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How to elliminate spam attacks?

  1. Sep 22, 2012 #1

    I'm a member of another forum, unrelated to science and math, and notice it's being relentlessly and chronically attacked by ad spammers. I contacted the mods and they are trying to deal with it but it doesn't look like they are being successful.

    May I ask how PF or any forum in general deals with stopping this?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 22, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Do they allow guest posts?
    Do they have a captcha or similar methods to prevent bot registrations?
    Which board software do they use? We are in a vBulletin board here, and that has some good methods to block automated spam.
  4. Sep 22, 2012 #3

    D H

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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    The site admins need to make sure the site is configured to prevent bots from coming in (which only works to some extent). Requiring new members to confirm by email slows the spammers down a bit. Subscribing to a spam filter also helps to some extent.

    The most important thing is that the moderators need to be ever vigilant. They cannot let those spam posts sit around for any length of time. The same applies to the spammers' IDs. The need to be banned as spammers ASAP. Word will get around the spammer community that your site is vulnerable if those spam posts are visible for long or if the spammers IDs aren't revoked. That means your site needs enough moderators so the site can be protected on a 24-7 basis. That, or limit site activity to just part of the day.
  5. Sep 22, 2012 #4


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    In my experience best thing is to use CAPTCHA different than others do. There are many CAPTCHA tools, but they rarely survive longer than several months. However, if you use a method that works only on your site, and your forum is not large enough to be worth an individual attack (IMHO even PF is not large enough for that), you should be relatively safe. From this POV best type of CAPTCHA is the one using questions and answers, as it is individualized and can be modified any time in no time.
  6. Sep 22, 2012 #5
    Ok. Thanks guys. I'll pass on the information. A spam filter sounds like a good idea and the site does use question/answer for CAPTCHA. I'll find out about vBulletin also.
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