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Author Topic: Better security against spam bots  (Read 4795 times)
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« on: May 19, 2015, 02:06:32 PM »

Good afternoon!

Was wondering if there was a way to tighten up security around here a little bit so that spam bots can't easily create accounts and post garbage messages?

I've noticed a couple of spam posts in the last few months (posts that were obviously garble/trash) and find it annoying to see older topics having been posted in only to find out that it was some jerk bot  Sad

I don't remember if registering also requires entering a captcha, but if it doesn't, it probably should.

Of course this is just a suggestion, all I'm saying is that I find these bots annoying.
(It also just looks much better to not have those around)

Hope there's something that can be done about it (but if not, then, oh well...).
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2015, 05:41:40 PM »

On registration there is a captcha and a security question (which is like "whats one more than 99?"). We also don't allow anyone to post links or edit their forum signature until they have 10+ posts.

With all that in place, people still spam. I'm not sure there is anything we can do about it, unless you have any ideas?
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2015, 08:06:09 PM »

Good afternoon!

Was wondering if there was a way to tighten up security around here a little bit so that spam bots can't easily create accounts and post garbage messages?

I've noticed a couple of spam posts in the last few months (posts that were obviously garble/trash) and find it annoying to see older topics having been posted in only to find out that it was some jerk bot  Sad

I don't remember if registering also requires entering a captcha, but if it doesn't, it probably should.

Of course this is just a suggestion, all I'm saying is that I find these bots annoying.
(It also just looks much better to not have those around)

Hope there's something that can be done about it (but if not, then, oh well...).
yes, I hope so as well.
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2015, 08:20:52 PM »

Hmm, well, there's no real way to go about this without somehow making it slightly impractical for the user.

Having the user confirm their e-mail before being able to post would probably help, but that could deter people from actually posting.

I guess adding another custom question (e.g. "what color is the sky"), or better yet adding multiple custom questions (be they math problems or similar to my example) and having them be randomized upon account registration.

I'm not quite sure how spam bots operate; maybe adding a simple check box question like "Are you a bot? Yes/No" might do the trick.
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2015, 08:58:30 PM »

Hmm, well, there's no real way to go about this without somehow making it slightly impractical for the user.

Having the user confirm their e-mail before being able to post would probably help, but that could deter people from actually posting.

I guess adding another custom question (e.g. "what color is the sky"), or better yet adding multiple custom questions (be they math problems or similar to my example) and having them be randomized upon account registration.

I'm not quite sure how spam bots operate; maybe adding a simple check box question like "Are you a bot? Yes/No" might do the trick.

I think many of the spammers aren't actually bots, but are real people who are being paid to post on as many forums as possible - with the idea that the payer will edit their signature and add a link. They are too lazy to realize that we won't allow them to edit their signature.
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2015, 07:57:18 AM »

Alright, in that case nothing can be done about it.

Should those users be reported, then? (the obvious trash posters, I mean)
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2015, 05:10:29 PM »

Alright, in that case nothing can be done about it.

Should those users be reported, then? (the obvious trash posters, I mean)

Yes, this way we can delete the posts and ban them if they are definitely spammers.
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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2015, 12:48:16 AM »

I added a more advanced CAPTCHA system to the registration form. I'm marking this as complete.
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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2015, 08:38:27 AM »

Resurrecting this one because I have a short question:

Should all the spam posts be reported, or is it fine if we just report a single post from one particular spam bot?

Some forums delete all the users' posts when the user is deleted, but others preserve them, so I was wondering if all of them should be brought to the administration's attention so they can all be removed.

Hmm, I think it's the former, as I can't remember having seen any spam posts for a few weeks now, but it would still be good to know if one should report all or just one.
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2015, 11:07:51 AM »

You can report just one. I look at them all when they get reported.
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