The Plan For Spam

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The Plan For Spam

Postby Jeremy » 2007-04-30 03:39 pm

As some of you may know, I am a college student, which hampers my ability to work on this script throughout the year. However, summer is near and I am mostly free (will be working through June and some of July) to finally finish version 5.2.0.

Here is my current todo list. There are a lot of minor enhancements there, but the main problem is spam. Nothing else really matters. So here is what is being done to battle spam:

By default, new members must be approved by the admin manually before they are listed. There will be an option to change this.
This should make it less worthwhile to spam lists. I don't know if it will have any affect though, because there will still be lists without the manual approval activated. Also, spammers might see value in just getting their url in the approval queue, even if only the admin sees it.

A new captcha (demo)
It includes multiple fonts, better background noise, and character rotation. This might buy us a little time, but I am sure spammers will crack this captcha as well.

Banning by URL, IP, username, and email (with wildcards)
URLs, IPs, usernames, and emails can all change. I don't think this will do much to stop spammers. But people have been asking for it, so why not. This could be used in conjunction with a centralized blacklist, but I fear that that list could grow so large that it would become unweildy.

Security question (something like this)
This will be disabled by default, because if I seed it with default questions it defeats the purpose, but admins will be able to enable it by adding a question that (hopefully) only a real person can solve.

Ultimately, these methods are probably flawed and will probably be cracked. So if anyone has any other suggestions, please suggest them.
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Postby archeens » 2007-04-30 04:04 pm

Realy nice, good job, i hope it will be soon :) Thank you
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Postby 420 » 2007-04-30 06:07 pm

very nice :lol:
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Postby boardhopper » 2007-05-01 11:06 am

Can't wait to try it out.
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Postby Zidane007nl » 2007-05-03 07:32 am

That's good news. Really looking forward to the new version.

Will the forums be improved too to get rid of all those spambots?
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Postby pellboy » 2007-05-03 10:13 am

Still just getting into the latest version but sounds like it will be good :)

Look forward to using it ;)
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Postby Jeremy » 2007-05-03 11:25 am

does anyone know how to get rid of spammers on phpbb? if so, i will do it.
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Postby OS-Mark » 2007-05-03 01:00 pm

The security question seems to be the favorite spam stopper for pretty much all popular scripts these days.

http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... &sk=t&sd=a


I think your spam stopping efforts for the next ATS release are pretty thorough :) One thing.... the new captcha is harder to crack (because its harder to read) but at times it really is tough to decipher the characters. In the interest of accesibility it might be nice to have a link that allows the user to generate a new captcha image.
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Postby Jeremy » 2007-05-03 03:34 pm

OS-Mark wrote:the new captcha is harder to crack (because its harder to read) but at times it really is tough to decipher the characters. In the interest of accesibility it might be nice to have a link that allows the user to generate a new captcha image.


that's a good point. i'll do that.
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Postby Yuripro84 » 2007-05-03 08:31 pm

Sounds great so far, I'm looking forward to upgrading!

About the banning IP/URLs, this will help me, at least, not sure about many others. I have the same retarded person constantly adding about 5 incomplete sites, that aren't even in English?! I even tried emailing him, but with no luck, so don't know what his/her problem is.....

I once got like 20 blank reviews from him lol, but that did nothing, just mass deleted :/

Just wondering, in the admin panel where you approve sites, will it say the IP of the submitter next to the site or something? If so, that would be cool, because I could bust this spammer once and for all :) lol. If not, oh well, I still love this script :P
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Postby boardhopper » 2007-05-03 10:06 pm

Jeremy Scheff wrote:does anyone know how to get rid of spammers on phpbb? if so, i will do it.

phpBB3 does alot better job with spambots. Other than waiting for RC1 (I am running a recent cvs-Beta live) you can add mod from phpbb to slow them down. http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=393503
Last edited by boardhopper on 2007-05-04 03:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jeremy » 2007-05-04 01:15 pm

ok, i installed one of the antispam mods (new captcha)... hopefully that will work so we can try to keep this on-topic.
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Postby hame » 2007-05-04 03:24 pm

Jeremy - Do you think that after signup having to validate your email address might help against spambots??
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Postby Jeremy » 2007-05-04 04:06 pm

hame wrote:Jeremy - Do you think that after signup having to validate your email address might help against spambots??

nope. it is trivial for bots to get around that. not worth the trouble.
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Postby Koby » 2007-05-05 12:19 am

But having to validate your email will ensure that all members are using a real email address so that the topsite owner can email the members.

When I try to email members I get tons of mailer-daemons because the email address either never existed or no longer does.

I have email validation turned on within my forum for that same purpose.. and it does stop some of the bots too. Not all but some.
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