K-Tec

Memberlist Spam help

  • Frank Ryan
  • Frank Ryan's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Super Giant
  • Super Giant
  • Posts: 3298
  • Thank you received: 57

Memberlist Spam help was created by Frank Ryan

Hi all.
The SAC site use a phpbb board like this for announcing observing
and for the committee.
We are having trouble with 'new' members appearing on the memberlist
with particularly nasty links.
Is there any way of preventing this altogether?
How was it done on the IFAS boards?
My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers
15 years 3 months ago #52355

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • DaveGrennan
  • DaveGrennan's Avatar
  • Offline
  • IFAS Astronomer of the Year 2010
  • IFAS Astronomer of the Year 2010
  • Posts: 2707
  • Thank you received: 32

Replied by DaveGrennan on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

Frank you can set phpbb so that you must approve all new members.

To do this set 'Enable Account Activation' to Admin. Look for this setting in General Admin->Configuration.

I run a small bb for an aviation related club. What I do is disable new memberships by redirecting register.php to a page which just says 'To join please contact an existing member.' See;

firebirds.2ndtaf.org.uk/forums/ and click register to see what I mean.

When we get a new member I just open registration allow that person to join and close it again. I added this admin setting by installing a mod.

If you don't want to do this, make the member list invisible and always put a good 'captcha' mod in place. To make the memberlist invisible, see this mod;

www.phpbb2.de/ftopic27979.html

One or more of these tips will help deter the spammers.
Regards and Clear Skies,

Dave.
J41 - Raheny Observatory.
www.webtreatz.com
Equipment List here
15 years 3 months ago #52358

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 9637
  • Thank you received: 544

Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

Like what Dave said above Frank, generally is how we do it here too. There is an additional mod which helps decrease the volume of accounts to be ratified. The aforementioned phpbb.com has many mods of different capabilities to help you.

Seanie.
Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.
15 years 3 months ago #52361

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 563
  • Thank you received: 0

Replied by darragh on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

Frank,

A good Captcha (security image on registration) will catch any spam bots that auto-enter data into the phpbb registration fields
There is several complex Captchas for phpBB that will help.
This along with admin approval will cut down your spam users registering.

Darragh
15 years 3 months ago #52363

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Frank Ryan
  • Frank Ryan's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Super Giant
  • Super Giant
  • Posts: 3298
  • Thank you received: 57

Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

OK so I've installed mods before but what exactly are you to do here?

#
#
[ COPY ]
#
copy admin/admin_userlist.php to admin/admin_userlist.php
copy templates/subSilver/admin/userlist_body.tpl to templates/subSilver/admin/userlist_body.tpl
copy templates/subSilver/admin/userlist_group.tpl to templates/subSilver/admin/userlist_group.tpl
copy templates/subSilver/images/arrowright.png to templates/subSilver/images/arrowright.png
copy templates/subSilver/images/arrowdown.png to templates/subSilver/images/arrowdown.png
My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers
15 years 3 months ago #52388

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • DaveGrennan
  • DaveGrennan's Avatar
  • Offline
  • IFAS Astronomer of the Year 2010
  • IFAS Astronomer of the Year 2010
  • Posts: 2707
  • Thank you received: 32

Replied by DaveGrennan on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

OK so I've installed mods before but what exactly are you to do here?

#
#


[ COPY ]
#
copy admin/admin_userlist.php to admin/admin_userlist.php
copy templates/subSilver/admin/userlist_body.tpl to templates/subSilver/admin/userlist_body.tpl
copy templates/subSilver/admin/userlist_group.tpl to templates/subSilver/admin/userlist_group.tpl
copy templates/subSilver/images/arrowright.png to templates/subSilver/images/arrowright.png
copy templates/subSilver/images/arrowdown.png to templates/subSilver/images/arrowdown.png


Thats the files that will need to be changed, make a copy of them locally.

ALWAYS keep a backup copy of these files in case the mod goes pear shaped
Regards and Clear Skies,

Dave.
J41 - Raheny Observatory.
www.webtreatz.com
Equipment List here
15 years 3 months ago #52389

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Frank Ryan
  • Frank Ryan's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Super Giant
  • Super Giant
  • Posts: 3298
  • Thank you received: 57

Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

Oh right, thought so , thanks.
Did all that but I still cant see the mod working.
Strange.
My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers
15 years 3 months ago #52390

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 3663
  • Thank you received: 2

Replied by voyager on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

OK so I've installed mods before but what exactly are you to do here?

#
#


[ COPY ]
#
copy admin/admin_userlist.php to admin/admin_userlist.php
copy templates/subSilver/admin/userlist_body.tpl to templates/subSilver/admin/userlist_body.tpl
copy templates/subSilver/admin/userlist_group.tpl to templates/subSilver/admin/userlist_group.tpl
copy templates/subSilver/images/arrowright.png to templates/subSilver/images/arrowright.png
copy templates/subSilver/images/arrowdown.png to templates/subSilver/images/arrowdown.png


Thats the files that will need to be changed, make a copy of them locally.

ALWAYS keep a backup copy of these files in case the mod goes pear shaped


Err ... no!

That's the list of files that should have come with the mod which you have to copy to the various places specified in your PHPBB code.

Bart.
My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie
15 years 3 months ago #52391

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Frank Ryan
  • Frank Ryan's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Super Giant
  • Super Giant
  • Posts: 3298
  • Thank you received: 57

Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

wha?
My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers
15 years 3 months ago #52392

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • DaveGrennan
  • DaveGrennan's Avatar
  • Offline
  • IFAS Astronomer of the Year 2010
  • IFAS Astronomer of the Year 2010
  • Posts: 2707
  • Thank you received: 32

Replied by DaveGrennan on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

Err ... no!


Sorry Frank, my bad!

Bart is quite right, these files should come with the mod and overwrite the existing files of the same name. Remember always KEEP a backup of the files you replace.
Regards and Clear Skies,

Dave.
J41 - Raheny Observatory.
www.webtreatz.com
Equipment List here
15 years 3 months ago #52393

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Frank Ryan
  • Frank Ryan's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Super Giant
  • Super Giant
  • Posts: 3298
  • Thank you received: 57

Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

Thanks a million chaps!
That userlist mod is going to make my life a lot easier!

Any suggestions for a good Captcha?
My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers
15 years 3 months ago #52403

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 9637
  • Thank you received: 544

Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

Hey Frank,

I have just come across a neat trick for your boards to eliminate all spambots completely. I have had it since Monday on my own boards (see my sig) and have had not one spam user yet. I used to average 3 'good' ones (out of a possile 30) a day that got through my previous blockade.

For those who want to know, it is only 1 line of code to be changed in 2 of your php files. It will even work for this site Bart if you want to think about it.

Essentially, when users sign up, the catchpa (verification code image) must be entered BACKWARDS. After doing so, you can leave account activation as 'None', and even remove blocked IP's and e-mail addresses.

The code changes are:

In /includes/usercp_register.php:

Change:

[code:1] if ($row['code'] != $confirm_code) [/code:1]
to:
[code:1] if ($row['code'] != strrev($confirm_code)) [/code:1]


In /language/lang_english/lang_main.php:
Change:
[code:1] $lang['Confirm_code_explain'] = 'Enter the code exactly as you see it. The code is case sensitive and zero has a diagonal line through it.'; [/code:1]
to:
[code:1] $lang['Confirm_code_explain'] = 'Enter the code that you see <font color="#FF0000"><b>BACKWARDS</b></font>. The code is case sensitive and zero has a diagonal line through it.'; [/code:1]

Remember, whenever you decide to chage any of the php files, make a backup copy before attempting the change in case something goes wrong (which will only be the case if you mistype something in this case ;)).

Seanie.
Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.
15 years 3 months ago #53148

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • DaveGrennan
  • DaveGrennan's Avatar
  • Offline
  • IFAS Astronomer of the Year 2010
  • IFAS Astronomer of the Year 2010
  • Posts: 2707
  • Thank you received: 32

Replied by DaveGrennan on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

Ah yes, very clever indeed! I like it!

Of course you know the spam bots will cotton onto this after a while!

My old saying applies, 'Make something foolproof and they'll just invent a better fool':)
Regards and Clear Skies,

Dave.
J41 - Raheny Observatory.
www.webtreatz.com
Equipment List here
15 years 3 months ago #53152

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 9637
  • Thank you received: 544

Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

Methinks it will be a while till they get around this one! Where I spotted it, its only weeks old, so relatively new. Can a spambot read left to right (normal), then repeat back the catchpa in reverse? I have not heard of it yet.
Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.
15 years 3 months ago #53153

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 3663
  • Thank you received: 2

Replied by voyager on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

Ah yes, very clever indeed! I like it!

Of course you know the spam bots will cotton onto this after a while!

My old saying applies, 'Make something foolproof and they'll just invent a better fool':)


Definitely, it's a game of cat and mouse and there is no silver dart.

Seannie, we can't apply this here because we have a non-standard captcha which is doing a pretty descent job.

Bart.
My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie
15 years 3 months ago #53154

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 3663
  • Thank you received: 2

Replied by voyager on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

Methinks it will be a while till they get around this one! Where I spotted it, its only weeks old, so relatively new. Can a spambot read left to right (normal), then repeat back the catchpa in reverse? I have not heard of it yet.


It's a change of one line of code in a bot to get around this. As soon as this technique takes off it will be instantly solved by the bots. It's nothing but a stop-gap.

Bart.
My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie
15 years 3 months ago #53156

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 9637
  • Thank you received: 544

Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

Seannie, we can't apply this here because we have a non-standard captcha which is doing a pretty descent job.


If it ain't broke, then don't fix it! It does work very well, but a few spammers still get through. It's not affecting our workloads like the way it did before though. :)
Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.
15 years 3 months ago #53157

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • DaveGrennan
  • DaveGrennan's Avatar
  • Offline
  • IFAS Astronomer of the Year 2010
  • IFAS Astronomer of the Year 2010
  • Posts: 2707
  • Thank you received: 32

Replied by DaveGrennan on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

Can a spambot read left to right (normal), then repeat back the catchpa in reverse?


If enough people use this trick the spammers will write code to try the captcha code forwards and backwards. Sure if they do you can re-write your code to do something unique like tell people to only use every second letter or something like that! Lots of possibilities using that method to stay ahead of the game.

Good find Seanie.
Regards and Clear Skies,

Dave.
J41 - Raheny Observatory.
www.webtreatz.com
Equipment List here
15 years 3 months ago #53160

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 6319
  • Thank you received: 0

Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

I came across a website that asked the user this question during the sign-up process:
"What is four plus eight?"
with the user haivng to write the answer in writing as "twelve"
I presume the software can allow different questions to be asked from time to time?
15 years 3 months ago #53178

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 3663
  • Thank you received: 2

Replied by voyager on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

I came across a website that asked the user this question during the sign-up process:
"What is four plus eight?"
with the user haivng to write the answer in writing as "twelve"
I presume the software can allow different questions to be asked from time to time?


The problem is that it is again trivially easy to write software to do simple arithmetic like that, even if it is written in "natural language".

Bart.
My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie
15 years 3 months ago #53180

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 6319
  • Thank you received: 0

Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

Could be a question be asked like "What's the capital city of Ireland?" for example, and have a database of questions which will be randomly asked?
15 years 3 months ago #53182

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 3663
  • Thank you received: 2

Replied by voyager on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

Could be a question be asked like "What's the capital city of Ireland?" for example, and have a database of questions which will be randomly asked?


You'd have to keep updating your database all the time and should the system ever become popular it will soon be quickly mined and the questions pre-programmed in.

Also, a lot of captchas are now broken by humans, not machines. Though not humans that are willing helpers, humans that are tricked into it. It's now common practice for spammers to set up a fake porn site with a captcha only it's not really a captcha. The spam bot gets the captcha from another site, presents it to the user on the porn site, and then sends that user's answer to the original site they are trying to get into. That technique makes it all but impossible to completely keep spammers out without manual verification.

Bart.
My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie
15 years 3 months ago #53183

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 6319
  • Thank you received: 0

Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

OK, you lost me on that one Bart!
But, I'll take your word on it and assume it won't work.
:)
15 years 3 months ago #53193

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 3663
  • Thank you received: 2

Replied by voyager on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

OK, you lost me on that one Bart!
But, I'll take your word on it and assume it won't work.
:)


simply put, spammers trick real human beings into solving captachas for them with the promise of porn/gambling/warez etc.. When it's humans doing the work then you are lost because there is no way to tell the difference between a human and a human :)

Bart.
My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie
15 years 3 months ago #53195

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 6319
  • Thank you received: 0

Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Memberlist Spam help

simply put, spammers trick real human beings into solving captachas for them with the promise of porn/gambling/warez etc.. When it's humans doing the work then you are lost because there is no way to tell the difference between a human and a human :)

Bart.


Ah, I think I get it now! Clever thinking.
Thanks for the dummies guide! :)
15 years 3 months ago #53196

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.101 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum