Preventing Spam in phpBB 3.0.6 and Above [*Read First Post*]

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cfeedback
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Re: Preventing Spam in phpBB 3.0.6 [*Read First Post*]

Post by cfeedback »

thered wrote:I'm running 3.0.5 at present with the excellent Anti-bot Question Mod by CoC. I've never had a bot problem since I installed it. Everything else is running perfectly too, so I'm reluctant to upgrade.

I have a couple of questions, first, I'm told the the above mod doesn't work in 3.0.6 - so, if I do upgrade, do I need to 'unmod' my files first, and what about the change it has made to my database schema?
I'm using the same mod and upgraded to 3.0.6 and it is apparently still working fine. My board is pretty small but I used to get a dozen or more spammers registering a week. Since I've installed that mod set the question to 'What color is grass?" I've yet to have a SINGLE one register. Highly recommended!

http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... 0&t=568673
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Re: Preventing Spam in phpBB 3.0.6 [*Read First Post*]

Post by Cpt. Blackbeard »

Since I added a Mandatory Question to the registration page using Custom Profile Fields I have not had a single SPAM Bot registered, I highly recommend it.
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Re: Preventing Spam in phpBB 3.0.6 [*Read First Post*]

Post by Darth Wong »

cfeedback wrote:
thered wrote:I'm running 3.0.5 at present with the excellent Anti-bot Question Mod by CoC. I've never had a bot problem since I installed it. Everything else is running perfectly too, so I'm reluctant to upgrade.

I have a couple of questions, first, I'm told the the above mod doesn't work in 3.0.6 - so, if I do upgrade, do I need to 'unmod' my files first, and what about the change it has made to my database schema?
I'm using the same mod and upgraded to 3.0.6 and it is apparently still working fine. My board is pretty small but I used to get a dozen or more spammers registering a week. Since I've installed that mod set the question to 'What color is grass?" I've yet to have a SINGLE one register. Highly recommended!

http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... 0&t=568673
I used to use the Anti-Bot Question mod myself, but I don't see the need for it any more. The Q&A CAPTCHA plugin included with 3.0.6 does the same thing with more flexibility (it can randomly pick one of several questions, it allows longer questions, and it allows an unlimited number of optional correct answers instead of just two). No disrespect to the mod author because it's a great little mod that was really needed at the time, but there's really no need to continue using it in 3.0.6. It's always preferable to use a "factory stock" part of the software to do a job like this if possible anyway, because it makes future upgrades easier.
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Re: Preventing Spam in phpBB 3.0.6 [*Read First Post*]

Post by kopenk »

how can i use recaptcha for another style except subsilver and prosilver??


edit : i have found the solution,,, case clear :D
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Re: Preventing Spam in phpBB 3.0.6 [*Read First Post*]

Post by Phil »

To clarify for anyone reading this topic later, one can use any of the Visual Confirmation Plugins with any template provided the template has been updated to 3.0.6.
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Re: Preventing Spam in phpBB 3.0.6 [*Read First Post*]

Post by militarymrs »

I was having a big problem with spammers registering there for a while. It was getting to be 2 or 3 spammers a day. So now I have a mandatory question, a drop down in which you have to choose the fruit out of a list of vegetables, and a CAPTCHA. LOL I can't get email to work, which means admin activation is a no-go, so I have no other choice.
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Re: Preventing Spam in phpBB 3.0.6 [*Read First Post*]

Post by Geoff_C »

I dont use captcha, cause I can't get them right myself. One custom field, enter a value, and I have no problems at all. I dont see the point of Captcha, if you use a question.
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Re: Preventing Spam in phpBB 3.0.6 [*Read First Post*]

Post by Phil »

The problem with a question or similar is if they become popular enough they will be easily broken. Simply put, as per the original post, anything that can be easily Googled is not permanently safe for an anti-bot question type of thing.
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Re: Preventing Spam in phpBB 3.0.6 [*Read First Post*]

Post by Geoff_C »

iWisdom wrote:The problem with a question or similar is if they become popular enough they will be easily broken. Simply put, as per the original post, anything that can be easily Googled is not permanently safe for an anti-bot question type of thing.
That requires a bot operator to customise his bot to my site. My question is not the type of thing that requires a google search, its really trivial, and I can obviously change it in a few minutes. And I personally consistently have problems with Captcha's and unless I am desperate, I now can't be bothered to proceed. I certainly don't want to do that to my prospective visitors. A great many of which still type in CAPS and I have to explain how a message board works. :roll: :roll:

I don't really think that will ever happen. Might happen to Microsoft, but not to me. We will see. Right now its been foolproof, and interestingly, I have not even had human spammers since I upgraded to phpbb 3. May be they only target Phpbb 2 which can't suspend the initial posts of a new user?
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Re: Preventing Spam in phpBB 3.0.6 [*Read First Post*]

Post by Phil »

Bots are certainly targeting phpBB3.

If you want something more "fool-proof", the best bet is to use a customised CAPTCHA via one of the available 3rd-party plugins. Those solutions that are there now will likely not persist as workable forever.
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az2000
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Re: Preventing Spam in phpBB 3.0.6 [*Read First Post*]

Post by az2000 »

I didn't see any mention in the sticky post about Akismet or Spam Karma. These seem to be designed for blogs, but I read elsewhere that they've been used with forums.

Does anyone have an opinion of how these might contribute to anti-spam measures? It sounds like you contact these services with a post, and the service gives a yes/no response whether it contains spammy terms.

I'm thinking it could be a good intermediate level of defense. For example, I plan to use captcha devices for registration. I will review posts by "newly registered" users. I'm thinking that, for newly-registered users I could use one of these services. If it comes back positive for spam, I could move that user to a "suspected" group.

It seems like this could make it easier to approve newly-registered posts, and get those users into the unrestricted "registered" group sooner. Spammers would get themselves isolated into the "suspected" group, reducing the noise when dealing with legitimate newly-registered posts.

If anyone has thoughts, I'd like to hear them.
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Re: Preventing Spam in phpBB 3.0.6 [*Read First Post*]

Post by Phil »

Such blacklist-based solutions tend to be iffy at bet -- tools like Akismet only work due to their high adoption (large amount of blacklist data). That being said, they are not included as a phpBB-based solution for them (in the form of a MOD) has not been created yet.
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Re: Preventing Spam in phpBB 3.0.6 [*Read First Post*]

Post by az2000 »

iWisdom wrote:Such blacklist-based solutions tend to be iffy at bet -- tools like Akismet only work due to their high adoption (large amount of blacklist data). That being said, they are not included as a phpBB-based solution for them (in the form of a MOD) has not been created yet.
Thanks. I agree those tools may be iffy. I was thinking of using one (or both) only during the stage when an individual is a member of the "newly registered" group. If during that time a post comes back negative, I'd add them to a "blacklisted" group for further analysis.

I don't know if that would be good enough to allow members of "newly registered" to post without restriction (restrictions added if they get added to the "blacklisted" group.). Or, if I'd still review posts made by "newly registered" and simply use the "blacklisted" group assignment to make the review process more organized. (I.e., reduce the noise associated with reviewing posts by people who haven't been blacklisted; approaching the blacklisted group members with a different attitude.).

I think it could serve a purpose. I'm going to definitely try it with some hacked, not-suitable-as-a-mod code. I'll provide feedback eventually if someone doesn't beat me to it. (I'm not in a big rush to put my board online. It could be awhile.).
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Re: Preventing Spam in phpBB 3.0.6 [*Read First Post*]

Post by Phil »

To be honest Akismet and the like tend to have a high enough miss/false positive rate that it would still require manual review. Even on a board like this the amount to review isn't extremely high, so it might be less work/more reliable to just review everything manually (and maybe find a moderator or two to help you with it depending on popularity).
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Re: Why fight them?

Post by az2000 »

LordStDennis wrote:On my board, *link removed* I have a forum called, "Sell your stuff here!" and that's where all the SPAM goes. Most Users respect that, including robots.
That's an interesting idea. Has anyone else tried that?

It's hard to believe spammers would play by the rules if they have a forum dedicated to their spam. I'd probably do that if it worked. ("Discretion being the better part of valor." And all that jazz.).
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