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

Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:30 pm
by Phil
Given most spambots tend to pick forums relatively randomly I don't see how that would work very well. It may possibly curtail human spammers, but not with enough certainty that I would be satisfied with it. You'd be much better off applying one of the methods listed in the first post of this topic instead -- some of the 3rd-party CAPTCHA plugins/the Q&A plugin tend to work very well at the moment (to the point where you may not even need to make use of the Newly Registered Users group).

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

Posted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:09 am
by GameVixenZone
Spam is on the roll over @ my site :shock: They are starting to bypass both recaptcha and custom profile fields. Any tips?

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

Posted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:11 pm
by az2000
GameVixenZone wrote:Spam is on the roll over @ my site :shock: They are starting to bypass both recaptcha and custom profile fields. Any tips?
From reading this thread, it sounds like spam bots are programmed for standard phpbb captcha devices. Custom profile fields just only work until a bot owner feels your forum is worth the effort to write some exception code to handle your custom profile field.

Earlier in this thread, I liked the suggestion to ask math questions like "Sally bought 4 oranges and 3 tangelos, if she gave away two, but bought 4 more, how many does she have?"

There's also a math plugin which displays math as an image.

And, something that orients images, asking the user identify which two images are oriented vertically.

If you change the verbose math questions frequently, and the library of oriented images, I don't see how a bot could beat those. If you use 2-3 of those together....

But, I still think there's a risk of bot owners paying cheap offshore labor to register accounts at your site which the bot owner then uses for spam. Then you have to use the above captcha devices on posting screens too. Or, use the "newly registered user" restriction which puts a new-user's first 5-20 posts on review.

That, or use Akismet (or Spam Karma II) for "newly registered users" to try and catch spammy posts if you don't want to review new-user posts.

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

Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:09 pm
by Eriamjh1138
This is getting ridiculous!

I have been using phpBB since 2004 and upgrade to 3.0.0RC5 in 2007 and to 3.0.6 just two weeks ago. I've had spam over the years and put in mods, but now I can't seem to stop them.

reCAPTCHA was broken in about a week.
jQuery was broken in 24 hours.
Sortables lasted 3 days.

I'm at wits end with those bast@rds! At one time under phpBB2, I had two custom mods that required style and template changes and it stopped them DEAD. They couldn't handle two custom anti-bot mods at once.

My forum gets decent traffic from real people, but is not huge. I can't use admin activation because I can't tell the real ones from the spammers by username. Even the humans want to have cryptic usernames!

Does anti-bot work with 3.0.6? It's pretty old.
I've changed default settings, made my own questions, but if I am being hit by actual humans answering the questions, I can't seem to stop them!

Update: I added a couple custom profile fields after reading about them for the 100th time and finally understanding what they mean! We'll see if that stop them.

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

Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:41 pm
by GameVixenZone
I'd use the math questions, but many of my members don't understand English very well so it would have to be a simple 2x4 sort of thing otherwise they might get confused. I don't know what alternative methods there are.

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

Posted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:36 am
by az2000
GameVixenZone wrote:I'd use the math questions, but many of my members don't understand English very well so it would have to be a simple 2x4 sort of thing otherwise they might get confused. I don't know what alternative methods there are.
The "crazy maths" captcha mntioned in the first post can represent simple math. The benefit is that it's an image. It's unfortunate that the example shows a complex math question. I think most people see that and believe it's unsuitable. But, reading further it can display any math.

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

Posted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:10 am
by onehundredandtwo
GameVixenZone wrote:Spam is on the roll over @ my site :shock: They are starting to bypass both recaptcha and custom profile fields. Any tips?
Eriamjh1138 wrote:[...] reCAPTCHA was broken in about a week. [...]
Actually, reCAPTCHA has very recently designed a new CAPTCHA if you look on their site. ;)

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

Posted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:53 am
by Eriamjh1138
onehundredandtwo wrote:Actually, reCAPTCHA has very recently designed a new CAPTCHA if you look on their site. ;)
The blobs over the words looks like an improvement. Is it some kind of automatic improvement for our forums of will phpBB have to be updated for it?

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

Posted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:14 pm
by onehundredandtwo
The reCAPTCHA plugin just downloads the code from the reCAPTCHA servers, so you should see the change straight away.

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

Posted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:29 pm
by az2000
onehundredandtwo wrote:Actually, reCAPTCHA has very recently designed a new CAPTCHA if you look on their site. ;)
How recent was that new design?Just two weeks ago it was published that ReCAPTCHA was cracked with a 17.5% success rate.

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

Posted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:07 am
by onehundredandtwo
As far as I know, the new reCAPTCHA was created in response to those threats. My best guess was that they were prototypes for some time, and now that the old reCAPTCHA has been broken, they have replaced the old ones.

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

Posted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 5:26 pm
by Eriamjh1138
I have a crazy question that maybe isn't appropriate for this thread, but it falls under anti-spam.

Can spammers read flash-based CAPTCHAs? If it is flash-video and not a static graphic, wouldn't that be another technology step against them? Fancy youtube-like videos with animated text might be difficult for spammers to make out.

Combine it with math, questions, and any other thought problem, then you are left with human-based spammers.

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

Posted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:33 pm
by Phil
I've no idea how successful they are on Flash-based CAPTCHAs. Such CAPTCHAs are not in frequent use as far as I am aware as a non-trivial number of users either do not havE Flash installed or have it disabled unless they explicitly allow it.

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

Posted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:06 pm
by Eriamjh1138
iWisdom wrote:I've no idea how successful they are on Flash-based CAPTCHAs. Such CAPTCHAs are not in frequent use as far as I am aware as a non-trivial number of users either do not havE Flash installed or have it disabled unless they explicitly allow it.
While I understand that not everyone uses all technologies, it sounds like it would be a good option. Any MOD programmers out there want to take it on?

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

Posted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:09 pm
by Paul
I suggest you try to ask in the MOD requests forum :)