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Community Building and User Generated Content Forum

Member Registration Link Spammers
Anybody else getting them?

 3:57 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have to delete 2-5 link spammers a day. If it gets any worse then I will add a "CAPTCHA" check to all member registrations.

The link spammers all have the same pattern to their registrations:

1 - A username with a 2-4 digit numeric suffix
2 - No posts
3 - A web link in their profile (the spam link)
4 - A hotmail account

Convert that 4 part formula to an SQL query and you have quick way to delete them from your forum's user table.

I even got a link spam from someone registering as SpammaXXX, where XXX is a changing numeric suffix. Maybe they thought their "honesty" would convince me to leave their registration alone? (I didn't)

How about the rest of you? What have you done to eliminate this nuisance?




 4:07 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

If these are bot registrations, you can defeat them with an image verification step. Can you tell if they are bot or human?


 7:30 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I just fixed this problem on my board(phpbb).

If you are using phpbb the following should take care of the problem...

In your template(s), find the profile_add_body.tpl file. At the top just under the beginning of the form add a hidden variable.

Ex: <input type="hidden" name="badbot" value="1">

Now in your usercp_register.php file, find the line(~247) where it says "else if ( $mode == 'register' ) {".

Now check for your hidden varible Ex:

if (!isset($_POST['badbot']) ) { message_die(GENERAL_ERROR, 'Die, spammer');}

This works because the bots use the default template when they register. As long as you set the hidden variable on your template(s) and not the default template, the hidden variable does not exist.

I haven't had an automated registration since I made these changes.


 8:41 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)


Thanks, I'll give that a try!


 6:10 am on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

I get exactly the same problem, including the SpammaXXX one. Its a pain in the butt checking the memberlist everyday and deleting these wasters.

I'll try the mod also and post back some results.


 9:22 pm on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

You know I just thought of something.

If Google decides to ban a site and the sites that link to it, as they have in the past, many innocent forum and wiki owners could get caught in the wake, if it hasn't happened already. If you don't actively police your forum, or take preventive steps like those mentioned, you could have a link to an objectionable or SEO spam site due to your membership list or a user post.




 6:27 am on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

You could use robots.txt to prevent bots hitting the memberlist.php file where all the member details (including websites) are stored.

This way none of the sites are ever linked from unless the member posts, in which case you'll know whether they're a spammer or not.

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