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Cue the singing Vikings
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Tyris



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 877
Location: Beneath a vast mound of curly hair

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:27 am    Post subject: Cue the singing Vikings Reply with quote

We come from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs flow...
Not that one, you idiot! *fishslap*
Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, lovely spaaaaaaaaaaaam, wonderful spaaaaaaaaaaaam, lovely spaaaaaaaaaaaam, wonderful spaaaaaaaaaaaam...

Yes, folks, many of you will have noticed that there's been quite a lot of spam recently. The Mods are fairly good about catching it within a few hours, but as they say (where "they" is everyone except pharmacists), prevention is better than cure. There are a number of relatively simple measures that you can put in place to stop bots from signing up, but IWRC you already have some and they're now getting past them. One of the other obvious steps is to disallow new users (say, those with fewer than ten posts) from posting links or images.

Yes, this is, in its roundabout way, a suggestion. For those confused, the suggestion is this: disallow new users from posting links or images in order to reduce spam.
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Tinalles
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Joined: 22 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What, you don't like finding fresh pictures of alluring teens captured in depraved activities every time you log in?

...

Me neither, actually. It's not the place for that sort of thing.

I like the idea, though it's sure to get overcome eventually.
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When that happens, you smart people will come up with a new idea. ^_^
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spawnofjaws



Joined: 20 May 2008
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Location: North Carolina! And proud of it...!

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couldn't you just block posts with keywords in them, like, if they have 3 keywords that are no-nos, say, 'sex', 'fudge', 'porn' then couldn't you, like, make the system to prevent it from posting, and the rest of us with just find creative substitutes?
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fighting spambots is always going to be a lossing battle given that most of the countermeasures for bots are widely published and one of the first things most people learn with programing is how to write a bot.

That said there are lots of ways to go about blocking spam bots. You can set it so that if the registration takes too short an ammount of time, IE couldn't have been done by a human, then the system rejects it. You can set it so guests can't view memberlists, and user profiles to make your forums a less tempting target. You can change the authentication pictures to a non-standard type which someone's less likely to have written a bit of OCR software for. To mention just a few. Nothing's foolproof though.
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thespaceinvader



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Posts: 650
Location: Cardiff, UK

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The sad thing is that a lot of spam companies now farm captcha tech out to real humans to sign on (or so I understand) - so there's really no automatic method to fool them, since the actual signing up will be done by a human, then the bot assigned afterwards. That being said, there are more customisable ways that might work - asking trivia questions about the comic, for instance, would weed out some of the humans for not knowing what they're talking about. Something as simple as asking the name of the point-of-view character or planet of the setting might work.
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YatesOfYore
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Joined: 27 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Cue the singing Vikings Reply with quote

Tyris wrote:
One of the other obvious steps is to disallow new users (say, those with fewer than ten posts) from posting links or images.


Find it for me and I'll put it in. I haven't the time right now to scour the phpbb forums for that mod (which I believe does exist) but it's one I've wanted to put in for a while now.

I have a lot of "system" stuff I want to catch up on once I'm moved in... but I'm actually at a cottage for about a week after, so I dunno when it's gonna happen.

Anyhow... talk is cheap. Find me the mods and I'll put them in.
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Last edited by YatesOfYore on Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tyris



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 877
Location: Beneath a vast mound of curly hair

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thy will be done, Lady.
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theBSDude



Joined: 09 Jul 2008
Posts: 1800
Location: The boring part of Washington

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They all have gmail addresses of the same name, if that helps.... Just something I noticed; not many of the real people post email. Maybe disallow email at sign-up, like the information- make it less attractive for spammers.
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distantvoices



Joined: 04 Aug 2008
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does a mod exist for phpbb to include some image-showing-code-to-enter-stuff, which is not discernible for bots? The more, some ip-banning might help either, if some spammers are insistent.
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theBSDude



Joined: 09 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Lady bans all spammers, the problem is, she's not here all the time.
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...In accordance with the prophesy.

TheBSDude, dubbed 'BS' by Asa and nicknamed 'Thebes.'
Keeper of the Tristam, The Amazing Non-Emo Vampire!(tm) and a Massive List of Webcomics.

"I'm like a ninja with no hopes or dreams." --Wally of Dilbert
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thespaceinvader



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Posts: 650
Location: Cardiff, UK

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Distantvoices: the trouble with anything that excludes bots signing up is that humans are more and more frequently used to sign up and the accounts slaved to bots afterwards.
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Tyris



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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Location: Beneath a vast mound of curly hair

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lady, which version of phpbb are the forums using?
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You can't look dignified when you're having fun.
Dubbed "Tetris" by Asa... apparently.
Keeper of Nanashi's ghostly blue visage and Felucca's hypothetical ejecting nose-cone.

"It's a sad thing when a man loses his cookie." - Nem
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YatesOfYore
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Joined: 27 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

phpbb 2.0.23

And I'm aware that I'm always going to have to be on the look out for these suckers - but I'll take all the help I can get.
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Tenshi



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 2594
Location: Star Stuff

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While a "no pictures for 10 posts" limit would pretty much suck for a small handful of new users, it would pretty much limit our spam bot problem. I got hit by one of those filters once, and it did suck, but let's be honest. If you can't make 10 posts, then why are you posting pictures here...? Even our lurkers have 10 posts, most of them, and the forums have only been up since April...

I'm not well versed in phpbb options, but the 10-post limit sounds promising. Maybe there's even one with an option of how many posts the limit is? Something that can be edited if needed by The Lady?

Just tossing in my vote of support, not that it really matters or anything...
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