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Spam attacks

Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:56 pm
by callumacrae
I have seen more than a few people commenting that the amount of spam being posted to their forums has surged in the past few days, and I am included. Anyone else noticing this, and does anyone know how or why?

This isn't support, I'm just interested.

~Callum

Re: Spam attacks

Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:43 pm
by tbackoff
It seems recaptcha is not useful anymore. The same goes for Q&A - spam bot authors seem to be preprogramming key words to break it.

Re: Spam attacks

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:55 am
by Lumpy Burgertushie
I doubt they can break the Q&A like that.

the recent problem has been with spammers trying to brute force passwords to get logged in.

they are not having any luck as far as I know, but they just keep trying.
It seems to be a new bot or something that is making the rounds right now.

the problem of human spammers does seem to be getting worse.

apparently they hire people to just go around and register on phpbb ( and other ) boards.

then , they go back later and post spam and/or urls in the profile etc.

not much you can do other than use the built in spam protections and use the newly registered users group etc.


robert

Re: Spam attacks

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:48 am
by Phil
Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:I doubt they can break the Q&A like that.
Several forums I am responsible for have had considerable volumes of spam over the several days despite using the Q&A CAPTCHA (and, similarly, reCAPTCHA). Granted, they are using simple questions ("What color is the sky?" "2+2=?", etc.), however this shows that there has been some success in circumventing the technique.

Re: Spam attacks

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:31 am
by KevC
Yeah I've also seen a big hit on my Q&A in the last 10 days. Changing the 'key word' didn't stop it but I've had some limited success with rewording my 'question'.

It would be nice to have an option in the ban section where you can just say stop everything from .ru although I've also been getting Belize, the Philippines and Latvia a lot lately too.

Re: Spam attacks

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:43 pm
by callumacrae
Would enabling email activation help?

~Callum

Re: Spam attacks

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:01 pm
by lurttinen
Callum95 wrote:Would enabling email activation help?

~Callum
Probably not. Smart bots can check their email and have been doing that since phpBB2 days. :)

I had to dump reCAPTCHA because of all the spam it let through. :(
So far my Q&A holds, but it is written in Finnish anyway.

Re: Spam attacks

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:13 pm
by Erik Frèrejean
lurttinen wrote:
Callum95 wrote:Would enabling email activation help?

~Callum
Probably not. Smart bots can check their email and have been doing that since phpBB2 days. :)
Funny thing is that this wave doesn't appear to do so, one of my boards have been bombarded with spam registrations over the last couple of weeks but non of them has activated the account yet.

Re: Spam attacks

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:27 pm
by Christian 2.0
As somebody who will be opening a large site within the next few months, which essentially revolves around the community forum - the recent spam "outbreak" is something of a concern.

Does anybody have any experience with the more fancy CAPTCHAs which featured in last year's CAPTCHA competition? Derky's Sortables CAPTCHA plugin and mtotheikle's Fancy jQuery CAPTCHA specifically.

Surely bots aren't sophisticated enough to drag n' drop, or even work out what needs to be dragged where. Needless to say that won't stop human spam registrations, though as we've already established those are impossible to stop whilst letting legitimate users in.

Re: Spam attacks

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:31 pm
by keitzy
What about a custom profile field. I use one for ausgamingcore.

Kinda hard though trying to find what all your users have in common.

With mine I did a custom profile on registration - PROFILE_STEAM_ID in admin section and did a preg match to make sure the exact STEAM_0:bal:bla was input.

That halted all spam.

May be a bit much though. Just a thought.

Re: Spam attacks

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:21 pm
by chrissomerville
I too have experienced similar attempts. I have email activation required, and I am deleting around 50 bogus applications per day. The usernames appear to be random generations. I have CAPTA activated so assume these are people not robots? Is that naive? Last week the IPs were nearly all China, with a few Korea. The last few days they have all been Russian, except for two Ukraine.
It would be nice if we could block via country codes!
Anyone any bright ideas?
Chris

Re: Spam attacks

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:23 pm
by callumacrae
keitzy wrote:What about a custom profile field. I use one for ausgamingcore.

Kinda hard though trying to find what all your users have in common.

With mine I did a custom profile on registration - PROFILE_STEAM_ID in admin section and did a preg match to make sure the exact STEAM_0:bal:bla was input.

That halted all spam.

May be a bit much though. Just a thought.
From your post and sig, I gather that your site is about steam? That's a great idea, but it EOULDNT wok on most peoples forums as a lot of people don't have steam.

~Callum

Re: Spam attacks

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:28 pm
by Erik Frèrejean
chrissomerville wrote:The usernames appear to be random generations. I have CAPTA activated so assume these are people not robots? Is that naive?
Yes, some spammers will be humans but spam bots can also solve captcha's.

Re: Spam attacks

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:30 pm
by callumacrae
I need a robot to do the captchas for me, they're too difficult for me :(

~Callum

Re: Spam attacks

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:34 pm
by keitzy
Callum95 wrote:I need a robot to do the captchas for me, they're too difficult for me :(

~Callum
I know how you feel. I'm forever failing the captcha code test on submit.