STILL being spammed with porn. Any suggestions?

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drlaudio
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STILL being spammed with porn. Any suggestions?

Post by drlaudio » Tue May 06, 2008 12:53 pm

Hi all! Been using phpBB for quite some time now, and have hd an ongoing fight with spammers and pronmongers.

I've already installed and activated the following MODs:
"Textual Confirmation" (should prevent the BOTs from registering)
"Active Members Only" (Only shows members in the memberlist if they have at least 1 post)
"Zero Users" (Basically does the same as above, hides users who hve zero posts)

I've also turned on the option for the visual confirmation.

After doing all of that, I'm STILL getting about 15-20 posts a day from spammers or pornos (with pictures most of the time!) Since BOTs shouldn't be able to pass the visual or the textual confirmation stages, these must be humans logging in and posting. Why they bother, I don't know, since I delete them as soon as I can, which removes their links from not only the post section, but from the member list as well (thanks to those last two mods).

What else can I do to stop them? Or at least slow them down?

Any additional help would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: STILL being spammed with porn. Any suggestions?

Post by James N » Tue May 06, 2008 12:56 pm

I would say that they are still spambots. have you checked to see that the Textual Confirmation is actually working?

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Re: STILL being spammed with porn. Any suggestions?

Post by ric323 » Tue May 06, 2008 1:11 pm

Where is your board?
Could you give us a link to a forum they managed to post in please?
Did they manage to register, or post as guests?
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drlaudio
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Re: STILL being spammed with porn. Any suggestions?

Post by drlaudio » Tue May 06, 2008 1:12 pm

James N wrote:I would say that they are still spambots. have you checked to see that the Textual Confirmation is actually working?
Yes. I tried to register a new account for myself, and had to go through BOTH the textual AND the visual confirmation steps. And I'm constantly getting emails from the textual confirmation MOD whenever a BOT tries to register and fails the test. Those are even MORE than the actual posts that are getting through. I probably get about 50-75 of those a day. So the textual confirmation is definitely working, and doing its job. It just can't filter out the humans, because they can (presumably) read.

drlaudio
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Re: STILL being spammed with porn. Any suggestions?

Post by drlaudio » Tue May 06, 2008 1:14 pm

ric323 wrote:Where is your board?
Could you give us a link to a forum they managed to post in please?
Did they manage to register, or post as guests?
The site is http://www.kayceenilson.com/Board

They mostly post in the "General" forum, but occasionally a spam post will show up in the other forums as well.

They are not posting as guests. They are actually registering and then posting.

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Re: STILL being spammed with porn. Any suggestions?

Post by ric323 » Tue May 06, 2008 1:25 pm

drlaudio wrote:I've already installed and activated the following MODs:
"Textual Confirmation" (should prevent the BOTs from registering)
"Active Members Only" (Only shows members in the memberlist if they have at least 1 post)
"Zero Users" (Basically does the same as above, hides users who hve zero posts)

I've also turned on the option for the visual confirmation.
Textual Confirmation should stop bots, bit it won't stop humans
""Active Members Only" and "Zero Users" might stop bots getting any value from registering on your site, but they won't actually stop them registering.
Since BOTs shouldn't be able to pass the visual or the textual confirmation stages, these must be humans logging in and posting.
bots can easily solve the Visual Confirmation now, so it's pointless and just makes it harder for real members to join.
TC should be stopping the bots.

Create a private forum that only admin and mods can see.
Move the objectionable posts there rather than deleting them. This lets you get them out of view, but gives you a chance to check the IP addresses etc.
As you suspect, it may well just be a human trying to make your life difficult.
If that is the case, the "Troll MOD" might be able to get rid of them.
The Knowledge Base contains solutions to many common problems!
How to fix "Doesn't have a default value" and "Incorrect string value: xxx for column 'post_text' " errors.
How to do a clean re-install of the latest phpBB3 version.
Problems with permissions? Read phpBB3 Permissions

drlaudio
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Re: STILL being spammed with porn. Any suggestions?

Post by drlaudio » Tue May 06, 2008 2:25 pm

Thanks. I'll try the Troll MOD. Not sur it will help, since the posts seem to come from a wide variety of users and a IPs. (I do check those, and often times ban them, but the "users" are apparently using dynamic IPs, because the same user will come from various IPs, and various "users" post identical posts, so it could be a single, or few people using various usernames. Again, the Troll mod MIGHT help. I certainly hope so.

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Re: STILL being spammed with porn. Any suggestions?

Post by James N » Tue May 06, 2008 3:05 pm

drlaudio wrote:
James N wrote:I would say that they are still spambots. have you checked to see that the Textual Confirmation is actually working?
Yes. I tried to register a new account for myself, and had to go through BOTH the textual AND the visual confirmation steps. And I'm constantly getting emails from the textual confirmation MOD whenever a BOT tries to register and fails the test. Those are even MORE than the actual posts that are getting through. I probably get about 50-75 of those a day. So the textual confirmation is definitely working, and doing its job. It just can't filter out the humans, because they can (presumably) read.
Try changing the question and answer. If the answer you are using has been programmed in to a spambot, then they will be able to join.

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Re: STILL being spammed with porn. Any suggestions?

Post by jrdeahl » Fri May 09, 2008 2:13 am

I cut 99% of my problem down by setting the verification to user and postings only made by registered users. Since most of these people use fake email addresses they never get the email to verify their new account and since they are not registered users they can not post messages.

If they still get through just send them an email and tell them to knock it off or you will contact athorities.

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Re: STILL being spammed with porn. Any suggestions?

Post by drlaudio » Fri May 09, 2008 12:21 pm

jrdeahl wrote:I cut 99% of my problem down by setting the verification to user and postings only made by registered users. Since most of these people use fake email addresses they never get the email to verify their new account and since they are not registered users they can not post messages.

If they still get through just send them an email and tell them to knock it off or you will contact athorities.
My board settings are the same (user verification and only registerd posters). I figured that would stop most of the problem as well, but it didn't seem to have any effect. The only thing that has made a difference is the Textual Confirmation. It stopped the spambots, but not the humans. So it cut the spam and porn down from about 150/day to about 15/day. But that's still way more than I want to have to deal with.

I hoped that adding some of the other mods (mentioned in the originl posting) would help get rid of the human spammers, but they didn't seem to make any difference.

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Re: STILL being spammed with porn. Any suggestions?

Post by James N » Fri May 09, 2008 12:33 pm

James N wrote:
Try changing the question and answer. If the answer you are using has been programmed in to a spambot, then they will be able to join.
Did you try that?

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Re: STILL being spammed with porn. Any suggestions?

Post by drlaudio » Fri May 09, 2008 12:39 pm

James N wrote:
James N wrote:
Try changing the question and answer. If the answer you are using has been programmed in to a spambot, then they will be able to join.
Did you try that?
Yep. And put in a few questions so they would randomly rotate. Spambots certainly can't be programed to answer DIFFERENT questions. Didn't make a difference, which is why I say that the ones getting through must be humans.

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Re: STILL being spammed with porn. Any suggestions?

Post by James N » Fri May 09, 2008 12:47 pm

Looks like you might be right.

Have you tried the Troll MOD linked above? If its just one or two people doing it, then it might slow them down at least.

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Re: STILL being spammed with porn. Any suggestions?

Post by drlaudio » Fri May 09, 2008 1:02 pm

James N wrote:Looks like you might be right.

Have you tried the Troll MOD linked above? If its just one or two people doing it, then it might slow them down at least.
I've downloaded it, but I haven't installed it yet. Still deciding if I want to go to the trouble of upgrading from 2.0.21 to 2.0.23 first. It would mean a lot of re-editing for the MODs I already have, and I understand support will be dropped for ver 2.0 in less than a year anyway, so maybe it's not worth the time to do that upgrade. Ugh!

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Re: STILL being spammed with porn. Any suggestions?

Post by James N » Fri May 09, 2008 1:07 pm

If you are thinking of moving over to phpBB3, then I would do it now rather than (as you say) update your BB2 with its MODs. (though its not heavily MODded) and then move later anyway. With the forum of your size its an easy job thats going to take an hour or so from start to finish

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