board Spamers

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PRT 065
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Re: board Spamers

Post by PRT 065 »

how about we moderate the first 5 posts before puting them on display and if there first moderated posts they can be deleted so the rest of the forum cant see them and will discourage them form registering.
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Re: board Spamers

Post by Fleet Lists »

That would not discourage them one bit as most of them would never check whether a post gets shown or not.

Most mornings I do a check of new members who have not activated and on many mornings I find some that are obvious spammers and they get deleted before they even post and guess what they are back the next day under some other name.

As admin I know the amount of work involved of having members under administration and we would have to develop some software which counts the first five and then automatically stops them being moderated otherwise the manual process would be totally unacceptable at an admin level.

I am probably as inconvenienced as much as anybody by the spammers as I need to get rid of them but I believe that is a very small inconvnience compared with moderating every new member.
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Re: board Spamers

Post by Lemon »

Maybe to have the first five posts idea work you could have a few mods dedicated to doing this.
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Re: board Spamers

Post by Ken »

037291 wrote:how about we moderate the first 5 posts before puting them on display
Sounds like a good idea, but the software does not automatically support being able to do so. In any case, it is only a couple of clicks to remove a spammer and all their posts which is less than it would be to approve the first few posts of every new user.

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Re: board Spamers

Post by Andrew21 »

I can't speak for the admins but I think the "report post" function has helped alot. It even tells you if it's been reported already so the admins don't get 63000 reports on the same post.

There's my 2c worth.
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Re: board Spamers

Post by Fleet Lists »

Yes it certainly has been a big help.

But we would prefer that you do not reply to these SPAM message as when we delete the original posts in one go, the replies tend to stay behind and become meaningless and we need to delete them separately.

I think most members realise this which is good.

And a message to a member who tried to report a post 15 times to confuse the admins, the software was clever enough to reliase this and created only ONE report.
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Re: board Spamers

Post by TP 3000 »

Fleet Lists wrote:And a message to a member who tried to report a post 15 times to confuse the admins, the software was clever enough to reliase this and created only ONE report.
So when 15 people press the report button, do admin get told who has reported it & how many times. What us members learn each & every day.
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Re: board Spamers

Post by Fleet Lists »

TP 3000 wrote:
So when 15 people press the report button, do admin get told who has reported it & how many times. What us members learn each & every day.
The admins/moderators get a list of posts under their control which have been reported. I have never seen duplicate entries for any one post so it appears that the first report on any post is listed with the reason given and who has reported it. I suspect subsequent reports on the same post are not listed.
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Re: board Spamers

Post by T1200 »

As Andrew21 posted above, the software will only let one report be made for any one post. If you try to report a post which has already been reported, a message will appear stating "This post has already been reported".
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Re: board Spamers

Post by Newcastle Flyer »

This may inconvience some, but would not accepting email address from hotmail, gmail, etc cut down on the spammers? I'm not sure, & may be to time consuming, but is their a way for admins/mods to approve new usernames first?
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Re: board Spamers

Post by Fleet Lists »

Newcastle Flyer wrote: but is their a way for admins/mods to approve new usernames first?
Yes there is such an option and it has been found that this causes more problems especially in delaying genuine members who should be able to get on quickly.

And when we did try that I found that we approved a very large percentage of members who never revisited. Many such members when self activating, never activate and save us a lot of trouble.

Having worked under both options, for the few spammers we get, I do not believe that any such radical action is necessary.

And just approving by name does not mean much as we had spamers with guine names such as John or Bill with what appear to be good email addresses but in fact are not.

As Ken has said it takes us a couple of clicks to get rid of a spammer but admin approval takes up a lot more of our time.
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Re: board Spamers

Post by C130 »

How about something like this-
Picture2.jpg

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Re: board Spamers

Post by Fleet Lists »

I would not be able to answer that.

That is the trouble with most of those sort of questions. While some people will know the answer, many others would not.

And that is the case even with transport oriented questions.
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Re: board Spamers

Post by PRT 065 »

how about questions like this

what is 10 times ten

what is the abreviation for this forum

name the australian prime minister

Bustech is based on the _-_- coast

etc .

and have ansers on another publicly visable page and so that bots will require different programing to open it .

or change the .php registration file as that is what the bots are programed to run off
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Re: board Spamers

Post by C130 »

or have a link to an email for members who dont know what the answer is to get an admin to activate them.
Ok, by the way, The answer for the RMWeb question is both Hornby and Bachmann.

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Re: board Spamers

Post by PRT 065 »

This is some tips from http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... 5#p8563395
Though phpBB 3.0.5 does include various changes to the CAPTCHA that help deter spambots, it is an unfortunate fact that any fix that is included in the standard software package will quickly be broken. As a result of that, your best bet is to make your board unique (relative to the standard package). The MODs and other tweaks below will aid you with this.

FAQ

What is a spam bot?
Simply put, a spam bot (with relation to phpBB) is a script that is able to register an account and/or post spam on your board.
Image

Is spam a security threat?
No. While spammers may seem like they are breaking through your defenses, they actually don't do anything that a regular users couldn't do (register, post, etc). Spam is therefore not a vulnerability and should not be considered as such.
How do they work?
Spam bots do what they are programmed to do; nothing more. Not having the ability to adapt on the fly puts bots at a disadvantage when put against informed administrators such as yourself. The trick for dealing with bots is to stay one step ahead of their authors. Nearly all anti-spam MODs focus on changing the registration/posting form in order to prevent bots from being able to fill out the information properly.
Do bots fill in the form the same way humans do?
No, the majority of bots submit their responses directly, without loading the form that you set up. What this means in practical terms is that changing only the HTML form will not do anything; you need to actually change how the passed information is interpreted (that means editing the .php files). If you encounter MODs that only edit HTML, they are pointless.
Should I ban bots by IP or email TLD (.ru, .info, etc.)?
If your goal is to save time, this strategy will not help. IPs are often cycled and there are thousands of available proxies that can be found just by searching. By banning IPs, you will also end up banning legitimate users. As bots use a variety of TLDs for their email accounts (including .com, .org and .net), banning international ones like .ru may help slightly, but you will once again end up banning legitimate users (and won't ban nearly every bot). In short, you should focus on preventing as many bots as possible, while not causing legitimate users too much extra hassle.
What about human spammers?
Fighting human spammers is more difficult than fighting bots. While bots will blindly attempt to register and post on every board possible, human spammers will want to make sure that their spam is actually being seen. The trick to fighting human spammers, therefore, is to remove any incentive they would have of targeting your board.
Will following this guide stop all spam?
As I said above, human spammers are difficult to stop and some bots may be adapted to work on your site. Following this guide will, however, cause a significant decrease in the amount of spam starting from the very first day
Stopping Spam - Techniques and Strategies

CAPTCHA - While some bots have been able to break the stock CAPTCHA, it does remain effective at stopping poorly written bots. The changes in 3.0.5 enable some additional settings that make the CAPTCHA slightly more effective. Do keep in mind, however, that these settings make the CAPTCHA more difficult to read, also impacting human users. Therefore, it is recommended that you tweak the CAPTCHA slightly and enable another form of spam protection to stop bots that are not stopped by the CAPTCHA. An effective CAPTCHA setup will have the CAPTCHA background X and Y axis lowered. Additionally, 3D-noise objects should be enabled and an alternate font should be selected.
Custom Profile Fields - There is an article in the Knowledge Base detailing utilising Custom Profile Fields as a spam deterrent. This seems to be effective against most bots.
Admin Activation - This is not practical on most boards, but is an excellent option on smaller, less-trafficed boards. Many spam registrations utilise Gmail addresses or .cn domains, and use a seemingly random combination of letters and numbers for their username.
Post Queueing - phpBB 3.0.3 introduced a new feature which allows admins to queue posts if the users post count is lower than a defined value.
Administration Control Panel > General > Post Settings > Enable queued posts.
This means that your users will not see the first X number of posts by spam accounts and you can remove them and deactivate the accounts without disruption to your members, but legitimate users will be free to post once that number of posts has been approved.
MODs - The best option to stop spam is to make your board somewhat unique, by using deterrents like MODs that are not implemented in a stock phpBB3 install. Below are a list of MODs that do just this. If you are a MOD Author and believe your MOD should be listed here, please PM me or another Support Team Member.

Advanced Visual Anti Bot by lsjames - "Advanced Visual Anti Bot is an effective solution for preventing spambot. It replace the default visual confirmation background with a random picture. So spambot can not check them out by OCR. The background pictures are replaceable. Advanced Visual Anti Bot does not require any database modifications or admin panel configuration."
Anti-Bot Question by CoC - "Add an Admin controlled anti-bot question to the registration page and ACP."
daroPL_AntiSpam by daroPL - "MOD blocks spambot registrations on board via change name of confirm code field to unique hash. In addition, it changes size of confirm code field to random."
Anti-Spam ACP by EXreaction - "Prevents Spam in many forums on a phpBB3 forum." *This MOD has NOT been validated by the MOD Team*
Automatic Spammer Detection by mtotheikle - "This MOD uses Stop Forums Spam and Bot Scout to check username, email and IP for potential spammer. If anything is returned, all the founders receive a PM notify them about the user. Has ACP settings to disable/enable mod and set what sites to check." *This MOD has NOT been validated by the MOD Team*
JScript Anti Bot by SyntaxError90 - "Adds a hidden field escaped with JavaScript to prevent non-JavaScript browsers or users with JavaScript off from registering." *This MOD has NOT been validated by the MOD Team*
Prime Anti-bot by primehalo - "Implements a text-based human validation system in order to verify that a form submitter is human and not a SPAM robot. It will remember a successful validation so the user won't have to re-validate each time. The validation phrases/questions and responses are fully customizable; you can put as many or as few as you want (one is picked from the list at random each time it's needed). Can be configured to validate on new registrations and guest postings." *This MOD has NOT been validated by the MOD Team*

These steps, used individually or together, should work to slow or stop your spam problem. Please seek support for the MODs listed above in their respective topic, and utilize this topic only to discuss techniques.
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Re: board Spamers

Post by PRT 065 »

i found this mod in the registration that disables bots from posting under the first selection in the box
that is utc -12 anyway there is only a uninhabited island there so people should not be in that area .

http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... 5#p4372235
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Re: board Spamers

Post by PRT 065 »

Has anyone else noticed the new type of spam bot that is going around now just posting in existing threads to make it less obvius or is it just me.
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Re: board Spamers

Post by Fleet Lists »

Can you be more specific please?
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Re: board Spamers

Post by PRT 065 »

i will use an example that has been deleted :P

The Spamer Just post's in a existing thread and puts a link in pretending that it is relavent to the discussion taking place.
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Re: board Spamers

Post by Fleet Lists »

Yes we had a couple of those today. But it is not new. We have had them before.

I guess it is like fashion, they come and go.
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Re: board Spamers

Post by Fleet Lists »

PRT 065 wrote:i will use an example that has been deleted :P

The Spamer Just post's in a existing thread and puts a link in pretending that it is relavent to the discussion taking place.
We just received another two of those from different prospective members but with the first five approval process, these and others received over the last six months or so just do not get into the public domain anymore so they are just wasting their time. But I guess they will just keep trying.
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Re: board Spamers

Post by Fleet Lists »

This morning when I first logged on there were 28 messages waiting for approval. After deleting two Spammers that was down to 1 so 27 messages were automatically deleted with the spammers.So they never made it public due to our latest approval process.

And during the day there have been another 3 Spammers who went the same way.

And of the remaining one message this morning that did not get approved either as it was off topic.
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Re: board Spamers

Post by busrider »

The thing we have to look out for now is users with ads in their signature, who come along and copy some text from a previous post to make it look as if they're a proper user...

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Re: board Spamers

Post by Fleet Lists »

A couple of those have got through in the past week or so but quite a few more never made it that far. So it could have been a lot worse.
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