Adding a Captcha Text Typing Thing


#1

I had about 20,000 porn spam postings when I was initially set up. I had to lock down all the forum categories to block the spam.

By “lock down”, I mean, to configure it so that only the SysAdmin had posting privileges.

For the case of this first website, that was OK because I’m using the forum as a handy place to post renderings and other computer graphics stuff, so it’s OK to block people from posting (i currently have about 30,000 porn spammers registered on my website).

http://www.wwswimming.com/forum

However, I would like to learn how to set up a forum where normal people can have posting privileges. I assume the “Captcha” thing where you type in the words or letters in a graphic, that’s one way that you keep out the robo-porn-spammers.

My guess is, I’m not the only person who’s been presented with this situation. Is there a tutorial or a FAQ or a How-to or a Wiki that illustrates the HTML for the page(s) you would need ?

I guess the “Captcha” is usually used by websites at registration time.


#2

You can get CAPTCHA plugins and mods for PHPBB3 (Google will help there). Due to coders creating decaptcha programs these systems can fail, however adding your own “Text Thingy” is one way to get around the autobots. It would require edits to some PHPBB3 files though.

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#3

Thank you much for the info !

How do most Dreamhost users deal with spam ? I didn’t even advertise my URL - it’s a rather modest collection of computer graphics exercises. I had it in my signature at a few other computer forums where I post, the only way the robo-spam bots could have found it. Yet I currently have 22278 registered spam-bots.

How do Dreamhost users set up the initial config so that legit posters can register & post - but stopping the spam-bots ?


#4

I had an unused and hidden phpBB site that garnered TONS of spambots. In addition to the CAPTCHA, did you turn e-mail confirmation (By User)?

-Scott


#5

The bot coders use spiders to find easy targets (PHPBB3, WP, etc). The bot users (spam companies) then buy the software from the coder which already contains a database of sites that the bot will run against. The coders are continually updating the database so the users keep paying for the software. It’s quite the cottage industry.

I’ve found the best solution is to add something extra into the signup form as the coders chase easy targets and won’t go out of their way to put in custom code just to work on your particular site (unless you have an awesome page ranking). Your site might get hit by the bots, but registration will fail.

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#6

Here’s one solution that showed up in a Google search:
http://onepresscommunity.com/2009/2/ending-phpbb-spam/

-Scott


#7

[quote]I had an unused and hidden phpBB site that garnered TONS of spambots. In addition to the CAPTCHA, did you turn e-mail confirmation (By User)?

[/quote]

I looked in the Admin. forum -
Admin
Forum Admin
General Admin
Group Admin
Styles Admin
User Admin

and their subcategories. I didn’t see anything about enabling emails.

Right now they register without getting permission from me. I would like to add a step where they get their registration authenticated by Sysadmin.

Is there a tutorial for installing Captcha on Dreamhost Style phpBB forums ?

Because of the severity of what I experienced, and the obscureness of my website, I figure zillions of other phpBB users must already have gone through the mega-porn-robo-spam experience. So there’s some simple “How-to’s” for newbies like me.

That short program that adds the question “what is 2 plus 2” to the reg. process. Do you do that by editing one of the *.php or similar config files in the forum directory ?


#8

See link in my signature (click forum then register).

To do the same thing in phpBB3 you’d edit the ucp_register.php file.

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#9

Email confirmation is in the Registration section of the ACP under General -> User Registration Settings. You can also set it to require manual approval. It’s right above the CAPTCHA section in the ACP.

-Scott


#10

OK, thanks a lot - got that first part figured out !