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Old 02-03-2012, 06:14 AM
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Update vBulletin Question / Answer Set

So I have been noticing a significant amount of spambot registrations lately, and realized that we didn't have any good filter against that when registering. We have a "Random Question" section but it looks like the questions are very generic and easily spoofed:

What number comes after 8?
What is the second word in this sentence?
What is the 2nd color in the list green, orange and pink?
What is the next letter after Y?
Type the letters AF in the box
The 1st letter in the word "shucking" is?

In an effort to reduce the spam registrations, we could modify the Q/A set to have far more specific questions:

What country was the first Wankel engine developed?
Does The RX- line of vehicles have Rotors, Pistons, or both?
The first wankel engine patent was filed in ____ ?

etc.

All the answers are easily found on Wiki, but are abstract enough that spam bots wont know the answers to them.

Just a thought.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:35 AM
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The problem is that the spambots are just part of the equation nowadays. Most spammers are actual users paid to register and post.
The forum is getting old and the amount of new users is falling down. Forcing the new users to send a pm to the moderators with an auth request would make the process tedious enough for the human spammers
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:40 AM
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True, the only thing that sucks about that is the people that actually need help are at the mercy of an admin being available to approve the registration.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:39 AM
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Spam isn't as bad as when I first became a mod 4 yrs ago. Being east of the Mississippi, I'm probably the first to pickup the over-nite posts.
Just hit the report icon and don't reply to it. It will be given the boot.

We tried human authentication in the signup process. On a site this large it took too much time out of Admins life. That process was abandoned.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:48 AM
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I hear ya, just wanted to find some ways to lighten the load on you guys a bit
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:06 AM
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Well i'll keep reporting "overnight" spam threads. I have a huge time zone advantage
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by alnielsen View Post
Spam isn't as bad as when I first became a mod 4 yrs ago. Being east of the Mississippi, I'm probably the first to pickup the over-nite posts.
Just hit the report icon and don't reply to it. It will be given the boot.

We tried human authentication in the signup process. On a site this large it took too much time out of Admins life. That process was abandoned.
Yup, for a while, I had it set so that I had to hand-check every single registration before it could go live. That was a giant pain in the ***, but the only thing that cut down on almost all the spam. It's a good deal lighter than it used to be, though. It has gone down quite a bit, but like bse50 said, many spammers are now hired lackeys sitting in rabbit warrens signing up to get past the authentication issues. Just keep reporting it- eventually we will hopefully find a better way to deal with it, but for now, I think we're stuck as is.
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:42 AM
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Perhaps forcing the users to write their first post in a "introduce yourself" subforum? Most spammers set up a signature and it would really help keeping them in a closed space, making it easier to catch them.
On top of that I recently reported some older posts from users with hacked accounts and edited signatures, that could be a tad more annoying to deal with.
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