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Thread: Filtering Spammers at E-Budo

  1. #16
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    Been in Japan for two weeks and haven't had the time to do much more than the occasional reading of the forum, now trying to catch up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Carver View Post
    Same with spammers, catch them at the door and don't let them in. That way, you don't have to go back after the fact and delete 15,000 (!!!) bogus accounts.
    The loads of spam accounts we had to delete was due to old software, before the Q&A human verification was added to vBulletin.
    I think we have had 2-3 spammers since then, no bots. And we probably had one hacker (the account was deleted before I had a chance to look into it) but this I think was due to a recent exploit of vBulletin that now should have been handled (if I hadn't been away we probably wouldn't have got that one in either).

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Carver View Post
    This is one of the reasons I recommend StopForumSpam and their vBulletin add-on. It provides one additional layer to your registration process and helps keeps out the bots, both human and non-human type.
    Thanks for the tip, will look into that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Carver View Post
    Two other suggestions: A lot of forums will isolate new members into a "newbie" usergroup that has very limited privileges (like no signature) and all posts up to a certain number must be moderated. In other words, the posts must be approved by a member of the moderation staff. Once the magic number is reached, they are promoted to another more senior usergroup (like "Member") and their posts will no longer be moderated.

    On that similar note, I have an add-on that I use that restricts members with less than XX number of posts from posting any sort of a link. Yes, sometimes they will spoof the URL (like spelling out DOT COM), but those you just whack for breaking the rules and trying to circumvent your restrictions.
    I have been considering to do something similar, but we haven't gotten to that yet. Had a lot of other things to handle first with the upgrade and cleaning out old trash. We will look into this further when time allows.

    /Anders
    Anders Pettersson
    www.shorinjikempo.net - www.shorinjikempo.se
    半ばは自己の幸せを、半ばは他人の幸せを - 宗 道臣
    "Nakaba wa jiko no shiawase wo, nakaba wa hito no shiawase wo" - So Doshin

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  3. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anders Pettersson View Post
    The loads of spam accounts we had to delete was due to old software, before the Q&A human verification was added to vBulletin.I think we have had 2-3 spammers since then, no bots. And we probably had one hacker (the account was deleted before I had a chance to look into it) but this I think was due to a recent exploit of vBulletin that now should have been handled (if I hadn't been away we probably wouldn't have got that one in either).
    Hi Anders,

    You guys have had it light then with only a few spammers and bots. The StopForumSpam software, in additional to blocking known spammers, also logs the rejections and those that pass the StopForumSpam screening. It's actually been pretty light for known spammers as of late, not sure why, but in "peak" spammer season, I've had as many as 20-30 rejected per day. Those are registrations I am glad that I am not having to personally screen.

    I have considered using a forum specific set of questions like you implemented, but forum specific Q&A work better for narrowly focused forums, like Kendo World. There, everyone is a Kendo or related practitioner, and because Kendo is one art, asking questions specific to that art makes sense. It is common knowledge within that community. On the other hand, E-Budo is a forum that is not narrowly focused, but covers a wide-range of topics related to the Japanese Martial Arts (and other topics too). That obviously means many different arts with their own history, traditions, people, waza, etc, etc. So think about the example question from the random Q&A that was mentioned earlier; "Who is the founder of Shorinji Kempo"? How is someone that does not practice Shorinji Kempo expected to know the answer to this question and thus pass the gatekeeper? Easy, they type the question into Google and in seconds you get the answer.

    https://www.google.com/#q=Who+is+the...Shorinji+Kempo

    So the Q&A will stop bots, but a human is going to Google that question and in a matter of moments, they will be in.

    One other consideration is difference in spelling from art to art for the same techniques. For instance, the Judo throw Harai Goshi can be spelled Haraigoshi, Harai goshi, harai goshi. I've even seen Harai-Goshi. If the answer is case sensitive, is or is not a single word, hyphenated or not. I am sure that others here can come up with even better examples.

    Still, the Q&A is a great first layer of defense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders Pettersson View Post
    I have been considering to do something similar, but we haven't gotten to that yet. Had a lot of other things to handle first with the upgrade and cleaning out old trash. We will look into this further when time allows.
    I can relate to finding the time, but it looks like you've got things well under control here!

    If you are interested in that add-on that restricts new members from adding links, here is the link to the one I use.

    http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=232061

    There are a couple of other add-ons that do the same thing, but this one is pretty easy. Like all security measures, it has it's positives and negative, but frustrating spammers is certainly a positive!
    Robert M. Carver

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  5. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Carver View Post
    So the Q&A will stop bots, but a human is going to Google that question and in a matter of moments, they will be in.

    One other consideration is difference in spelling from art to art for the same techniques. For instance, the Judo throw Harai Goshi can be spelled Haraigoshi, Harai goshi, harai goshi. I've even seen Harai-Goshi. If the answer is case sensitive, is or is not a single word, hyphenated or not. I am sure that others here can come up with even better examples.

    Still, the Q&A is a great first layer of defense.
    Yes, I choose to only go with the Q&A since it will stop bots, even if it is relatively easy questions and only to Google to find the answer. But one also has to consider that the humans we want to become members shouldn't have to hard time to register.

    As for the different types of spelling, or in the case we have here for some questions, Japanese names (family name first or last), it is possible to have several correct answers, so that can be covered relatively easy. Also the answers are not case-sensitive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Carver View Post
    If you are interested in that add-on that restricts new members from adding links, here is the link to the one I use.

    http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=232061

    There are a couple of other add-ons that do the same thing, but this one is pretty easy. Like all security measures, it has it's positives and negative, but frustrating spammers is certainly a positive!
    Thanks for the link, will look into it.
    Anders Pettersson
    www.shorinjikempo.net - www.shorinjikempo.se
    半ばは自己の幸せを、半ばは他人の幸せを - 宗 道臣
    "Nakaba wa jiko no shiawase wo, nakaba wa hito no shiawase wo" - So Doshin

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