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Huge increase in spammers lately

phpBB accounts

     
5:49 am on Sep 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Anyone else noticed a massive increase in automated spammers on phpBB lately? I run two unrelated forums and the same accounts are appearing in both, many don't even have a URL just stupid stuff in the interests, location etc fields such as "work" or "student", location is mostly "USA".

I now have to spend at least an hour a day deleting these poxy things, i have taken a few measures to stop bots such as removing memberlist.php, removing the website field in the registration form, enabling captcha etc but still they come. Anymore ways to stop them? At this rate there are 8-12 per day in six months it will be a fulltime job deleting them!

1:52 pm on Nov 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Anymore ways to stop them? At this rate there are 8-12 per day in six months it will be a fulltime job deleting them!

I did not go through the whole discussion, may be someone must have pointed it out.

One thing that has worked for me,
No guest can post the urls (their biggest motive).

I am working on a new mod for phpbb which will be reporting spams and which will be like a community spam control. I will donate it to hedir scripts and it will be available there.

9:54 pm on Nov 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have a recipe forum and have been hammered with spam lately. Every day there are new, disgusting porn spams or pharmacy/drug spams. This is a tiny forum and I'm sick of dealing with it. I have the visual confirmation enabled, Guests cannot post. I ban users, ban IP's. Yet the posters are not Guests or registered users for some reason, they have a long 4 or 5 word name. What else can I do?
8:57 pm on Nov 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well 3 weeks now and I am averaging 2 (obviously human) spammers a week versus 20 a day before my fix so it seems curable to me for the most part...
6:38 pm on Nov 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Glad to hear that's working out, moishe. I'm seeing a continued increase in automated form completion, even where the form would serve a spammer no useful purpose.
10:26 am on Dec 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I added the VIP-code Mod to my phpbb board two days ago. You just tell the new member where to get the VIP-code. Seems to work well - registration fails if they don't have the code. I was getting at least three auto sign-ups a day but I had Admin activate so they never got through - just a nuisance having to delete them. Now I can set registration to user activate until ...
12:34 pm on Dec 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The need for Activation on my phpBB2 forums stops most spammer-registrations in their tracks, and the routine already posted (msg#3) [webmasterworld.com] auto-purges those users after 3 days. I have, however, had a few go through activation and post pills-n-potions spam messages. I noticed an interesting trend:

All of the actual or potential spammer-registrations have used the same format of web.de email address at signup:

loginaaa @ web.de
(where the `a's are a letter from a-z)

I suspect that someone has registered a vast series of email addresses on web.de:

loginaaa @ web.de
loginaab @ web.de
loginaac @ web.de
...
loginzzx @ web.de
loginzzy @ web.de
loginzzz @ web.de

...probably with easy-to-guess passwords, which allows these spammers to have lots and lots of username-passwords to use on forums such as mine (and yours!).

(If the Mod sees the need to obfuscate the email address used above, have a look on the "Site Info + Diary" forum on my site for details.)

3:10 am on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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In similar fashion to the previous post, I then discovered "john.doe@mail.ru" to be the template for the next set of human spammers.

"*@mail.ru" was banned and, lo & behold, *all* human spam posts have ceased on the forums on my site.

The above was done (from memory) last Thursday. The forums survived the weekend and upto this moment without spam. I am sure that they will latch on to another address at some point in the future but, for the moment, I have peace.

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