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Posted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 2:06 pm
by TaleSpinner
Hey bsmith, you get a lot of spam-bots around here like the one which posted in the PBEM forum? If so, the best Mod I've seen that takes care of this problem is:

I consider it the best purely because of it's simplicity. Basically, during registration, you tell the user to go to some part of the site to obtain a "VIP Code". I'd put the link to the VIP code right next to the field. Human users would click on it, see the VIP code and type it into the field. Spam-bots won't be able to figure it out. The VIP Code can be some hard-coded value like "MELBGMRS".

Essentially, it's like the Visual Confirmation idea (where the human user is expected to enter letters and numbers according to a GIF display), but spam-bots are now smart enough to read them from phpBB registration forms. Until the phpBB community fixes the problem, the Visual Confirmation is basically a dud.

More info about fighting spam-bots can be found here:

Posted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 2:17 pm
by bsmith
Thanks dude.
I actually added a question to the login form which asks if the user is human haha. It defaults to "No". I'm only getting one dud account per week since I did that.

You could get even funkier and ask how many legs or something. I think the key is keeping it unique... if you use a publicly available tool then the spammers will be actively writing code to circumvent it as we speak, they're not going to care about backyard-ben's whipping up something funky.

I do have a sneaking suspicion that a few spam accounts may be user created however, how hard would it be to pay a student to sign up to web forums all day!

Posted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 2:20 pm
by bsmith
Actually, that username looks suspiciously like it has been typed. All letters are from the middle row of the keyboard!!


and the e-mail address:

Someone has manually entered this one I'm sure.