this sudden influx of spam

All this spam is really annoying. Is it possible to put a CAPTCHA on the sign-up page or something? (I’m just assuming these are automated posts, of course - I might be wrong…)

If they’re not automated, then somebody must have alot of time on their hands. I don’t think the spam pepole use real pepole anymore anyway, it’s probably too expensive compared to a bot. I say that spam should be illegalised, since it’s often advertising pr0n on child-friendly forums.

Seems I’d forgotten to set the require-Captcha flag… :blush:

I see you’ve fixed it now. Thanks!

I’ve only seen two spam posts, and I’ve blocked both and let the forum delete the posts. I’m seeing the same thing happen at my other forum. Most likely there’s a forum list out there that just got “updated”.

When we moved to this server, I found that it’s running an obsolete Fedora Core version which no longer is supported by any YUM repositories. There is an Apache module that’s required for doing real-time graphics, and it’s not installed. I had to disable the forum’s “CAPTCHA” otherwise new sign-ups would fail entirely. I’ll have to see about manually installing whatever the module was, which will take a little time and research.

Hmm. When I enabled it after the server move, it was throwing an error. Maybe it was fixed in this updated version. Anyway, I see it’s working now, but it’s the “plain” version. The better version is more reliable, but it requires whatever that graphics module is that I can’t remember the name… We’ll see how this goes, anyway.

Thanks for the quick response, Merk and rioshin.

Well, it isn’t working. I hope this place dosn’t go under from spambots. I just got here.

Anyway, I’ll have to see about installing the Apache module that allows for the better CAPTCHA. They can script around the plain one, plus real people do sometimes create the spammer accounts. There are “services” for it.

I’m not going to bother with getting GD for PHP set up (that’s the missing module I couldn’t remember). Supposedly, it has been cracked too. For now, I’ve just done a quick hack to the board so you actually have to read the CAPTCHA instructions when you sign up (or customize the bot to read it – which is unlikely since these things are general-use bots). I’ll probably have to re-do it each time a board update comes out, but I’ve heard that the next version of PHPBB3 may have some new anti-spam options.

Anyway, I suspect this’ll be the end of most of the spam. But we’ll see.

For future reference, I have it show an “X” at the start of the CAPTCHA graphic, even though it’s not really part of the code. This amounted to some small changes in the scripts (part of which is just to offset the image a little, which probably doesn’t help at all, but made me feel better).

In /includes/ucp/ucp_confirm.php:
Change this: $captcha->execute($row[‘code’], $row[‘seed’]);
To this: $captcha->execute(“X”.$row[‘code’], $row[‘seed’]);

In /includes/captcha/captcha_non_gd.php:
Change this: var $width = 320;
And this: var $height = 50;
To this: var $width = 350;
And this: var $height = 60;

In /language/en/common.php:
Basically, locate this section and change the two messages to this:
‘CONFIRM_CODE_EXPLAIN’ => ‘Enter the code exactly as it appears, but leave off the leading “X”. All letters are case insensitive, there is no zero.’,
‘CONFIRM_CODE_WRONG’ => ‘The confirmation code you entered was incorrect. Remember to leave off the leading “X”.’,

Great, thanks!