Author Topic: Quadz- What plugins/etc. you use for spam protection?  (Read 3161 times)

Offline The Happy Friar

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Quadz- What plugins/etc. you use for spam protection?
« on: June 09, 2014, 09:08:20 AM »
I started a forum a couple weeks ago on Simple Machines and have the Captcha (or whatever) enabled and I'm getting spammers like crazy.  I ban the IP's, ban the e-mails (banned the whole *@mail.ru) and they're still coming in.

Any tips?
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Offline quadz

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Re: Quadz- What plugins/etc. you use for spam protection?
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2014, 11:59:31 AM »
I started a forum a couple weeks ago on Simple Machines and have the Captcha (or whatever) enabled and I'm getting spammers like crazy.  I ban the IP's, ban the e-mails (banned the whole *@mail.ru) and they're still coming in.

What has worked well for me (both here and on my employer's forum) has been the "Join Reason" mod.

It adds an extra field to the signup form, labeled, "Reason for joining this forum." I've then tweaked that slightly to add, "(For best results, say something a random spammer wouldn't know about Q2 or this community)"

I've found the extra hint is needed because otherwise legit users might just type a reason like "duh".

With this simple measure in place, and with the forum in registrations-must-be-approved-by-admin mode, spammers just have not been able to pass this hurdle.

  *  *  *

Note, I've made a couple tweaks to the Join Reason mod over time. One is to include the join reason in the registration approval email sent to the admin (that way I can see bogus registrations just from reading the email, and don't have to bother clicking the approval page link until there's something legit to deal with.)

Another is that lately a lot of spammers just put their stupid spam website link right in the join reason. So I've added code that checks for http:// in the join reason and just silently discards the registration without emailing me.


:afro:

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Offline |iR|Focalor

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Re: Quadz- What plugins/etc. you use for spam protection?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2014, 06:46:16 PM »
Yeah, that captcha garbage is apparently defeated. When [BTF]DeathStalker set up the new BTR forums a few months back and gave me admin privileges, he was complaining that spambots were rampantly registering. I set up an extra verification question pertaining to motorsports that ANY human being in the civilized world would know the answer to if they'd be interested in racing at all. Something like: ____ Earnhardt drove the #3 Chevrolet. Of course the answer is "Dale", and even people who don't pay attention to Nascar probably know that from the question... but bots don't. And since then, there's been exactly ZERO spambots registering. :thumbsup:
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Offline quadz

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Re: Quadz- What plugins/etc. you use for spam protection?
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2014, 10:38:03 PM »
I set up an extra verification question pertaining to motorsports that ANY human being in the civilized world would know the answer to if they'd be interested in racing at all. Something like: ____ Earnhardt drove the #3 Chevrolet. Of course the answer is "Dale", and even people who don't pay attention to Nascar probably know that from the question... but bots don't. And since then, there's been exactly ZERO spambots registering.

Hmm. I'd tried using the questions feature for several months prior to installing the Join Reason mod. I suppose I might have made the questions too Googleable. (Things like, "What is the name of the 1993 id Software game beginning with 'D' ?")

The questions slowed down the spammer registrations but didn't stop them. Indeed, I still have the questions enabled, and the several spammers who make it through a day are getting past the questions and are only being stopped by their telltale Join Reason.

These days it seems it's not just bots registering anymore. It's actual humans in Pakistan, India, China, etc. (or at least proxying through those countries) who are apparently being paid a pittance to manually register on as many forums as possible per day, and post their links.

So they've been overcoming some of the hurdles that used to thwart purely automated bot code.

:exqueezeme:

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Offline The Happy Friar

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Re: Quadz- What plugins/etc. you use for spam protection?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2014, 03:09:15 AM »
Seems to me it's a person registering too.  It was only mail.ru e-mails & random character names at first, then it became legit-looking names and various e-mails like gmail.

Right now I have the captcha option enabled on the users first three posts and a question on registration, they stopped posting for now, but I know that won't work to long.  It's like back in the "good old days" of e-mail where you had to manually setup and install spam filters.  Frustrating.  :)  Thanks for the tip on the Join Reason mod.
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Offline yahoo

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Re: Quadz- What plugins/etc. you use for spam protection?
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2014, 05:21:02 AM »
have you tried banning the whole .ru and the mail.ru ip addy?

try a picture based captcha ex. a pic of a cat
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Offline VaeVictis

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Re: Quadz- What plugins/etc. you use for spam protection?
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2014, 08:48:41 PM »
You can just use cloudflare and not allow anyone except for specific countries to join if you aren't expecting international visitors :) no sense allowing everyone from russia and china.... it would cut down spam registrations by a large portion if not entirely

i am fond of denying all of asia... some joke about not trusting people who always squint seems appropriate

Offline |iR|Focalor

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Re: Quadz- What plugins/etc. you use for spam protection?
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2014, 08:58:16 PM »
And Bosnia. Fuck the Bosnians.
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Offline yahoo

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Re: Quadz- What plugins/etc. you use for spam protection?
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2014, 05:11:15 AM »
just to be safe, ban all of Africa. Nigeria =spam and scam capital
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Offline The Happy Friar

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Re: Quadz- What plugins/etc. you use for spam protection?
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2014, 08:17:42 AM »
Might be just chance, but since I enabled captcha for the first couple posts I'm not getting spam posts.  Still spam accounts, just not posts. 

I thought about banning who regions but I know from doom3world there are legit d3 players/modders in Africa, middle east, china, russia, etc.  It seems more active outside the US then in.
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