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What's up with all these spambots exactly? I'm not sure what's going on with them, I figured the anti bot thing was supposed to work but besides running into it once I've not had it come up and, beinb blunt, it's stupidly easy to get a list of answers or have a bot just OCR the question and then work out the answers.

IMO you guys need to toughen up the anti bot protection and start nuking bot posts and bot accounts, they're getting snakier and sliding into topics with posts that look on topic but are not.

TL:DR: Please, guys, fix the bots prblem, Evven if you have to go to an audio captcha system, or the 'I am not  arobot' system, or something like that rather than a simple question any half decent person can OCR and add into a bot's library....it absolutely NEEDS to happen.

Before anyone starts saying it'll make the site harder to use, I do feel the site needs to be more secure and if that comes at the expense of ease of use, I personally am fine with it, I mean, I'm on sites that you log in, it sends you a temporary access code to your phone, you have to do a captcha and put that code in, THEN it takes you to a secure login page where you ge a temporary password for that session...

I'm not saying you guys need to go to that level of security, but as of right now on the surface it does seem spam bots are overrunning the site and nothing's being done too quick about it. Seriously, mods, please if you can delet ethe spam bot posts and ban the accounts.

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I have been in the process of banning some crazy spambots lately, so I'm already on it.
The thing is, our last forum bot pluggin caused even more issues, and richard and sanda disabled it as a result.
Last night I banned two spambots in a row, and I found a quite nice way of dealing with the posts as well in the process.

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Hi.
Aaron is right, he and all moderators are baning spam bots but these are geting more smart and some are controled by people in real time and they can resolve the securiti question.

I am your friend, your spam bot reporter, I am what ever do you wan a be to you, but if it is not good, I will not be!
And please, give me a tumbsup, it makes me happy to see one.
Thanks.
Angel Productions, the producer of nothing :)

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At risk  of sounding like the proverbial grumpy old man, Spambots? In my day you didn't call it an attack by spambots unless you couldn't see real posts for the spam! and you complain about one or two little spam posts! hmmmm! don't know your born, and have things too easy, that's the trouble with kids today.
now get off my lawn! and bring me some lemonade!  when you bring the lemonade don't stand on my lawn! Oh come on you can definitely levitate big_smile.

Seriously, as I recall days when you would literally get five or six spambot posts a day and the job myself and other mods needed to do each morning was kill them off the couple we removed hardly mean an invasion.
the best thing people can do is report them spambots if they've been hanging around for a while and you think the mods might have missed them, though also bare in mind we're all frequent forum users ourselves anyway so will kill off spambots as a matter of course.

With  measures, I actually noticed far more effect after we installed Honeypot and a few other hard coded measures to make the place less friendly to spambots, than any sort of anti spam verification question, be that an audio capccha or anything else, indeed such annoy users far more than they stop spambots even when they work correctly (which historically they haven't tended to).

This is one reason I get so irritated with those stupid inaccessible graphical capcha things, because the spambots still get through but users, especially visually impared users get locked out.

So, bottom line, report the spambots if you think we've missed them, we'll take our time killing them off, and if we need more security we'll look for some more PunBb extentions rather than something which will give legitimate users a hard time.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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Well, I will report it as long as I see, or hear the spam, actually big_smile .

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The bots are back!
I saw 2 threads in the off topic room where about 90% of the posts were spam.

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It seems they're posting over 200 posts now. Ouch.

And thus the beast grew powerful, and fire and thunder swept the land. But Mammon stirred in their hearts, and the beast Foundered, and its Corpse arose, and commanded "thou shalt not fly in my name." And the blazes shall freeze cold, and the souls of the followers of Mammon shall learn to tremble in the
face of ice as they did before the fire.
from The Book of Ice, 10:13

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Now the bots are creating topics advertising things that are not allowed on this forum.
I wonder why they are spamming, and who is controlling them.

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We're certainly aware of the bots and the question has been raised about finding tools to deal with them, in the mean time we'll just have to keep up with the search and smack routine.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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What about google Capchas?

TGC
"Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain... To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices - today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it."
Kevyn Aucoin

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11

Capchas don't stop registering of spambots, they just annoy legitimate users, especially since Google have a nasty habit of occasionally updating their capcha system to make it inaccessible (it's happened several times in the past always with irritating results).

We have tried a less intrusive capcha system by asking people questions with obvious answers such as "what planet do we live on" but these have mostly been hugely inefficient.
Actually we have had far better results in the past with things like honeypot protection and other more background, less intrusive but more effective antispam measures.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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Well, now I heard there is captcha version II release. You just need to tick the box that says "I'm not a robot", then they will allows you to access the contents on the web that you're visiting. Maybe the administrator could set that one up?

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You know, it seems to me that the spam bots have this nasty little pattern of posting two copies of their spammy messages in a row. I wonder if anyone has written something to scan for that behavior and at least delete the second instance of the exact same post.

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CAPTCHAs just don't work. They are, at best, security by obscurity. Other solutions while imperfect at least slow the bastards down, and also have the benefit that they don't treat any visitors like crap. Which is always nice.

As to Google's latest abomination, well surprise surprise it doesn't work unless you allow Google to track you with cookies. Install an ad blocker and you're guaranteed to see a CAPTCHA, even when you check the box. I'll be damned if I allow Google to track me all across the web just so I can meekly press a button in their javascript monstrosity (the means by which they tell human from bot) without a high probability of being told to solve a fuzzy audio CAPTCHA which can't be solved automatically using the visual replacement and which requires my computer's volume to be on full just to listen to it.

Fuck that!

But feel free to disagree ...

Yes, I had noticed that many of these spam posts get posted twice. I wonder why that is? And I wonder if we couldn't harness it. Probably duplicates should already be suppressed. But it's not entirely improbable that an ordinary poster might struggle to post and thereby end up posting twice, either. Spammers normally post using scripts and the like.

Just myself, as usual.

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