Anti-Spam Forum Changes

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Anti-Spam Forum Changes

Postby GeoffSchultz » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:13 am

I'm placing this entry here to document changes that I've made to the forum in an attempt to minimize spam attacks. It appears that over the past few days that there's been a concerted, world-wide attack on phpBB based forums. Realizing that I'll be headed off cruising later this year, I want to have 1 place where my fellow administrators can look to see what changes have been made.

First off, read the following post on the phpBB forum on preventing Spam: http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=1437125

Based upon the suggestions in the 1st note, I've done the following:

  1. Implemented a Unqiue Field in the registration form (and for reasons that I don't fully understand, on the UCP form.) If a robot has figured out how fill in this field, simply delete it and create a new one with a different name.

    To access this function:
    • Log into the administrator account
    • Go to the ACP
    • Click on the Users and Groups tab
    • Click on Custom Profile Fields
    • You'll see a field labeled "antispam" with a type of Dropdown Box. You can click on the "gear" to edit it or the "x" to delete it.
    • If you need to create a new one with a different name, note what all of the settings are before deleting it.
  2. I enabled queuing of posts until the user has 3 posts. A moderator has to approve the posts until the user has hit 3 posts. To access the functions which control this:

    • Log into the administrator account
    • Go to the ACP
    • Click on "Board Configuration"/"Post Settings"
    • Under "Posting" you'll see "Enable Queued Posts". This controls the queuing of posts.
    • Under "Posting" you'll see a field labeled "Maximum post count for queued posts". This controls the number of posts necessary before the user is allowed to freely post.
  3. Limited the rate at which one can create new posts. I have this set at 120 seconds right now.

    • Log into the administrator account
    • Go to the ACP
    • Click on "Board Configuration"/"Post Settings"
    • Under "Posting" you'll see "Flood Interval". This controls the time between posts.
  4. Limited the number of links in a message. Right now this is set to 2, but may need to be expanded.

    • Log into the administrator account
    • Go to the ACP
    • Click on "Board Configuration"/"Post Settings"
    • Under "Posting" you'll see "Maximum links per post". This controls the number of links.
  5. If you need to delete a bunch of accounts that the robot has created and haven't been activated as of yet:

    • Log into the administrator account
    • Go to the ACP
    • Click on the Users and Groups tab
    • Click on Inactive Users
    • Select the users to delete (or click "mark all" to select them all)
    • In the drop-down box, select "Delete" and then press "Submit"

Let's hope that this solves the problems.

-- Geoff
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Re: Anti-Spam Forum Changes

Postby GeoffSchultz » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:19 am

The following are changes that I've made to the above based upon Spam behavior:

  • 4/16/2009: Changed the number of posts necessary before the user is allowed to freely post to 1. We should be able to tell fairly quickly if someone is a real sailor within 1 post, and I don't want to bother the moderators with approvals.
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Re: Anti-Spam Forum Changes

Postby katorpus » Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:57 pm

I'm actually following all this Geoff...but with one question

Aren't the moderators limited to a moderator control panel (with only the administrator having access to the ACP)?

If so, we won't be doing any of the outlined things related to deleting of pending posts (by spammers) etc "while you are out"

Speaking of "out"...I've been "out" myself...I got past my tax season and then left town on a last round of "college look" trips with my daughter (who's graduating from high school next month)...finishing up the last trip (to Washington & Lee) and sitting in the Roanoke VA airport awaiting a flight to Dulles and then another back to San Antonio. I should be a little more active in the near future (and I MIGHT even get a chance to go to my BOAT!!!).

John
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Re: Anti-Spam Forum Changes

Postby GeoffSchultz » Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:50 pm

My plan was to promote one of more of you to admin status while I'm gone. For the first couple of months I'll have Internet access, then it's down to e-mail via sailmail.

-- Geoff
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Re: Anti-Spam Forum Changes

Postby THATBOATGUY » Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:17 pm

We will be around for the summer, and then spotty wifi and maybe hf radio email If I break down and buy a modem... ack! I nominate John! heh heh

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Re: Anti-Spam Forum Changes

Postby katorpus » Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:38 am

I actually wanted to nominate George...

Having been chained to my desk for the past four months, I plan to be out of the office as much as possible...my daughter graduates in mid-May, and I'll take a couple of 4 to 10 day trips to the boat in May & June (anchoring out as much as possible)...I'll be out of country (in Guatemala) from July 11-23rd (unless the swine flu shuts down international travel to Guatemala by then)...I have a few "summer projects" to do around the house & ranch...and will be on the road from about the 20th of August until Sept 1st getting the kid moved off to college.

Sounds like we might have to "share" those duties to keep things running smoothly.

John
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Re: Anti-Spam Forum Changes

Postby GeoffSchultz » Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:56 am

I'll be somewhere that has Internet access through the beginning of next year. Then I'll be gone for ~6 months and will out of Internet access for the majority of the time.

John, where are you going in Guatemala? We've spent a lot of time there.

-- Geoff
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