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CAPTCHA: To catch board miscreants

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 5:51 am
by sumankar
I was dumbstruck when I checked in on the board today to see a certain margaretkokgsmash on rampage. This has been going on for some
time (not the same id, others maybe) ie. abuse of the board. We need to do something about this. And this brings to mind CAPTCHA.

This would definitely put all members at a little unease while logging in but I'd say the trouble's worth a thousand times more than the nuisance.

I'd like to hear more from the others.

Regards,
Suman.

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 12:12 pm
by little joey
Yes, this is a big problem. This morning (local time) I removed the 50 or so postings of pornographic and commercial nature that were spread all over the forums. These events, although not in these amounts, occur daily and I always remove them as soon as I see them. Lots of them are created by spam-bots. There are criminal organisations, mostly of russian origin, that make money by offering this 'service'. They have lists of tens of thousands of phpbb-boards that get spammed with messages from whoever pays them for it.

I know this is a wide-spread problem for all public bullitin boards, and I don't know if there are good counter measures against these spammers. Since there is a lot of money to be made, spam-bots are getting increasingly clever, and I read somewhere that some of them can even circumvent measures like CAPTCHA. And CAPTCHA can't protect against real people spamming the board, like margaretkokgsmash.

If anyone knows more about keeping spammers out, please post here.

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:28 pm
by Krzysztof Duleba
I think that using a CAPTCHA during registration is a good idea. There is a module you can simply plug in to phpbb. However, I'd really hate to be disturbed everytime I want to log in.

BTW: what makes you think that margaretkokgsmash did everything manually?

Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:33 am
by little joey
Krzysztof Duleba wrote:I think that using a CAPTCHA during registration is a good idea. There is a module you can simply plug in to phpbb. However, I'd really hate to be disturbed everytime I want to log in.
I agree.
Krzysztof Duleba wrote:BTW: what makes you think that margaretkokgsmash did everything manually?
I can't be sure, of course, but if you look at the profile, you see all fields filled with random keystrokes, typically produced by someone tapping on the keyboard (lettergroups). Profiles filled in by spam-bots usually only contain a few fields that occur on most bullitin boards and are often required, filled with sensible data. Just a feeling, not a science. And maybe the registration was manually, but the spamming (about 50 posts) automatically. I don't know, but it's possible. You and I could write software to do just that; it's not so difficult.

Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 10:27 am
by Carlos
one solution might be to forget about pre-made forums and create our own forum.......but that's crazy ^^

We know the problems about this kind of spammers, I also delete some of these messages