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  • Huge increase in spammer sign-ups

    Has anybody else noticed a significant increase in spammer sign-ups in the last few days? We're deleting at least 10 a day on one of our boards. We've got custom human verification via a custom question & answer set up. I changed the question less than a week ago, but it hasn't made any difference; it's as if there are humans behind it that figure out the answer right away and keep on signing up. They always sign up with a different email and IP.

    This brand of spammers rarely posts; in 90% of cases they just sign up and you can only tell that they're spammers by their advertising signatures, which they always fill out.

    This has been really annoying me lately because the custom question has worked well for us for some time, but now even this is useless. All the captchas have been broken ages ago so we stopped using them as they didn't do anything to lessen the number of spammer signups.
    Former endorsement revoked. You know the saying - one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel...

  • #2
    Not using re-captcha? Or use email verification.

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    • #3
      Recaptcha has been useless for us, I've tried it on several boards and it did nothing to lessen the number of spammer sign-ups. It's been broken a long time ago.

      Email verification is even more useless. The spammers have automated mail verification signups years ago.
      Former endorsement revoked. You know the saying - one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel...

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      • #4
        They are humans. That's why they make it past the recapcha. Turn off sigs for new users and don't allow them have one until they've made 10 posts.

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        • #5
          That's what I suspected and considered doing... the problem is, if I do that, it just means that they'll still keep signing up, so I end up with potentially thousands of registered spammers over the course of a few years. And without spam in their sigs, they'll also be impossible to distinguish from real users. :/ Only a half-win here. They also still get to put their spam url in the "homepage" field.
          Former endorsement revoked. You know the saying - one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel...

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          • #6
            Do you check on their ip addresses at projecthoneypot.org/ or stopforumspam.com ?
            General Discussion Forum

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            • #7
              What would be the point of doing anything with their IPs when they use a different one for every signup?
              Former endorsement revoked. You know the saying - one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel...

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              • #8
                How about question and answer?

                Using a question that other forums don't use, does trip them up and usually they abandon their attempts. The few that do get through on our forums are easy to catch because they also don't change one of the default user profile fields on registration. (It says to change it when you register, spammers usually don't, thus easy to target.)
                To be updated...

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                • #9
                  Uh... I state in the first post that Q&A is what I'm using. Whatever it is that these spammers are doing, it doesn't even slow them down. I've changed the questions three times in three days and they still keep coming. So it's very likely that they just have a human answer the question and then automate the spam from that point onwards. I could change questions every day, but when there's a human lowlife that is summoned every time a new one is added to answer it, it's all pointless.
                  Former endorsement revoked. You know the saying - one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel...

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                  • #10
                    There is nothing you can do to stop humans from registering then turning over the account to a bot. Please see this thread for things you can do to fight spam: How to Reduce Spam and Registration Bots
                    Steve Machol, former vBulletin Customer Support Manager (and NOT retired!)
                    Change CKEditor Colors to Match Style (for 4.1.4 and above)

                    Steve Machol Photography


                    Mankind is the only creature smart enough to know its own history, and dumb enough to ignore it.


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                    • #11
                      My forum has been going along great for almost 4 years without hardly any spammers at all, very little, but in the past 5 days, I've been getting hit nonstop with new members joining that are spammers, they all have gibberish in the mandatory fields of city, state, etc. I almost always see "Man" in one of the fields. If I don't ban them fast enough, they start a new thread and get a post made with their links in it. I have the miserable users add on in vbulletin and enter their ip address each time, but it's a different one every single time, so I don't really think that is doing anything for me. I have captcha, that doesn't stop them. I turned on the email verification and that didn't slow them down any at all. It was so bad that for a while when I wasn't going to be at the computer, I completely disabled new registrations. When I turned it back on, within minutes, they started up again. Right now, I have it set so that I have to manually approve each new member before they can post, but it's a pain and it means that a legit member may join and want to post right away and they can't do it until I've manually enabled them to be a registered member.

                      I don't know why I've hardly had any problems at all for years and just all of a sudden, I'm being hit left and right all day and all night. What is the best way to deal with this?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by InfinitiMedia View Post
                        but in the past 5 days, I've been getting hit nonstop
                        Christmas and New Year always bring an increase it seems, I remember writing the same thing for the past 2 years.

                        Originally posted by InfinitiMedia View Post
                        I have captcha, that doesn't stop them.
                        You tried recaptcha? http://recaptcha.net/
                        If they're human, they'll get past it. But it'll slow down the majority of bots.

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                        • #13
                          Trilogy, thanks for the recaptcha link. That looks like it may help, I'll have to get my web guy to install that for me as I am too afraid of messing up anything on my site and I don't understand the php coding, so I let an expert handle it for me.

                          So, other than what I've already tried and if I add recaptcha, is there anything else at all that I should be doing to try to stop them? And is it worth it to block the ip addresses they use?

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                          • #14
                            Recaptcha comes with newer versions of vB, but it did jack all for me. Don't bother with the IPs, they never use the same ones twice. The only thing worth doing is banning their e-mails so they can't reuse them.
                            Former endorsement revoked. You know the saying - one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel...

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