Defensive Script Idea

An idea for a script to counter the vandals; at least until (please...) Ward implements one of the WikiVandalismSolutions.

Basically, the script ought to use the same HTTP relays as the vandals (and here I mean both parties in an edit or deletion war), and repeatedly create and delete a bogus page. Repeat until the SurgeProtector trips and blocks that IP address. The script ought to be deployed against any IP address the vandals are observed to be using; see the WikiVandals message board for a list of candidates.

Naturally, the script should not harm any useful content on Wiki. The purpose is essentially to make use of HTTP relays an ineffective means for vandalism.

The WikiVandals really do use OpenProxy systems to make their edits - you can verify this for yourself by going to WikiVandals, getting some of the IP addresses from the list, and connecting through them.

Are there any scripts on this wiki that always reveal the IP address, rather than the UserName? If this idea is implemented, the vandals will start using random UserNames to combat it. Unless there is a way to get the vandals' IP addresses in the presence of UserNames, this won't work.

The RecentPosts gives ip address (or name lookup equivalent) and UserName. However, vandalism is probably easier via a normal ip, so ip-based measures wouldn't be effective (e.g., banning a dial-up AOL user means banning a whole swathe of AOL users).

Nice idea, but be aware that this could be illegal. Check your local laws to be sure.

No more so than the current batch of scripts. (An interesting question: Given the open nature of this site, would use of a script here be considered illegal computer hacking? WardCunningham hasn't explicitly said "no scripts"; and certainly anyone thinking of deploying such a script ought to respect Ward's wishes on this matter were he to express them. The opposite question: If Ward were to modify the content of the edit submission form to say "all users agree not to use scripts to modify this site" and someone were to do so anyway, would they be violating the law?)

Perhaps more so than the current batch of scripts. A script that edits pages might not be judged malicious, while a script that edits pages with the intent of tripping the SurgeProtector might be. I don't think Ward can prohibit the use of scripts that easily, but if he makes any attempt to secure the site (even a very bad attempt) than any effort to violate it becomes illegal. Just putting a key in the lock is considered breaking and entering.

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