can't use phpBB due to excessive spam

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ossandust
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can't use phpBB due to excessive spam

Post by ossandust » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:47 pm

I installed phpBB 3.2.1, I followed the hint in the "Preventing Spam in phpBB3" post and activated a Q&A captcha with a specific question about the forum topic. Apart from that permissions are strict, I believe - guests can do nothing but view the forum or subscribe. Still I get flooded with several hundreds "topics waiting approval" every few days. What am I doing wrong?

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Re: can't use phpBB due to excessive spam

Post by KevC » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:56 pm

What's the address of your site?
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Re: can't use phpBB due to excessive spam

Post by stevemaury » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:57 pm

Yes, please a link to your board. Your Q&A is most certainly inappropriate.
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Re: can't use phpBB due to excessive spam

Post by ossandust » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:11 am

Thanks for responding. The address is http://forum.tinybox.rocks/ Now that I look at it it might indeed be the wrong Q&A since the answer is more or less in the url. I'll be glad to follow any suggestion on a better Q&A.

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Re: can't use phpBB due to excessive spam

Post by ossandust » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:15 am

... and I'm probably missing some basic knowledge on the permissions setup too. I ran through it several times and can't seem to find a way to block unregistered users from posting new topics?! The "anonymous user" is part of the guests group, the guests group has "read only access", the only permissions set to "yes" are: "can see forum", "can read forum", "can subscribe forum". Why can spam bots still submit hundreds of new topics which end up in the approval queue?

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Re: can't use phpBB due to excessive spam

Post by Brf » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:23 am

I am not seeing any forums there I can post in without registering.
And yes, your question is not a good one. You should never use a multiple choice question because they can always attempt each of the choices and will always eventually get it right.

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Re: can't use phpBB due to excessive spam

Post by John connor » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:43 am

Read my signature.

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Re: can't use phpBB due to excessive spam

Post by warmweer » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:15 am

Brf wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:23 am
I am not seeing any forums there I can post in without registering.
And yes, your question is not a good one. You should never use a multiple choice question because they can always attempt each of the choices and will always eventually get it right.
And in this case there are only 2 answers to choose from so the attempts limit never comes into play.
A bug is a feature that hasn't made it to the manual (yet)

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Re: can't use phpBB due to excessive spam

Post by John connor » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:52 am

Uh, I never knew there was a .rocks TLD. :lol:

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Re: can't use phpBB due to excessive spam

Post by stevemaury » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:56 pm

Q: What is the word beginning with "G" in the header of this board?

A: GORDIUS or Gordius or gordius
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Re: can't use phpBB due to excessive spam

Post by ossandust » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:46 pm

Thanks all for replying. I wasn't aware that those bots were able to interprete questions and for instance know what part of the question could be a possible answer. Anyway, I may have jumped into conclusions: yesterday I noticed there were a number of "spam users" registered on the forum which I forgot to delete. They may well have subscribed to the forum before I activated the Q&A captcha. I now ran over all users and deleted a bunch of suspicious ones (@mail.ru addresses...) Didn't have any spam messages today - I'll wait and see. For now I also have activated the "account activation by admin" option. I didn't want to do that initially, because it looks like there's no (easy) way to get email notifications when someone tries to register. I'll have to check the administration queue regularly which is annoying, but I won't complain - we shouldn't expect to get everything for free!
( and yes, you can get the weirdest TLD nowadays. Many will find .rocks stupid, but tinybox.rocks just sounded ok to me, moreover I'm aiming at those rock guitarists with my little product, so why not... :) )

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Re: can't use phpBB due to excessive spam

Post by Cliff Evans » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:52 pm

The Cleantalk plugin has stopped all spam on my board! every now and then one gets through, but it is soon sorted and reported to Cleantalk

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Re: can't use phpBB due to excessive spam

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:21 pm

glad you have your spam under control.
just FYI, if you use the built in Q&A in phpbb with the right type of question, no spam bots will get through.
nothing can stop the occasional human spammers, not even cleantalk whatever that is.

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Re: can't use phpBB due to excessive spam

Post by John connor » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:46 am

You can get an E-mail alert using the Admin approved registration option. Go into your user account under notifications and you'll see it. I can't remember the name off hand.

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Re: can't use phpBB due to excessive spam

Post by ossandust » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:07 pm

John connor wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:46 am
You can get an E-mail alert using the Admin approved registration option. Go into your user account under notifications and you'll see it. I can't remember the name off hand.
Thanks. I have following settings enabled :
- General > user registration settings > Account activation : "By Admin"
- General > email settings > Enable board-wide emails: enabled
- General > email settings > Send a test email : I successfully receive the test email
In the user control panel of my admin account :
- Board preferences > Edit notification options :
all checkboxes under "email" are ticked (including "administration notifications > User requiring activation")
Still I don't get any email notification about users to be activated, although I do see a notification in the user control panel after logging in.

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