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  1. #1
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    How to prevent bots registering in a VB Forum?

    I have a auto forum and most of the people registering are bots from russia. How can i prevent them from registering, i dont want to block all emails and ip address's. I read somewhere to add another question to registration page, i added "vehicle you drive" and the bots just fill that space with their username.

    Any advice and suggestions would be greatly appriciated. thanks

  2. #2
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    use IP blocking, if you don't want visitors from a certain country

  3. #3
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tms_seo View Post
    use IP blocking, if you don't want visitors from a certain country
    How is that a fair thing to do? If a genuine visitor from Russia wants to join your forum what then?

    To answer the question, have you tried implementing some form of CAPTCHA into your registration form? If you don't find the reCAPTCHA box to be secure enough you could use a picture based CAPTCHA instead.

    On my Blog I use Akismet as well, so I would highly recommend that you implement this addon for vBulletin.

  4. #4
    Non-Member thewebhostingdir's Avatar
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    I think reCAPTCHA plugin will almost solve this problem. I was running SMF and was getting too many signups. After the integration of reCPATCHA, spambot signups are now ZERO.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Evangelist rhysboy84's Avatar
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    Likewise. I have made a reCAPTCHA plugin for bbpress and so far i know it's implemented on 5 forums. All of which have eliminated spam.
    I'm Rhys Wynne & I blog at Winwar Media
    WP Email Capture: Free Email/Ebook Marketing Wordpress Plugin
    UK Based SEO? Tweet Your Location to #ukseohere!
    | My Brand New Brand | Twitter |

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by thewebhostingdir View Post
    I think reCAPTCHA plugin will almost solve this problem. I was running SMF and was getting too many signups. After the integration of reCPATCHA, spambot signups are now ZERO.
    i think this will solve the problem,CAPTCHA IS a bot blocker.

  7. #7
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    I wouldn't recommend just using reCAPTCHA. A lot of people believe that it is just bots that spam, but people spam too and they can easily beat a CAPTCHA.

    Use Akismet and reCAPTCHA together and any spammers that get through reCAPTCHA will be blocked by Akismet anyway.

  8. #8
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    While reCAPTCHA is a good system it isn't perfect and comes at a great cost. CAPTCHA is designed to catch out non-humans but people with disabilities (poor eyesight, motor function and cognitive ability especially) will find it impossible to get past the issues with CAPTCHA and therefore will be unable to use your forum.

  9. #9
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    While reCAPTCHA is a good system it isn't perfect and comes at a great cost. CAPTCHA is designed to catch out non-humans but people with disabilities (poor eyesight, motor function and cognitive ability especially) will find it impossible to get past the issues with CAPTCHA and therefore will be unable to use your forum.
    This is the problem with Reverse Turing Tests, they're rarely ever accessible. There are a number of methods one could use, such as a simple Maths puzzle, a picture quiz, a word counting problem and more.

  10. #10
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Exactly which is why I have a no CAPTCHA policy, even if you don't have a disability some of those CAPTCHA's are impossible to read, even if you are a human!

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard esds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    Exactly which is why I have a no CAPTCHA policy, even if you don't have a disability some of those CAPTCHA's are impossible to read, even if you are a human!
    But you can refresh the Captcha to generate readable text or enable Captcha Sound.

  12. #12
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by micfo.com View Post
    But you can refresh the Captcha to generate readable text or enable Captcha Sound.
    One could argue that this would make the CAPTCHA less secure. It's a poor solution for a tough problem. Sadly, it's by far the best we've got at the moment.

    I still stand by my previous statement by saying that Akismet is the best anti-spam solution for any site.

  13. #13
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    It doesn't just make CAPTCHA less secure (they could use voice recognition to bypass it) it also still has the problem that with the background noise trying to stealth it from those machines it becomes inaudable for humans. CAPTCHA will never get around the problem effectively because machines offer a way to understand the various different ways of trying to authenticate a human, it is essentially a case of technology being the own resolution to its own flaws.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard esds's Avatar
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    Although the spammers bypass the captcha it also require human intervention instead of just granting an account blindly.

  15. #15
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by micfo.com View Post
    Although the spammers bypass the captcha it also require human intervention instead of just granting an account blindly.
    Wrong, voice recognition and optical character recognition have seen a lot of innovations over recent years and robots can take advantage of these (amongst other methods) to crack a CAPTCHA without human intervention, while it used to be true that humans were needed for CAPTCHA the reason why so many changes have been made to the CAPTCHA mechanism over the years is because the spammers have made innovations of their own... it's essentially an arms war where both the good and bad guys are trying to outdo each other... and the spam industry is worth billions each year, so they can afford to invest in CAPTCHA cracking methods.

  16. #16
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    Here's a damning report on the state of CAPTCHA technology. As far as many security experts are concerned you may as well stick a fork in it - it's done!

    http://blogs.iss.net/archive/CAPTCHA.html

    I know I'm repeating myself but Akismet is really the only solution that's proven itself to be effective against spammers as it continuously builds itself on new techniques. It works wonders for WordPress so I'm shocked to see that it hasn't been implemented as default on many other scripts. I'm positive that vBulletin 4 will have it implemented as default.

  17. #17
    whagwan? silver trophybronze trophy akritic's Avatar
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    don't use VB

  18. #18
    whagwan? silver trophybronze trophy akritic's Avatar
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    ^ sorry, just couldn't resist

    can't be bothered to edit my post either. what the hell this is gc

  19. #19
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    thanks for the help. where can i get the akismet for VB? i looked on their website and couldnt find it.

  20. #20
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    vBulletin.org is your friend when you're looking to modify your forum. Here's a couple of links pointing to Akismet modifications for vBulletin.

    Akismet Anti-Spam (Another, Upgrade for 3.6+)
    For vBulletin: Akismet

    After reading a couple of the comments posted around both communities it apparently works well.


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