Better Spambot Protection in phpBB3?

Discussion of general topics related to the new version and its place in the world. Don't discuss new features, report bugs, ask for support, et cetera. Don't use this to spam for other boards or attack those boards!
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Discussion of general topics related to the new release and its place in the world. Don't discuss new features, report bugs, ask for support, et cetera. Don't use this to spam for other boards or attack those boards!
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dackofdoom
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Better Spambot Protection in phpBB3?

Post by dackofdoom »

Hi everyone!

I'm hoping that phpBB3 will have better built in spambot protection, but I've seen a lot of spam posts (especially recently) even on this site. Are these real users that have just registered and posted because they know this is a popular site, or are they bots that phpBB3 hasn't been able to block?
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Highway of Life
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Re: Better Spambot Protection in phpBB3?

Post by Highway of Life »

There are already two spambot software bundles that feature phpBB3 break-in.
So I'm guessing spambots. :)
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dackofdoom
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Re: Better Spambot Protection in phpBB3?

Post by dackofdoom »

Highway of Life wrote: There are already two spambot software bundles that feature phpBB3 break-in.
So I'm guessing spambots. :)


Wow, that's really obnoxious of them... Oh well, shouldn't be too hard to stop them in the future
Ectoman
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Re: Better Spambot Protection in phpBB3?

Post by Ectoman »

I bet a lot of the spam posts here are actual people.
Uchiha Nick
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Re: Better Spambot Protection in phpBB3?

Post by Uchiha Nick »

Ectoman wrote: I bet a lot of the spam posts here are actual people.


yeah, else there would have been more spam
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Shadow Reaper
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Re: Better Spambot Protection in phpBB3?

Post by Shadow Reaper »

I find that when I am cleaning up the spambots, around 2/3 are automatic bots. Though the 1/3 are the most annoying as they target the newest threads and post in them. The spambots just seem to make their own threads. I am glad that one of the features will be to get all the users posts and delete at once in PHPBB 3
Martin Blank
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Re: Better Spambot Protection in phpBB3?

Post by Martin Blank »

I find that performing manual authorization is the easiest way to take care of them. This has two effects:

1) The clear spammers are removed immediately. I've found that pretty much everyone with a birthday of 28 March 1983 is a spammer, and I have about six e-mail filters that I use to deal with them.

2) The possible spammers that get through the checks get bored and don't come back, often because they register overnight and I don't get to authorizations until the next evening.

Spammers are a problem in forums just as they are in e-mail. I'm content to deal with it, though, since the overall satisfaction is so high.
You can never go home again... but I guess you can shop there.
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threeiem
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Re: Better Spambot Protection in phpBB3?

Post by threeiem »

Hey all,

This is a first post so please bear with me. ;) I came to phpBB from phorum in search of spambot features due to heavy spam posting to my existing phorum boards. One thing I had changed to reduce a huge number of "spam" post was to have the name of one of the form fields get changed every time the session requested the post page. I randomly changed the field's name and keep track of which field got changed on the server. This way when the post is received I know which field to place where in the database. Visually to you or I it post form looks the same but under the covers the field names have been altered. It seemed to keep them from automating a huge number of post back to back. That included with a post stand-off time really seemed to reduce the numbers, however, spammers that post by hand. (poor souls) will still get through.

Maybe anti-automation tricks like this coupled with filtering request through something like Spam Assassin and some real-time black holes may stop it all together. *shrug*

Still with phpBB I've had much less of a problem even with very minimal effort to try and stop spamming on the site. (Thank you!)
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Handyman
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Re: Better Spambot Protection in phpBB3?

Post by Handyman »

threeiem wrote: Hey all,

This is a first post so please bear with me. ;) I came to phpBB from phorum in search of spambot features due to heavy spam posting to my existing phorum boards. One thing I had changed to reduce a huge number of "spam" post was to have the name of one of the form fields get changed every time the session requested the post page. I randomly changed the field's name and keep track of which field got changed on the server. This way when the post is received I know which field to place where in the database. Visually to you or I it post form looks the same but under the covers the field names have been altered. It seemed to keep them from automating a huge number of post back to back. That included with a post stand-off time really seemed to reduce the numbers, however, spammers that post by hand. (poor souls) will still get through.

Maybe anti-automation tricks like this coupled with filtering request through something like Spam Assassin and some real-time black holes may stop it all together. *shrug*

Still with phpBB I've had much less of a problem even with very minimal effort to try and stop spamming on the site. (Thank you!)

hey Threeiem,

There are a couple of us that had that same Idea... but we took it a little further.
So I'm really happy to hear that it worked for you... since I had never heard of anybody doing anti-spam quite that way before.

We have actually somewhat started dev on a mod for that... though as Acyd Burn suggested, it should be a mod so it's unique.
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threeiem
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Re: Better Spambot Protection in phpBB3?

Post by threeiem »

We have actually somewhat started dev on a mod for that... though as Acyd Burn suggested, it should be a mod so it's unique.


A mod seems like the smartest route to me too. Since the techniques used by spammers changes so rapidly it seems like maintaining and supporting something that has a smaller code base and is less complex would be ideal.
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