can you be sure that viruses don't exist on Ubuntu? –  andol May 12 '12 at 11:47
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-1, Bodhi from the forums has explained what they are doing and why they did it, it's not a trojan or a virus. –  jrg May 12 '12 at 14:31
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@Alvar Because your answer is incorrect. Granted, you acted on the information which you had, but that doesn't change the fact it's a incorrect answer. –  jrg May 12 '12 at 14:37
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So I really don't get it now. If it's not a virus or a trojan how is a 3rd party using my IP address? I thought you could only have one instance of an IP address on a network, even one as big as the internet. If that's true and I'm connected to the internet with my address how can someone else be using it? –  Chris May 12 '12 at 14:54
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I have done some further investigation and have been able to unblock the IP address you mentioned in your email - and have emailed you about this. You should be OK now, but we will need to monitor use of this IP address in case it is being spoofed by a persistent spambot.

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Not exactly sure what 'spoofed by a persistent spambot' means OR if there is anything I can do to stop it other than taking the measures mentioned above such as securing my wifi better. Oh well, let's see what happens. Thanks. –  Chris May 13 '12 at 11:12
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It's far more likely that your account has been hacked in a manner which is nothing to do with your computer. Ask the administrators if they can reset your password for you.

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