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Joined: Aug 2004
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Do we have any updates that we can use to stop spam-bots on our forums? Seems like the captcha system I've been running for the last few years isn't enough.

Any chance the next (even minor) update of Threads will address this issue? Even if it's just an additional text field when registering that asks a simple question to be answered.

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you have 5 text fields that you can add already. just go to registration settings and add one that is 'required' and it forces that to be filled in

smile

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Enable Stop Forum Spam in the CP then install the addon at UBBDev "Stop Forum Spam: Login Detection"; should be enough for 99% of you.


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Gizmo, that feature has been of great help. Just need to add a small extra measure to keep out the few that slip through.

SD, if I add an additional 'required field' can I specify that the registration will go through only if a specific answer is entered?

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I added some required fields, and the spam bots just plugged in an alpha sequence and got past.

It would be helpful if a question/answer pair were an option. Users would see a question requiring a simple answer, examples:
Enter the sum of 5 and 10:
Country north of the United States:
Add an s to the word spammer:



Joined: Dec 2003
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Joined: Dec 2003
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Originally Posted by Steve C
I added some required fields, and the spam bots just plugged in an alpha sequence and got past.

It would be helpful if a question/answer pair were an option. Users would see a question requiring a simple answer, examples:
Enter the sum of 5 and 10:
Country north of the United States:
Add an s to the word spammer:
Well using UBB version 7.5.3p2 does not help.
The current version is 7.5.8 .
Six upgrades after your version.
Since your version there have been many security upgrades as well as the stop forum spam plugin.
Also in your current version you could enable captcha as well as moderate registrations.


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There is no such thing as stupid questions. Just stupid answers
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Where I do agree that an upgrade is warranted (security issues), Stop Forum Spam started as a modification at UBBDev and is still available for his version.


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Originally Posted by Steve C
I added some required fields, and the spam bots just plugged in an alpha sequence and got past.

It would be helpful if a question/answer pair were an option. Users would see a question requiring a simple answer, examples:
Enter the sum of 5 and 10:
Country north of the United States:
Add an s to the word spammer:

Something like this would be a welcome addition to the current features and would provide additional help in preventing spam bots.

Right now I can only think of one other way to use the current features to do something similar, though a lot will depend on users actually reading some form of notice upon registration to do the following:

- set up a new user group so that newly registered users with <1 post can only post replies in a certain forum

- instruct users who are registering that before using the boards they must first introduce themselves in this particular thread (in the only forum where they can post as users with 0 posts)

- use a new user group for users with 1+ posts where they have normal permissions on the board

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Conrad wrote:
- set up a new user group so that newly registered users with <1 post can only post replies in a certain forum

Ha! Tried that. I set up a forum where new registrants could post, and prevented them from seeing any other forum even. I moved non-spammers to the normal category right away, and left the spammers to use the bogus forum. The spam bots started posting away in it. They did not realize that nobody else could see their spam, they just posted away! Repeatedly.

And like the Subject line says, the spam bots have figured out how to get past the captcha text.

I just need to get to work and upgrade. I've been bitten by the php 5.4 blank posts problem (the curly quotes and characters with diacritical marks killing the text), and I really need the Stop Forum Spam feature.


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Originally Posted by Steve C
Conrad wrote:
- set up a new user group so that newly registered users with <1 post can only post replies in a certain forum

Ha! Tried that. I set up a forum where new registrants could post, and prevented them from seeing any other forum even. I moved non-spammers to the normal category right away, and left the spammers to use the bogus forum. The spam bots started posting away in it. They did not realize that nobody else could see their spam, they just posted away! Repeatedly.

I have close to 50 forums on the index page, so I was just thinking of allowing users with 0 posts to post see all... but be able to post in only one of them (let's see how the bot deals with that). smile On top of that they would only be able to post a reply and not start a new thread. smile

Only once they do this will users become part of another group for those with 1+ posts, where they would be able to use the entire board.

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Originally Posted by Steve C
Ha! Tried that. I set up a forum where new registrants could post, and prevented them from seeing any other forum even.
In an ideal world this would work, but what about search engine traffic? If SE's can't see data they can't index it, so you won't get much traffic to your site by way of them.


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Originally Posted by Gizmo
Originally Posted by Steve C
Ha! Tried that. I set up a forum where new registrants could post, and prevented them from seeing any other forum even.
In an ideal world this would work, but what about search engine traffic? If SE's can't see data they can't index it, so you won't get much traffic to your site by way of them.

It was the other way around: regular users and not-logged-in visitors could see all the usual forums. But for newly registered users, all they could see was that one forum. Crawlers saw all but the one forum, as well.

The spammers never noticed the odd setup, and just posted away. I got tired of watching it, and blew them (and the new forum) all away.

It was interesting, though. Some of the spammers came back and posted repeatedly, while others never came back and never posted.

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Originally Posted by Steve C
It was the other way around: regular users and not-logged-in visitors could see all the usual forums. But for newly registered users, all they could see was that one forum. Crawlers saw all but the one forum, as well.
Interesting method, but since logged on users could just log out to view the other forums why not just restrict them from making new topics or replies?



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