clintmemo wrote: keithcurtis wrote:
werefrog wrote:They found us through the banner ads.
The way to get rid of them is to require some sort of "are you human" test for registration.
That would clear most of the spambots, but not the human spammers. I think that the best solution would be to move to a less popular (and hence less-targeted for attack) forum software.
The Macintosh Defense.
Do you really think there are human spammers in the forums? I can't imagine that is worth the effort of signing up over and over again just to post 20 messages that always get deleted before anyone can click any of the links.
I'll bet is fully automated.
The problem, is that they may be a hybrid; part human, part bot; HuBot!
The articles I've seen online, about forum / wiki / web spam, is that someone writes a bot to attempt a log in, grabs the CAPTCHA image and presents it to a human to read and interpret, then uses their answer to complete the registration. Once registered, the bot posts a bunch of junk and then abandons the user id. Who would sit there and read CAPTCHA's all day? Well, it could be low paid users in another country (India, China, Russia, etc.) working for a penny-a-CAPTCHA or something similar.
The more devious operators set-up a FREE-PORN site, and then make the users who want to download the free stuff, solves a couple of CAPTCHA's in order to get in. The CAPTCHA images are pulled from sites that the operator wants to register in, and his free-porn users don't even know (or care) that they are helping him do it. This is especially devious as it harnesses the power of pR0n for the evil of Spam.
At the end of the day, I don't think there is _ANY_ way to create a diffinative test to separate out the spammers from the non-spammers. Any test to differentiate humans from software bots can just be hybridized, as discussed above, so that humans do one part and the bot takes care of the rest.
A, possibly, better solution would be a behavioral test. For example, the hosts create a "Tell us why you are here" forum topic and new users are restricted to only posting in this topic. Then, moderators (which do not have to be hosts, but can be volunteers) can click some "let this person in" button on each of their posts. If a spammer really wants to take the time and trouble to write a meaningful paragraph on why he wants to join the FtB forum - good enough to fool a volunteer moderator - then let them in. We'll still mark and delete any actual spam posts, but it'll reduce the volume to a tiny, tiny percentage. Further more, having newly registered users write a sentence or two is not the worst thing in the world. As far as I know, there is no requirement to register before reading; so if they want to register, they can be (reasonably) required to write a little about themselves.
Think of it as the "Introductions" topic made more formal.