Spammers

Issues, request, ideals, tips, fixes, etc.
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admin
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Spammers

Postby admin » Wed May 23, 2007 11:11 am

The sign up process blocks most all of the bots but the individual spammers are harder to keep out. On average this site sees about 1 -4 per week get through and I clean them out then ban them but it is an uphill battle that all admins of BBs are trying to deal with. There are many tricks they use but I don’t want this to end up being a tutorial for newbie spammers so I will not post them but if you just look at how huge those posted list of known spammers are getting you will see why it is an uphill battle. Taking one second more you will realize that the spammers also see those list, or they see when they are banned, so using dynamic IP addresses, they just re-cloak themselves by changing e-addresses and user names, so you will then get a better picture of the complexity of the task at hand. Many very techno, successful, award winning IT companies and ISPs (like our local Aristotle.net, etc. ) spend a huge amount of time and resources trying to successfully deal with this same problem. We can go to an admin verify sign-up system but still there isn’t any guarantee we can sniff out the bad ones without some knowledge of prior behavior and spammers would not use static IP addresses so I feel it would make us a much less friendly group with just a little success in blocking those intent on circumventing the guards we have in place. We are small potatoes (thank goodness) and not worthy of much effort but I assure you that the ones you see getting through are a very small portion of those attempting to circumvent the blocks.
It is an annoying situation but it is not a desperate situation because as I have posted before , we don’t have much choice about what we hear but we ARE in control of what we read. You also must be logged in to view any pictures (attachments) that have been posted so that makes the site less desirable to por-no posters.
Admins try to keep up with the game, spammers try to keep ahead of the game.
Let's listen to one another. Really listen.
JuggoPop
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Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 4:44 pm
Location: Cabot, Arkansas

Postby JuggoPop » Sun Jan 06, 2008 11:25 pm

do a google search for "phpbb honeypot antispam"... the data you will find on the first listing will help you block alot of the bot style spammers. I install this on all forums I admin &/or install for people. The data is a bit old (by a few months) but it will jump start to the next level anything you are already doing.

Also, adding a "spell this backwards" statement/question during the registration process helps. Of course you have to do a captcha style image for the word to spell backwards... but it does help.

Good luck on hammering them back. :) I know the battle all to well.
Image Brian
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BackpacknJack
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Postby BackpacknJack » Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:35 pm

I don't have much trouble with the spambots anymore but the human spam sign-ups are a never ending struggle. As I've said before, every barricade you put up is only a defensive move so admins are always behind. I finally had to go to admin verify to slow it down. I don't like doing it that way but I was having to dump an average of 8-10 per day and they were posting (got hooted so insert >adult stuff<here) before I could get to them. We could go to blocking the membership list from view, sort of remove the carrot from in front of the donkey, but I feel that would only make us more exclusive and less inclusive. There is a reason I went to all the trouble of learning how to build this site and admin it and support it and it wasn't so we could become a closed group, in the middle of an open and free game, so onward I plod. The biggest problem as I see it is that I have to investigate each signup one at a time and delete them one at a time and ban them one at a time. Maybe the PHPBB writers/programmers will install a one button [Dump & Ban] function to save us time some day. Not all sites dump the spam signups because fake or not, it does make their membership numbers climb to impressive levels. I don't like fake, well fake acorns and fake rocks and fake leaves and fake limbs and fake.............s are alright ;)
There is a lot more I could say but these spam signups are humans and they do read, and they do adjust as we adjust. We zig, they zag. and the dance goes on. :roll:
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JuggoPop
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Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 4:44 pm
Location: Cabot, Arkansas

Postby JuggoPop » Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:47 am

I just installed my first phpbb3 for a client (it released out of beta at the end of 07)... And it's got some nice functions for blocking/banning/etc. It's also got an insanely larger admin panel in general... most admin dream features made it in. Might be worth a test install to see if you'd ever consider upgrading.

I might be able to dig up an old mod I had for phpbb2 that I used on a forum years ago. It allowed the admin to see a different memberlist page. The admin version had checkboxes next to usernames, you checked off the ones you wanted to delete and/or ban and then click a button at the bottom. Sure made the process a lot easier.
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