Blocking GMail accounts?

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56th_Angel_Dust
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Blocking GMail accounts?

Post by 56th_Angel_Dust » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:17 am

I have noticed that some forums no longer allow gmail accounts when someone registers with their forums.

Recently we have had a large amount of spamming on our forums and we really do not want to enable the register by admin feature.

Is there a way to block all registration with Gmail accounts? If so can you please give me instructions on how to do so?

Thanks!

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Re: Blocking GMail accounts?

Post by JimA » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:29 am

Go to the ACP, Users and groups, Ban e-mails.
Then ban the following address: *@gmail.com

That will prevent every e-mail address which ends with @gmail.com from registering.
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onehundredandtwo
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Re: Blocking GMail accounts?

Post by onehundredandtwo » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:31 am

There is a sticky regarding spam here. Just remember that blocking all Gmail accounts may prevent users from registering and that there are better methods to prevent spam.

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Last edited by onehundredandtwo on Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Blocking GMail accounts?

Post by 56th_Angel_Dust » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:32 am

thanks mate

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Re: Blocking GMail accounts?

Post by drathbun » Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:07 pm

onehundredandtwo wrote:Just remember that blocking all Gmail accounts may prevent users from registering and that there are better methods to prevent spam.
That may well be true, but gmail is the #1 source of spam registrations on my boards now. Blocking it is definitely a tempting idea.
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Re: Blocking GMail accounts?

Post by Sajaki » Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:30 pm

@OP : it may well work for you but you may lose many legitimate gmail users. personally i like gmail alot. there are better ways to prevent spam.

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Re: Blocking GMail accounts?

Post by speysider » Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:12 pm

Block variations of @hotmail.com, for some reason board emails come to your email inbox, but Hotmail seems to think it's dangerous. :evil:
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Re: Blocking GMail accounts?

Post by Pony99CA » Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:04 pm

drathbun wrote:
onehundredandtwo wrote:Just remember that blocking all Gmail accounts may prevent users from registering and that there are better methods to prevent spam.
That may well be true, but gmail is the #1 source of spam registrations on my boards now. Blocking it is definitely a tempting idea.
In phpBB 2.x, I used to get tons of spam registrations (see my spammer hall of shame), so I tried blocking GMail (and Hotmail and Yahoo and others). However, I still got spam registrations from scummy domains and eventually turned Admin registration on.

However, with phpBB 3.x, I tried something different. Because the CAPTCHA was supposed to be better, I unblocked GMail (and some others) and allowed user registration. That worked well for a while, but scummy spammers eventually cracked the CAPTCHA and I started getting spam registrations again.

So I added a custom profile question ("Are you a bot?"), and haven't had any spam registrations since. :D

So guess what my suggestion is -- don't ban GMail; add a custom profile question.

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MasterZ
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Re: Blocking GMail accounts?

Post by MasterZ » Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:55 pm

I agree, banning gmail is a bad idea. I use gmail exclusively, and I don't like the idea of being banned from countless forums for no reason on my part.

Take a few minutes and install an anti-bot mod, then you can keep your customers and keep away the spam.

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Re: Blocking GMail accounts?

Post by drathbun » Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:31 am

Then bug google to fix their gmail process so spammers have to work harder to use it. gmail.com is the source of over 70% of the spam registration attemps on my largest board. As a board owner, it's quite easy to say "bah, ban gmail and 70% of my spam problems go away" isn't it? Other favorites are gawab and mail.ru and so on.

I haven't updated the stats in a while, but a blog post I wrote in November of 2008 shows how bad the issue is getting with gmail, at least on my sites...

http://www.phpbbdoctor.com/blog/2008/11 ... ng-google/
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Re: Blocking GMail accounts?

Post by Pony99CA » Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:09 am

drathbun wrote:Other favorites are gawab and mail.ru and so on.
I've banned both of those domains and have no intention of unbanning them. In fact, I banned *@*.ru, *@*.ua and *@*.cn. If I miss out on the hot Russian, Ukrainian and Chinese topics, I'll guess I'll have to get by. :D

I had half a mind to ban *@*.info, too, but I own a .info domain, so I haven't done that.

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Re: Blocking GMail accounts?

Post by drathbun » Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:14 pm

I blocked .info several years ago when it was the most popular domain for spammers. It has been unblocked now as they've moved on. Unless people (and by people I mean google) do something to make gmail less attractive to spammers, they won't move on.
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Re: Blocking GMail accounts?

Post by Dogs and things » Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:02 pm

But what's the problem with people (rather: people-like entities) abusing Gmail for spamming practices if some good anti-spam feature makes it impossible for the baddies to register on one's board?

I see absolutely no need for taking such drastic measures as blocking email domains.

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Re: Blocking GMail accounts?

Post by drathbun » Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:18 pm

Dogs and things wrote:But what's the problem with people (rather: people-like entities) abusing Gmail for spamming practices if some good anti-spam feature makes it impossible for the baddies to register on one's board?
I agree :) and I use several measures myself. But...
drathbun wrote:As a board owner, it's quite easy to say "bah, ban gmail and 70% of my spam problems go away" isn't it?
hotmail, yahoo, gmail... any free email account is subject to abuse. Spammers are using the fact that board owners are, as you are, reluctant to ban gmail outright because it does have so many legitimate users.

Why do people spam? is it because they have nothing better to do? No, it's because they think they will make money. Free email accounts are easy to create, cost nothing, and therefore the spammers find them quite useful. They don't add any costs to the process. To be clear I haven't blocked gmail myself. I wanted to, but my board members would not let me. :) There are several compelling reasons why someone would want to use gmail (or some other service) that I can't ignore. All I am saying is that blocking gmail is an option that can be considered, and given the statistics I've collected it would be quite effective at blocking spam registrations.
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Dog Cow
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Re: Blocking GMail accounts?

Post by Dog Cow » Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:20 pm

Spammers know (or maybe some do) that blocking the gmail domain name will also block "real" people who want to sign up. I've had plenty of non-spam users sign up at my site with a gmail account. Either way, they're going to get you.

I haven't put wildcard blocks on any free email domains.
Last edited by Dog Cow on Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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