Spamming

Forum discussing about these forums. How could we improve these forums? Ideas, suggestions?

Spamming

Postby kimmov » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:20 am

Ok, seems that the spamming just has peaked in last few days. After we moved to our own domain and hosting of this forum. I just today banned two users and deleted ten or so spam messages from forums. As much as I've had to do in past three or four years.

We must have some way to stop this trend. Ok, I've now just banned the users and deleted the messages. But this solution isn't good in long term and doesn't scale when more spamming appears.

I'm not sure, but probably the user account is now easier/faster to create than for the sf.net? And the account also applies to this forum now. So you get only banned from this forum, not whole sf.net service...

What can we do? Is there a way to add more (script-blocking?) checking for the account creation? I'm not so familiar with this forum software, so if somebody has good hints for better configuration, please share.
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Re: Spamming

Postby kimmov » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:27 am

One commonly seen way is to put new users behind moderation. Only after they've posted few non-spam messages to the forum they can post without moderation.

That probably would work with our traffic. But there are of course problems with the moderation too. It always takes some time for one of the moderators to accept the message. So discussion suffers just because of this delay when non-moderated messages go through without delay. And it is also additional work to moderate messages. So if there are better ways, I'd rather consider them first. But if this spamming continues I'll add this moderation.
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Re: Spamming

Postby christianlist » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:03 pm

I already enabled e-mail verification on account creation.
In addition, we could set it to use recaptcha http://www.google.com/recaptcha to make it more difficult to make spam accounts.
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Re: Spamming

Postby gerundt » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:37 pm

Funny, a spambot answerd few minutes ago even on this post! :mrgreen:

I set the "new member post limit" to 10 instead 0:
New members are within the Newly Registered Users group until they reach this number of posts. You can use this group to keep them from using the PM system or to review their posts. A value of 0 disables this feature.

Now the first 10 post must moderated.
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Re: Spamming

Postby kimmov » Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:12 pm

gerundt wrote:Funny, a spambot answerd few minutes ago even on this post! :mrgreen:

:mrgreen:

gerundt wrote:Now the first 10 post must moderated.

That might be a bit much, as by quick scan of the members list there seems to be less than 10 users with more than 10 messages.. I guess most people are sending just 1-3 messages asking help to their problems. Then the rare few really discuss about development etc. So over 600 of our 640 registered users would be in the new users list with moderation. But the one spammer I banned sent 8 messages in a short time, so... If they start sending twenty or more then the block doesn't work unless we are fast enough to ban them? Ah but there is the flood interval (how many seconds between messages) setting. Maybe we can bump that a bit, say few minutes between posts?

I don't like that moderation step much, but if it is the effective way to prevent spam I guess we have to live with it. And of course maintainers can move users by hand from the new users list to the non-moderated list even with less messages.
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Re: Spamming

Postby gerundt » Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:55 pm

Ok, I change the value to "2". So we must moderate 2 posts from the user, before he become a "normal" user. I think this should be OK for the users and for us maintainers.

If a spambot really post many entries in a short time, this posts will not seen in the forum, until a maintainer allow them. And normally it is obviously to detect SPAM for a human maintainer.
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Re: Spamming

Postby christianlist » Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:51 pm

I've enabled recaptcha as well.
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Re: Spamming

Postby kimmov » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:06 am

Found couple of antispam guides for phpBB:
Preventing Spam in phpBB3
The alternative phpBB3 Anti SPAM Guide

From the first link I read that the default CAPTCHAs in phpBB have been already broken by spambots (read: useless).
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Re: Spamming

Postby gerundt » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:15 pm

Wow, I look few weeks not a this forums and we got nearly 200 posts to release. But only 9 was no SPAM! That sucks! :?
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Re: Spamming

Postby kimmov » Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:33 pm

Yep, I just deleted ten or so. I quess you have been busy cleaning up the spam.. 8-)

Anyway, as it is, this just isn't fair one or couple of us needs to do all this work.

Maybe we should just use something like google or yahoo groups? Yes we cannot move existing discussions into those systems but we can keep this existing forum available read-only.
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