I have been getting hit hard by russian spammers. I did a bunch of research here on phpbb and found that even blocking the entire of the russian federation won't help me as they will just use proxies. I currently have the newest board and am using the anti spam mod that is all pimped out with blacklists and the timezone trick etc. I also have it setup to use captchas and an email activation. I am still getting a ton of spam on a low traffic forum.
After this research I have come to a few conclusions. We need a better setup for our captchas on our phpbb boards. I have seen various kinds here as well. Even the game ones get defeated by programs designed for them. Spammers are super smart. So I found a couple that may do the trick.
1. Dracon Flash CAPTCHA: This captcha is designed to be OCR proof and is very securely encrypted. It is also free unless you want the tiny little link to their site taken off. For that unbranding it only costs 10 bucks. It can be found here: http://www.dracon.biz/captcha.php
2. NuCaptcha - They are a company that designs a special captcha that they continually update to thrwart spammers. Currently they are using moving letters on a video stream. It also learns in order to mess with the spammers. It is very easy to read as well for a human but I can see how it would work against spammers. A video of it can be found here: http://www.nucaptcha.com/
The only problem I have with NuCaptcha is that you have to pay for it on a usage basic instead of a straight up license. I can understand why but it still isn't much fun to pay for things
3. I have an idea myself for a captcha but I am not a programmer. It basically is that you ask people super simple questions that would be very much a frustration for a bot to figure out. Things like, "What is furry, has four legs, and poops in a litter box?", "What is furry, has four legs, and you take on walks?", "What has a hard shell, swims in the ocean, and can pull into its shell?". You could also set it up so you could make it ask things like: "Which of the following phrases is racist: A: Indians came from India B: Mexicans are people too C: Asians are good at math" Both methods would work well with the visually impared people that have to hear the questions or statements.
Now that I talked about a few captcha ideas that should be put into mods I will talk about placments.
I use a website called reddit. They are pretty spam free and I am not really ever hassled upon registering, etc. They have a few measures that seem to work very well that we could utilize in a mod.
Unless you have an email registration you are severely limited to how often you get to post. After you are email registered you are hindered to posting only every 9 minutes. This also includes a captcha every time you try to post. After about 30-50 posts you are pretty free to post. It cuts your posting times down to about 10 seconds between comment replies on each thread.
I have read somewhere on this website that using captchas on posts isn't helpful because people rarely get through. I am sorry to say I have been experiencing just the opposite. I am getting a ton of OCR capable spammers that are just hopping right through the gates.
If we could minimize posting times and use captchas until they are fully vetted users it would be super helpful.
So utilizing the unbeatable captchas I listed above with the posting limitations we could have a very powerful anti spam tool to utilize.
PS... there are other really good captchas coming out that Yahoo are even using that move that screw with the OCR spam tools.
Let's chat about this. Maybe someone here is up for the task of building this really awesome tool to use. IP ban lists and regular Captchas just aren't cutting it and the alternatives I have been seeing aren't visually impared helpful either.