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Question about spambot problems. 
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Slave on the Altar
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Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2002 10:40 am
Posts: 3015
Location: The Netherlands
Hello, I have a question. My local club site is getting a lot of new members lately. These are Spam bots to advertise sites etc. Thats quite anoying and I wanted to know what we can do about it because I've had it with removing faks accounts. Do you ppl have a solution? And how do we prefent this at druchii.net?
Thanks.

MDK

_________________
You’re a wreck, an accident.
Forget the freak, your just nature.
Keep the gun oiled, and the temple cleaned shiz
snort, and blaspheme, let the heads cool, and the
engine run. Because in the end, everything we do,
is just everything we’ve done.


Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:13 am
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Morathi's Best Friend
Morathi's Best Friend
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 5:06 pm
Posts: 1202
Location: Flanders, Belgium
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Some websites require that you input a code from an image upon registration. Since bots can't read these images--or can't read them well--this shuts out the majority of automated harassment. Of course, there is the W3C compliance about adding the code in the "alt" attribute of the image element... :?

It can, however, occasionally ruin it for a legitimate user, especially if the font used in the image is a bit... creative. I've had it happen only once to me, but people who aren't computer literate may be repelled.

At Druchii.net, we can prevent this because there are over 10,000 users scouring the forums, scanning post contents, and reporting anything that conflicts with the rules. 8)

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Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:45 am
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Follower of Malal
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Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 6:37 pm
Posts: 2726
Location: Colchester, Essex (UK).
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Actually, the visual confirmation doesn't work that well. It's been demonstrated a few times. Still, they're useful.

Anyway, if you really want to be bot-safe, do all of the following (in order of importance):
- disable guest posting;
- email confirmation by the member upon sign-up;
- visual cryptogramme (as mentioned by Tarbo);
- have an admin authorise every new account before they can post.

Make sure your phpBB is the latest and get all the mods to it that are free to grab on the major phpBB programming sites. That should do the trick.

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All my eloquence fails to express it as well as this.


Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:49 am
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Loremaster
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Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 8:22 am
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Location: Australia
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Quote:
- have an admin authorise every new account before they can post.

Note that this is not recommended on active boards - it can be extremely annoying, to be honest.

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Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:08 pm
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Follower of Malal
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Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 6:37 pm
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Location: Colchester, Essex (UK).
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Eldacar wrote:
Note that this is not recommended on active boards - it can be extremely annoying, to be honest.


Sure, but MDK mentioned this is for his local club. I'm guessing there's not going to be 50+ new members daily, so...

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General Kala wrote:
Cenyu wrote:
Hail to the King, baby.
All my eloquence fails to express it as well as this.


Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:35 pm
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Loremaster
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Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 8:22 am
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Location: Australia
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It'd probably be annoying with just three or four new members daily - unless, of course, you are extremely patient with people.

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"I live in hope and fear. Hope that once more the Lords of Caledor will ride on the backs of Dragons. Fear that if we do, when we do, it will be our last ride." ~Imrik, High Prince

Initiative Leader - Editors


Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:57 pm
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Malekith's Tastetester & Physician
Malekith's Tastetester & Physician
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Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2002 9:41 pm
Posts: 5170
Location: Putting needles into people.
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A neutral shade of black. wrote:
Actually, the visual confirmation doesn't work that well. It's been demonstrated a few times. Still, they're useful.

Anyway, if you really want to be bot-safe, do all of the following (in order of importance):
- disable guest posting;
- email confirmation by the member upon sign-up;
- visual cryptogramme (as mentioned by Tarbo);
- have an admin authorise every new account before they can post.

Make sure your phpBB is the latest and get all the mods to it that are free to grab on the major phpBB programming sites. That should do the trick.


As ANSOB said these help, in particular the visual cryptogram is one of the most effective ways as the bots tend to have an email script.

Having the admin authorize people is annoying for both members and I don't use it on my club board which is hosted on one of my own webservers at my place. And you don't need to do it as I am relatively bot free - but it is the only failproof way of elimnating bots. The problem with the Admin authorization is that people from the community who check out your board may not go the extra step if they feel like they have to ask your permission - some peopel like to buy before they try so to speak.

The last way of doing it is to block their email and even IP entry. Go to your .htaccess file (found in your site's main folder) and type in the IP you don't like this way:

<Limit GET>
order allow,deny
deny from 71.33.40.101
allow from all
</Limit>

Or alternatively ban offensive bot emails in phpbb by banning the email address like this *.email.com and the * will not allow anyone from that email address to register.

I am still waiting for these companies that do this offensive advertising (like party poker.com) to start paying people in 3rd world countries to perform like live bots. I'm curious who will win out as far as most effective advertising botting: the bot programmers or live humans? Time will tell.

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Wed Jun 21, 2006 3:19 pm
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