Abuse of WerdnabotEdit

Hey, I had to block Werdnabot because it is being abused by some malicious anonymous users. They set my talk page as the target for archival of a bunch of various AOL user talk pages.[1][2][3][4]. That's all the damage I've seen so far, but there might be more out there that hasn't been triggered yet because Werdnabot hasn't yet tried to archive those pages. Anyway, I have a few ideas to improve the security of Werdnabot. At least some of them should be carried out before it's allowed to go back to doing its business, because this attack vector was just discovered, and I'm sure is only going to be used a lot more until it's fixed.

  1. Don't allow archiving across subpages. For example, User talk:Cyde is allowed to be archived anywhere in a subpage of User talk:Cyde/, but nowhere else, and certainly not a different user's subpage.
  2. Don't allow archiving for anonymous users. I can't really think of a legitimate use for this.
  3. Allow Werdnabot's processing list to be locked down. Don't work off a list on a what links here from a template; this cannot be locked down because the template can be added by anyone to any one of millions of various talk pages that anonymous users can edit. Rather, have a centralized, protected page listing all of the talk pages that are authorized to be edited. Admins can add to this list and there will be a queue where normal users can request to have their talk pages archived. The target of the archiving is still specified in the same tag on the user's talk page (this way every time they want to change the target they don't have to bug an admin). The point of the central list is set a limit on which pages can be archived at all.

What do you think? --Cyde Weys 00:29, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

I strongly endorse Cyde's suggestions 1 and 2. I hope that 3 will not be necessary. I also suggest that you might want to consider moving this discussion of vandalism-defeating tactics off-wiki for WP:BEANS type reasons. Regards, Newyorkbrad 00:34, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
I'd endorse 1. I don't see the need for 2 and 3. Regards, Ben Aveling 02:30, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Ack, looks like Pilotguy got hit too.[5][6][7]. This is bad. --Cyde Weys 02:26, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

I noticed Cyde's hit. Honestly, I'm surprised they didn't think of it before now. I'd endorse 1, but probably not 2 and definitely not 3. I thought you were against process Cyde? Alphachimp 02:52, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Alright, I've read through the responses above. I will poke the code this afternoon, and will peruse the following course of action, please respond inline: Werdna 03:45, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

  • I have disabled Werdnabot globally until the issue is resolved. Werdna 03:45, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I will introduce a requirement that all user talk pages that wish to be archived by Werdnabot must have an edit in their history from either myself, an administrator, or the user themselves, with the edit summary of 'This talk-page is hereby authorised for Werdnabot archival'. This will need to be localised onto other projects on which Werdnabot operates. Werdna 03:45, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I will send out a spam message to every Werdnabot user (pending localisation for de: and hu:) explaining the situation. Werdna 03:45, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I will disable archival for the discussion pages of anonymous users — or, if in future this is required, program it to have a set target and age for anonymous users. Werdna 03:45, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I will disable directly to a page that is not a subpage of the original page, unless the target discussion page includes <!--werdnabot-allowfrom-pagename--> Werdna 03:45, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

I am hoping that these are acceptable responses. Werdna 03:45, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

That sounds good! Thanks. --Cyde Weys 03:52, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

That's perfectly fine by me. Thanks. Alphachimp 04:15, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Werdnabot on AN/IEdit

It looks like Werdnabot is still not archiving WP:ANI. This may be due to the new security measures, since the name of the archive target is non-traditional. I'm going to try and set it up properly but can you double check it please? Thanks. Thatcher131 03:20, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

I just ran a job today, but without the extra features, only a subpage thing. I haven't got around to the stuff above yet. Werdna 11:55, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

So is the problem with ANI the fact that it's not archived to a subpage? I don't know how this system got started but while you have

Essjaybot II had the same problem at first as it expected the archive page to be a subpage; Essjay got someone to work in a fix, but now Essjaybot II isn't working anymore as Essjay is on an indefinite break. I obviously don't know why ANI wasn't archived on your manual run today; do you have any suggestions? Thatcher131 12:46, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

I'll add an exception for the time being. Werdna 07:13, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Unexpected editing by WerdnabotEdit

At Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics, Werdnabot archived one section recently. At the same time, it editted other sections (which were not archived) and changed ampersand-"quot"-semicolon to quotation-mark. Is it supposed to do that? Is that not an AWB type thing, rather than a Werdnabot thing. User talk:JRSpriggs 11:43, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

hmmm.. sounds like a bug. I realise that it's unexpected, but it's probably harmless anyway. Let me know if it becomes a problem. Werdna 11:54, 29 October 2006 (UTC)


You used to have a link to it on your wikipedia user page, but you removed it, why, you don't even seem to have any link to it here. Myrt|comments 12:49, 2 November 2006 (UTC)


Perhaps AVB could remove werdnaBot code added to IP pages etc. as a belt and braces approach. Incidentaly I don't think this was as bad as at firat appears since it requries the vandl to make an edit to cause a bad edit, and requires only 2 reverts to fix. Rich Farmbrough 12:06 7 November 2006 (GMT).

Retroactive autoblockEdit

I'm not sure where else to get in touch with you about this. If mediawiki now sets a retroactive autoblock, how long is that autoblock? I'm wondering if the autoblock is automatically 24 hours, meaning it is impossible to do shorter blocks? (I mean, I can set an 8 hour block, but the guy's IP is blocked for 24). Does this happen or is the autoblock length sensitive to the original block. Thatcher131 05:27, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

The autoblock's length is indeed sensitive to the length of the original block. Werdna 09:25, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
That should work, then. If the editor tries to edit after the block is placed, is the autoblock still 24 hours? I blocked someone for 24 hours, then 2 hours later unblocked and reblocked for 6 hours to give a total of 8, after an e-mail exchange. He was still blocked the next day, so at some point he must have triggered a 24 hour autoblock. Maybe during the first 2 hours? Thanks. Thatcher131 13:37, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, and Correct. Werdna 13:40, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

IRC guidelinesEdit

I would like to disagree that /remove is a Bad Thing - I use it almost exclusively because it keeps temperatures down. I find that the word kick causes trouble, generally. However, let's discuss this! These guidelines need to be built together. Thanks. —Xyrael / 17:00, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Sysop rightsEdit

Hey Andrew, you now have sysop rights. Please see on the request for more details. Unless there's a page move vandal, spam bot or something similar, you should refrain from using your admin tools for anything other than editing the list. Cheers, and hope to see you as a permanent admin soon! :) P.S your userpage is seriously out of date :P Majorly (talk) 17:41, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

BL logging issueEdit

Ok this time it is for real :) With the logging of the bot ones - once they are in the BL the log page is not editable (by us mere mortals - how the h*ll did you do it?!). I've just had to "break" the link to edit the page. Either way that form of logging is not going to work & stuff that isn't logged is a pain when an appeal comes in. Any ideas? Thanks for the help anyway & cheers --Herby talk thyme 10:52, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

It was me that changed the links to the subpages. I must have done the change before the blacklist took effect. In any case, if you just use normal [[wikilinks]] the problem does not occur. —— nixeagle 13:47, 3 April 2008 (UTC)


Hey! I thought I'd drop by and let you know that your regex entries here and here do not do what you think they did. You blacklisted http:something/blah/francenepal.info but not http://francenepal.info. This caused all sorts of confusion this morning with the templates that are used on the meta blacklist talk page, ie: {{LinkSummary}}, which is used extensively. I've even made changes to the MediaWiki:Spam-whitelist to accomadate for the changes, until beetstra pointed out the two regex. My suggestion is, unless you have reason to, stick with the current format of links, or if you wish to do custom regex, test that they don't match other items after adding them. Thanks —— nixeagle 15:27, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

global blockingEdit

Hi. That global blocking is a good thing, I think. I suggested global messaging as something that would be of help: have a system where we leave a message here for a user/IP, which then results in a banner which shows whereever when they load a page on a wiki (where the extension is activated). Would this be feasable? --Dirk Beetstra T C (en: U, T) 11:40, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

We're getting there. Werdna 12:06, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
:-) --Dirk Beetstra T C (en: U, T) 13:04, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Congratulations, Dear Administrator!Edit

Deutsch | English | español | français | italiano | 한국어 | Nederlands | português | русский | العربية | edit

An offering for our new administrator from your comrades... (our budget is smaller than Commons)

Werdna, congratulations! You now have the rights of administrator on Meta. Please take a moment to read the Meta:Administrators page and watchlist related pages (in particular Meta:Requests for help from a sysop or bureaucrat, and Meta:Requests for deletion, but also Talk:Spam blacklist and Talk:Interwiki map), before launching yourself into page deletions, page protections, account blockings, or modifications of protected pages. The majority of the actions of administrators can be reversed by the other admins, except for history merges which must thus be treated with particular care.

A tip: add this page Meta:Administrators' discussion index to your watchlist, it tracks the latest activity to various sections of many of the important pages.

Please feel free to join us on IRC: #wikimedia-admin @ irc.freenode.net. You may find Commons:Guide to adminship to be useful reading although it doesn't always completely apply here at Meta.

Please also check or add your entry to Meta:Administrators#List_of_administrators and the Template:List of administrators.

Congrats! (yaay!) :) ~Kylu (u|t) 04:21, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
ahem you are about 26 hours too early..as I have already mentioned this before time and time again, the RfA is still in process, though there is no doubt that you will retain your adminship :) ..--Cometstyles 04:25, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
Sorry for being harsh on Kylu here, I actually didn't have any formal discussions with her previously on this, but closing RfA's too early is a problem on meta and I will try to rectify this in time :) ..--Cometstyles 03:37, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Why is it such a big deal for unanimous RfAs? Don't we have a snowball clause or something? Werdna 07:55, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Werdnabot on meta?Edit


Does werdnabot run on meta? I added it briefly but I seemed to be the only person in the category which makes me think it maybe doesn't... (Thanks for the bot more generally though, very useful on en.)

--cfp 14:39, 2 September 2008 (UTC)


It doesn't appear to be fixed, <centralnotice-template-plain_text_election_notice> displays on all wikimedia wiki pages. Cenarium (Talk) 02:29, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Being worked on. Werdna 02:46, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

AbuseFilter request (alswiki)Edit

Hello Werdna,
did you see BugZilla:18415? We have problems on alswiki with a guy trolling and stalking all the time on our wiki. He has a dynamic IP (provider should know him already, by checkuser) and creates offensive accounts outside our wiki using SUL (so titleblacklist doesn't work), making a lot of (pattern-based) trouble then on our somewhat small wiki. All active users have voted at w:als:Wikipedia:Stammtisch#Missbruuchsfilter, all in favour of enabling the AbuseFilter, that would be extremely useful in our case! Could it be enabled soon? --- Kind regards, Melancholie 21:28, 13 April 2009 (UTC)


Hi Werdna!
1. Sorry for not answering the "\\"-question, we were talking about some weeks ago. Actually I'm not sure how to cope with that escaping problem in a good way. It would be necessary to know, how PHP is configured, i.e., which escaping is done automatically.

2. What about that strange thing, I was asking about a few times? See e.g. [8], there is a log entry

"2009-06-16T21:30:44: [...] triggered filter 4, performing the action "edit" on de:Stempeltechnik. Actions taken: none; [...]".

Although rule #4 does not disallow changes (it just logs them), you can't see the change of de:Stempeltechnik, when you have a look at de:special:contributions/ So what happened there? I have a few more of these examples.

3. Another problem: goto de:Spezial:Missbrauchsfilter/test and test the rule

count("destotrotz",added_lines) < count("destotrotz",removed_lines)

for user You will get no hits. Now change both occurences "count" to "rcount", i.e.,

rcount("destotrotz",added_lines) < rcount("destotrotz",removed_lines)

and you will get seven hits. There seems to be a bug in the implementaion of "count".

Thx in advance. -- seth 14:20, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Maybe it's better to use bugzilla: bugzilla:19604, bugzilla:19605, bugzilla:19606 -- seth 21:40, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Abuse filterEdit

Hi, I've created this table to monitor the use of your great creation across Wikimedia projects. :-) Maybe it can be interesting for you (when local projects update it). And, bugzilla:19212 was reopened (?). Hi, Nemo 09:44, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

AbuseFilter requests (barwiki and itwikiquote)Edit

Hello Werdna,
did you see BugZilla:20515 and BugZilla:20216? Especially barwiki is having massive problems; problems that largely have been successfully solved with your great AbuseFilter being enabled on alswiki. Like alswiki before, they have problems on barwiki with a guy trolling and stalking all the time on their wiki. He has a dynamic IP (provider should know him already, by checkuser) and creates offensive accounts outside their wiki using SUL (so titleblacklist doesn't work), making a lot of (pattern-based) trouble then (problematic edits) on their somewhat small wiki. Most active users have voted at w:bar:Wikipedia:Stammtisch#Missbrauchsfilter, all in favour of enabling the AbuseFilter, that will be extremely useful in their case too! Could it be enabled soon? You could combine your work with enabling the filter for itwikiquote too (one month old request), see initial links. Thanks in advance. --- Sincerely, Melancholie 02:19, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Please, furthermore see also BugZilla:20551 for the Portuguese Wikibooks. I am very sorry for writing you again, but I am not getting any response (like an bug assignment) towards my somewhat urgent barwiki request e.g. I just do not know why and what's going on or not. --- Sorry if being annoying, Melancholie 14:08, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Looks like these are being handled today. Werdna 19:21, 21 September 2009 (UTC)


Hello Werdna,

I'm planning to propose the activation of the abuse filter on the Spanish Wikibooks (perhaps in complete mode). I'd like to know which settings can you modify with the 'abusefilter-modify-restricted' permission. I am trying to explain folks how the filter runs. Best regards, df|  11:53, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

You're able to modify filters with restricted actions (block, degroup, etc). Werdna 11:56, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Thank you df|  13:28, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Notice of review of adminshipEdit


In accordance with Meta:Administrators/Removal and because you have made fewer than ten logged actions over the past six months, your adminship is under review at Meta:Administrators/Removal/October 2009. If you would like to retain your adminship, please sign there before 2009-10-9. Kind regards, —Anonymous DissidentTalk 15:14, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Notice of review of adminshipEdit


In accordance with Meta:Administrators/Removal and because you have made fewer than ten logged actions over the past six months, your adminship is under review at Meta:Administrators/Removal/April 2010. If you would like to retain your adminship, please sign there before 2010-04-11. Kind regards, Ottava Rima (talk) 17:05, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Unified loginEdit

Hello Werdna, sorry to bother but a strange thing is happening with the SUL system. It's a bit confusing and my english is not very good so, excuse me in advance.

At SR/SUL user SKbot is requesting usurpations of unattached local accounts. That would be a normal and easy request to fullfill. He's created a SUL account 7 months ago according to CentralAuth. The problem is that according to the logs, the new accounts are being created automatically as part of the SUL but appears as unattached on the SULutil and does not appear on the centralauth (and unattached accounts does appear on centralauth in other cases). I feel that this should not be happening. I'm asking you because you're a sysadmin and perhaps you could have a look why is this happening. Thanks in advance and sorry for the inconvenience. --Dferg 15:41, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Global blocking of accountsEdit

It would be really remarkably fabulously helpful to make global blocks of unified accounts (something locally reversible on individual wikis, similar to current use of the awesome globalblocking extension for IPs) possible. See for instance Talk:Global blocks and locks. Is there a good forum for raising awareness about this issue? Should I encourage people to vote for the relevant bugzilla bug? Thanks, SJ · talk | translate 04:08, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Abuse filter questionEdit

Hi. Is it possible to create an abuse filter which shows a box at the top of all edit pages if the user is not auto_confirmed? I'm asking this because this way we could add a very noticeable banner to the top of the pages to guide new users about very basic usage issues. Huji 20:25, 9 October 2010 (UTC)


Hi, could I ask why you did this edit? It's the Dutch voting interface, so the supposed language should be Dutch (?) - Sincerely, Kthoelen 17:18, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

No, that's not accurate. The section titles need to be in English, so that the script that I'm running can recognise them. Werdna 17:30, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
OK, thanks for the clear answer (the link would have been useful in the summary though :-) ) - Sincerely, Kthoelen 17:40, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Heh, I wrote the documentation after updating things. Werdna 17:44, 28 May 2011 (UTC)