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Today, these two posts were 'vandalized' by their author. This got picked up by the SmokeDetector bot, and as I attempted to roll them back to their original state, I noticed they both had (probably pirated) serial keys hidden in HTML comments. This was easiest to see in the Markdown source of the revisions (but they have now been redacted by a ♦ moderator).

Later, the user surprised me by posting a question (10k only) promoting their act; it contained a direct link to one of the revisions.

I flagged the latter question as spam, and it seems to have had effect. I flagged the other posts for moderator attention; they have the power to redact revisions which will effectively banish the content from Super User.

Is this the correct action, or should I have done something else?

  • Hopefully getting an official statement as answer. I'm curious what will be the right way of action in such cases as it is actually promoting software piracy/or be an act of software piracy. – Videonauth Jan 6 '18 at 16:04
  • Thanks for the report. All redacted. – DavidPostill Jan 6 '18 at 16:27
  • @DavidPostill BTW, is it a good practice to report those things in Ask a Super User Moderator chatroom? – iBug Jan 6 '18 at 16:29
  • @iBug You can if you want, but flagging is fine as well. – DavidPostill Jan 6 '18 at 16:31
  • @DavidPostill You sure you did them all? There's more than one revision that needs redaction in each of the two posts. – iBug Jan 6 '18 at 16:31
  • @DavidPostill You may want to get rid of revision 4 as well. – iBug Jan 6 '18 at 16:33
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    @Videonauth We don't support piracy on Super User (other sites may differ), see Questions about pirate software banned in Superuser? – DavidPostill Jan 6 '18 at 16:33
  • @iBug Thanks. In progress. Waiting for another mod approval (it takes 2 mods to redact). – DavidPostill Jan 6 '18 at 16:35
  • I used my browser cache to see the current questions posted by the user superuser.com/users/766703 "Black Guy" and then edited out the keys. I assumed this was a tactic to get those keys promoted in SEO but the user seemed perturbed then deleted their posts. I assumed this was because they realized what they were doing wouldn't work on this site. Nevertheless I edited them out in case the site changes in the future. – jdwolf Jan 10 '18 at 10:56
  • Anyone got a screenshot? I'm quite curious about how this was done. You can sensor the keys if you want. – Michael Frank Jan 16 '18 at 0:27
  • @DavidPostill well, actually they should be banned from all SE sites given that they clearly violate the TOS. – Andrea Lazzarotto Jan 17 '18 at 18:17
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I believe what you've done is right: Flagging for moderators to cleanup those revisions containing piracy.

I am the one who reported the surprising promotion to SmokeDetector. Prior to that I had already flagged the posts for self-vandalism and possible piracy. We don't want anything bad on Stack Exchange, so it'd be good for moderators to purge those keys.

By the way, that user seems to have been deleted already. All that's left to do is to cleanup the revisions containing bad codes. (Update: Thanks to ♦ moderators they're removed from Super User already.)

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