How to check spammers?

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stokerpiller
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How to check spammers?

Post by stokerpiller » Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:43 pm

Hello,

I run an international board with 3.0.6 RC4
I use derky's sortable captcha.
Newly user group is enabled and their posts need approval.

About twice a month we have a spammer that gets through the captcha but is caught by the post approval thing.

I think they are human spammers but I would like to make sure.
How do you check if the spammer is human or bot?
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JimA
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Re: How to check spammers?

Post by JimA » Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:51 pm

You can't know for sure, but checking the e-mail address will get you quite far.
Check for the use of foreign TLDs or free e-mail service. Usage of numbers and letters helps too. :)
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stokerpiller
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Re: How to check spammers?

Post by stokerpiller » Wed Nov 11, 2009 6:38 pm

No, that doesnt tell if its a human or bot. Not for sure anyway.
I was hoping that there were some kind of behavior that would tell if its human or bot. Or some kind of search service :)

However, when this only happens about twice a month its probably a human.
If bots can break it there would be more spam, I guess :)
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Re: How to check spammers?

Post by A_Jelly_Doughnut » Wed Nov 11, 2009 6:44 pm

There is a large listing of data (usernames, etc.) used by spammers at www.stopforumspam.com.
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Re: How to check spammers?

Post by stokerpiller » Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:09 pm

I know that, actually I have a tool that searches several spam lists.
The same tool was used to block spammers from registering before 3.0.6
Take a look here

What I am looking for is something that can tell the difference between a human spammer and a spambot.
Why? If we are visited by spambots it means the captcha is broken and need to be replaced.
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Re: How to check spammers?

Post by lurttinen » Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:18 pm

stokerpiller wrote: What I am looking for is something that can tell the difference between a human spammer and a spambot.
Why? If we are visited by spambots it means the captcha is broken and need to be replaced.
One or two spam posts per month is human. Even "few" posts per month is human.

When you are flooded by spam, when the spamming becomes constant you may declare your CAPTCHA broken and get a new one. :)
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Re: How to check spammers?

Post by Dog Cow » Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:30 pm

stokerpiller wrote: How do you check if the spammer is human or bot?
Put on a timer on registrations and postings. That is near-guaranteed. A computer will post and register accounts in 2 seconds or less. A human, on the other hand, will not.
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Re: How to check spammers?

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:41 pm

and then take a break for a while.

one or two spammers a month is nothing to get all worked up about.

It is "just a bulletin board" after all.

:shock: :D

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Re: How to check spammers?

Post by stokerpiller » Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:48 pm

Well, my last spammer was 20. october and then one today.
I guess the 3.0.6 plugin system works fine.

Looking at the registration and post time, they were both human.
Thanks for the Tip.


Lumpy Burgertushie -> Nobody is getting worked up here :mrgreen:
Staying on top of the problem is the goal, and with the new plugin system also quite easy.
If the bots crack it, its easy to just replace the capctha plugin with a new one.

The only thing is that you have to know when it is a spambot.
Dog Cow gave me an idea how to check this.

And it is an honor keeping it clean :mrgreen:
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Re: How to check spammers?

Post by drathbun » Mon Nov 16, 2009 2:56 pm

One of the techniques I use when I am in the mood to check manually is to do a web search for the same username and potentially signature text or even their first post text. If I find the same on dozens (or in some cases hundreds or even thousands) of other boards or blogs I'm fairly certain it's a spammer.

As to whether the record is human or bot, I agree that looking at the web page timing is a good indication at least for now. I am waiting for the next release of spammer software that allows the spammer to enter a delay to make their bot look more like a human.
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Re: How to check spammers?

Post by Dog Cow » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:08 pm

drathbun wrote:I am waiting for the next release of spammer software that allows the spammer to enter a delay to make their bot look more like a human.
That probably won't ever happen. Spammers want to be as quick as possible. Any slow-down is not worth their time.

The only way I could imagine such software with a delay being viable would be if it were run on a cluster of computers all having unique IP addresses. Anyone heard of such as thing? :lol:
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Re: How to check spammers?

Post by Phil » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:48 pm

Or perhaps to work around things like flood-limits.
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Re: How to check spammers?

Post by Dog Cow » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:53 pm

iWisdom wrote:Or perhaps to work around things like flood-limits.
The work-around for that is to log in more users.
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Re: How to check spammers?

Post by Roberdin » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:43 am

Dog Cow wrote:That probably won't ever happen. Spammers want to be as quick as possible. Any slow-down is not worth their time.
It is if only users registered for more than 2 minutes can post. Some spam is better than none, from their perspective.
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Re: How to check spammers?

Post by Dog Cow » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:15 am

Roberdin wrote:
Dog Cow wrote:That probably won't ever happen. Spammers want to be as quick as possible. Any slow-down is not worth their time.
It is if only users registered for more than 2 minutes can post. Some spam is better than none, from their perspective.
I disagree. If the site has implemented such slow-downs to thwart spammers, then anything that does get through, as you have suggested, would likely be removed by an admin or moderator in a matter of hours, if not sooner.

Spammers are looking for ordinary, run-of-the-mill, not-so-well-taken-care-of sites that they can quickly plaster with spam.
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