Preventing Spam in 3.0.5 and Lower [*Read First Post*]

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Re: Preventing Spam in 3.0 [*Read First Post*]

Postby bbrunnrman » Sat May 30, 2009 7:18 pm

krisCrash wrote:I looked into Knowledge Base - Custom Profile Fields as an Anti-Spammer Tool, and I'm confused why he hasn't checked "Display at registration screen", yet it displays on his registration screen. When duplicating his shown moves, I do not get it to display. I am assuming it is a version difference, and that I should just check it?

Screenshots in the Knowledge Base article are out-of-date, as has been discussed in many previous posts in this thread. They were probably made in phpBB 3.0.2 and don't work in the current version (3.0.4). As for why they haven't been updated, I think it's probably because custom fields are going to change again in the next release (3.0.5), so they're probably waiting for that release before updating the Knowledge Base article.

In the meantime, settings that work in 3.0.4 are shown in my post at viewtopic.php?p=9260725#p9260725 and another (perhaps preferable) set that also work in my post at viewtopic.php?p=9659425#p9659425

Also see the next few posts after the second of these links, for some very simple code changes you can make to enhance custom fields; e.g., to get a custom text field with only one right answer, or a custom drop-down box with only a single "right" answer instead of a single "wrong" answer.
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Re: Preventing Spam in 3.0 [*Read First Post*]

Postby Mick » Sat May 30, 2009 8:20 pm

barryoneoff wrote:I cannot believe this thread has gone on so long! :shock: Are users actually reading the first post? Or can't be bothered?


Roger on that!
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Re: Preventing Spam in 3.0 [*Read First Post*]

Postby krisCrash » Sun May 31, 2009 12:01 pm

bbrunnrman wrote:In the meantime, settings that work in 3.0.4 are shown in my post at viewtopic.php?p=9260725#p9260725 and another (perhaps preferable) set that also work in my post at viewtopic.php?p=9659425#p9659425

Thanks a bunch, that was extremely kind of you - goes to show I have to read the whole thread before replying, I just gave up on page 5 or so :roll: . I wasn't sure if it was significant to not check those fields.

Unfortunately the first spambot has already outsmarted it - or actually, the board let it in despite it answering wrong (I was denied signup when betatesting thus). I think, though, that I will give the system a few days to see more results.
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Re: Preventing Spam in 3.0 [*Read First Post*]

Postby onehundredandtwo » Sun May 31, 2009 7:41 pm

3.0.5 is out, hopefully the first page will be soon updated to show the new fixes to prevent spam.

I'm sure this will help quite a few users. :)
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Re: Preventing Spam in 3.0 [*Read First Post*]

Postby Phil » Sun May 31, 2009 7:42 pm

Other than CAPTCHA changes, there aren't a huge amount of fixes. Unfortunately, anything that ships in the stock package will eventually be broken, so the changes (much like the ones in this topic) that do work are semi-unique ones that aren't hugely common.
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Re: Preventing Spam in 3.0 [*Read First Post*]

Postby tffnguy » Sun May 31, 2009 8:00 pm

Has anything been done to the custom profiles? I don't even have CAPTCHA enabled and if nothing was done to the custom profile fields AND IF 3.04 is still considered secure I may not bother with this update.
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Re: Preventing Spam in 3.0 [*Read First Post*]

Postby Phil » Sun May 31, 2009 8:05 pm

There have been some bugfixes with regards to CPFs.

That being said, you should update regardless as there are numerous other bug and security fixes in this update.
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Re: Preventing Spam in 3.0 [*Read First Post*]

Postby bbrunnrman » Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:41 pm

tffnguy wrote:Has anything been done to the custom profiles? I don't even have CAPTCHA enabled and if nothing was done to the custom profile fields AND IF 3.04 is still considered secure I may not bother with this update.

I would definitely recommend updating, as there are lots of bug fixes for phpBB overall and even a minor security patch. Regarding the topic of this thread, the biggest change, of course, is the enhanced CAPTCHA, including options for "wave distortion", "3D-noise objects" and some variation of font shape. There is also a new feature that lets users request a new CAPTCHA if they can't figure out the one displayed currently.

As for custom profile fields, there were a few minor bug fixes, but there doesn't seem to be any change regarding the actual capabilities of those fields. A custom field that you set up in 3.0.4 should continue working after updating to 3.0.5; however, you may wish to change your settings after the update as in the following screenshot:

custom_profile_settings_305.png

Comparison with the screenshot in my earlier post at viewtopic.php?p=9659425#p9659425 shows that the name of the uppermost option has been changed from "Display profile field" to "Publicly display profile field" and you can set it to "No" now, which should make things clearer. (In 3.0.4, you had to set this to "Yes".)

There don't seem to have been any changes in actual capabilities of custom fields, so you might still want to consider the simple code changes described at viewtopic.php?p=9659965#p9659965 for a text field with single correct answer, and viewtopic.php?p=9660415#p9660415 for a drop-down box with single correct option instead of single wrong option (these code changes ought to work with 3.0.5 as well as 3.0.4).
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Re: Preventing Spam in 3.0 [*Read First Post*]

Postby bbrunnrman » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:02 pm

krisCrash wrote:Unfortunately the first spambot has already outsmarted it - or actually, the board let it in despite it answering wrong (I was denied signup when betatesting thus). I think, though, that I will give the system a few days to see more results.

It wasn't necessarily a spambot that "outsmarted" your custom field; it may have been a human spammer. As for your impression that the spammer answered your custom question wrong: I assume you saw the wrong answer by checking the spammer's profile in the ACP. There's a bug report at http://www.phpbb.com/bugs/phpbb3/44625 suggesting that in some cases the value of a custom field didn't get stored in the database. I don't know if that applies in your case, but if so, it would suggest that the spammer did give the correct answer in order to register, but that correct answer didn't get stored. The bug has probably been fixed in phpBB 3.0.5.

Meanwhile, regarding your use of the custom "Numbers" field, you ought to edit the language file, as indicated near the end of the Knowledge Base article so the error message doesn't give away the correct answer.

(As for the Knowledge Base article, they really ought to update its screen captures, now that phpBB 3.0.5 has been released!)
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Re: Preventing Spam in 3.0 [*Read First Post*]

Postby andrecl » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:37 pm

Is there any way that you can assit to prevent spam for people like myself that obviousely dont have the knowledge in easy terms??? I started the forum 30 days ago have 1500 members, but will have to shut the service down due to the unwanted messages. Please any assitance will do. I am desperate please
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Re: Preventing Spam in 3.0 [*Read First Post*]

Postby Paul » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:40 pm

Try upgrading in 3.0.5 in first case, that should solve it probarly.
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Re: Preventing Spam in 3.0 [*Read First Post*]

Postby andrecl » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:52 pm

Paul wrote:Try upgrading in 3.0.5 in first case, that should solve it probarly.

Thank Paul
Somebody else set the forum up for me. Is their anyway that I can ask you to update it for me. I will pay you for your services, please Paul I am desperate.
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Re: Preventing Spam in 3.0 [*Read First Post*]

Postby Paul » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:59 pm

Sorry, recruiting is not allowed here at phpBB.com. If you have no MODs installed use the next method to update your board:
  • Upload all new files from a download of the full version, except for config.php, the /images and /files folders.
  • Go to yoursite.com/forumfolder/install/database_update.php
  • Let that run and then delete the install folder.
  • You now have a new up to date board containing all your users and posts but without any MODs that you might have had installed.

If you have any other questions about updating, please open a new topic instead of replying here.
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Re: Preventing Spam in 3.0 [*Read First Post*]

Postby andrecl » Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:06 pm

Thanks, much appreciated.
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Re: Preventing Spam in 3.0 [*Read First Post*]

Postby hbridge55 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:01 pm

I'm just putting my two cents here about getting Anti Bot Question mod into the distribution. This is the answer to forum spam in my opinion. It has the possibility to make each forum registration unique and completely stop spam bots. There is just no way to code a spam bot when it requires a bit of intelligence and every question is unique.

The great thing about this approach is that it has the possibility of keeping out human spammers, or at least the laziest ones, by asking carefully chosen questions that the community which uses the forum can guess but will be somewhat opaque to outsiders.

I also think users will prefer questions to capthcas, especially newer more obscure capthcas, which I personally hate.

I would actually really like to see this feature expanded, when and if it makes it into official distribution. The ability to have two or three questions with mulitple answers (5 or 6?) could make this approach very flexible with the ability to weed out almost all spammers. Users could just get two of three questions (or whatever) correct and be admitted.

I guess there is a bit of an issue with international users who might be weak on the language the forum is coded in, but simple math questions, are a good way to start, and are universal. If the bots catch up, then the great feature in Anti Bot Question is that it can be easily updated by the user without any coding, fuss or downloads.
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