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Author Topic: Anti-spam measures  (Read 3195 times)
meep-eep
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Anti-spam measures
« on: June 13, 2006, 04:30:36 pm »

I've installed a CAPTCHA mod to block automated spam.
It is activated when a new user tries to register, or a guest user tries to post.

Let me know if there are any problems.
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Culture20
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Re: Anti-spam measures
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2006, 12:40:49 am »

I've heard that some image recognition AIs have started having more success with these types of picture protections.  Like any protection, it's only good for a while.   Undecided
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Deus Siddis
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Re: Anti-spam measures
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2006, 01:09:36 am »

Quote
I've installed a CAPTCHA mod to block automated spam.
It is activated when a new user tries to register, or a guest user tries to post.
Let me know if there are any problems.

CAPTCHA: Delete your post, you have 30 seconds to comply. . .you have 10 seconds. . .5 seconds. . .I am now authorized to use lethal force (bans IP.)
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meep-eep
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Re: Anti-spam measures
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2006, 01:25:50 am »

I've heard that some image recognition AIs have started having more success with these types of picture protections.  Like any protection, it's only good for a while.   Undecided

It doesn't have to be uncrackable. It just has to be more trouble than it's worth for the spammers. Besides, spammers aren't usually the smartest people.
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Zeep-Eeep
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Re: Anti-spam measures
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2006, 04:01:59 am »

They have spam for brains?
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Razorback
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Re: Anti-spam measures
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2006, 08:38:11 am »

I usually don't see much around here.  Saw one the other day, it didn't last long before somebody nuked it.  Now if there were spam blockers for "neat comic book" topic headers....
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meep-eep
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Re: Anti-spam measures
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2006, 08:58:26 am »

Well, it's usually cleaned up pretty quickly by any of the forum admins (sometimes afer being reported by others), but it's a manual business. This CAPTCHA system should save us a bit of work.

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Draxas
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Re: Anti-spam measures
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2006, 06:29:26 pm »

This was inspired by the recent increase in boardspam, I take it; I saw a few instances pop up in the last week or so.
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Re: Anti-spam measures
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2006, 06:48:42 pm »

You should present a question about Star Control II, so only those who answer correctly get to post Wink
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Draxas
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Re: Anti-spam measures
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2006, 09:05:44 pm »

Isn't that a bit unfair to people playing for the first time? Then again, maybe it means they'll find the wiki without having to ask for hints here first. Wink

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Re: Anti-spam measures
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2006, 10:07:52 pm »

right!

new users should know the password to the Spathi High Council.

otherwise, they should get an error message:

"You have tried to trick us with a clever deception
however, we are ever wary and have uncovered your evil scheme!
While we abhor violence, we have found that under circumstances like this
the best course of action is to attack suddenly with overwhelming force.
Like so. "
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Who do you take us for, Captain... Spathi!?"
Novus
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Re: Anti-spam measures
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2006, 08:38:58 am »

How about a multiple-choice quiz based on the FAQs for UQM, with questions like:

Which colour is a MetaChron at the instant of destruction?
  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Black
  • Brown

Which of the following is not mentioned in UQM?
  • The Trident of Wimbli
  • The Source of Juffo-Wup
  • The Path of Now and Forever
  • The Alliance of Free Stars

Not only would this keep out spammers (assuming the questions are randomly chosen from a large enough set and the possible answers are in random order), it would require new users to read the FAQs properly before posting frequently asked questions.
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Typhoon
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Re: Anti-spam measures
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2006, 06:46:52 pm »

Quote
Besides, spammers aren't usually the smartest people.

Well, they might not be very smart, but they pay smart people. Any filter designed now will most likely be useless in 1-2 months. However, as long as they are useful, it never hurts having them.

I think Novus' one is a very good idea, although it might be hard to implement.
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Re: Anti-spam measures
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2006, 07:30:24 pm »

We're going through the same insanity over at the timewarp forums.  Sad, isn't it?

Your forum software probably has proper anti-spam measures, as does phpbb.  Typically they are using stock URLs and stock form data, so one solution is to rename files and to rename some of the form variables.  Deny registration from anything that tries to register using a URL or form variable that doesn't actually exist on the webpage.  Other solutions are heavy-handed: force email confirmation, don't show unconfirmed user accounts anywhere, delete unconfirmed accounts within a few days or a week.  Still others are harsher: log each IP address when trying to register, and let them sign up with malicious stuff; then take the evidence to the appropriate authority to get them banned from their ISP or blocked from spamhous or whatever. 

My take is to pose a question in the generated image that the user must type in to register.  Something simple for a human, but more tricky for an automated system: "1 + two is what?", "What is half of ten?", "How many fingers does a person typically have?"  Still it's a technology war. 

There are some complex debates on the perfect solution to spam accounts. 

No matter how you slice, it's not a personal attack, it's automated.  Try not to take it personally.  This is a techincal issue, not a social one.  Smiley
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