Board Format Suggestion

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Should we change the software on which the board is run?

Yes
2
29%
No
0
No votes
I have another idea (please post it if you do)
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I don't know
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71%
 
Total votes : 7

Board Format Suggestion

Postby mijopaalmc » Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:37 pm

Given the current problems we have been having with spam/ad bots, I was wondering if it might not wise to a vB bulletin board. It seems the user verification systems seem to be built in to to it.

I thought I would offer a solution (granted much more extensive than the other ones mentioned so far) in stead of just noting the problem. I really have no idea how much time and energy would go into such a switch in software or if it is even possible to do such a thing, but I thought I would be constructive nonetheless.
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Postby The_Machinist » Sat Mar 10, 2007 7:22 pm

It looks like there are a couple database conversion utilities for PHPBB-> VBulletin available, so it seems that it would be possible...

I'd think an upgrade to the latest PHPBB with image verification turned on would work and be much easier to do. No database conversion needed. :P
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Postby Tom-SA » Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:10 pm

Right now we are not at the latest version BUT Image verification IS ON! Try to sign up and you'll see!! I don't know how they are doing it!!!

As far as problems with VBulletin and others, I have heard the same complaints from others using that board software as well. :-(
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Postby DeckApe » Sat Mar 10, 2007 11:54 pm

And I was talking to a coworker who is a SysOp (man, am I old) of another phpBB--they're getting much the same thing we are, and his is a motorcycle board.

Sigh.
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Postby mijopaalmc » Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:42 am

Tom-SA wrote:Right now we are not at the latest version BUT Image verification IS ON! Try to sign up and you'll see!! I don't know how they are doing it!!!

As far as problems with VBulletin and others, I have heard the same complaints from others using that board software as well. :-(


It was bit my intent to criticize the board administration or format, and I did not know that phpBB had an image verification option. I just wanted to get a constructive discussion going about what could be done to fix the adbot problem. It looks the thing that is both simplest and most effective is being done, which I appreciate.

Thank you, Tom-SA.
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Postby Tom-SA » Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:59 am

No worries mijopaalmc, I didn't mean to make you think that I thought you were criticizing. I'm as frustrated as all you guys are just trying to find a solution.

I've recently run across this:

http://www.bbprotection.net/

Which I will try to install on the board in the next couple of days. Hopefully it can help.
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Postby ulfurinn » Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:01 am

Tom-SA wrote:Right now we are not at the latest version BUT Image verification IS ON! Try to sign up and you'll see!! I don't know how they are doing it!!!

http://blog.phpbb.cc/articles/captcha/

Like I said before, most existing captchas are already machine-breakable. Does phpBB support other generating algorithms, in the form of plugins, maybe? Using a less popular or a more complicated one might win some time.

Upd. ah, the bbProtection thing looks interesting.
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Postby mijopaalmc » Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:49 pm

I see that bots are still registering and posting, despite the institution of the image verification. Is there anyway of shunting the bots away form the real site registration page?
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Postby UnRepublicanstraightactor » Sun Mar 18, 2007 4:06 pm

Please work on this quickly. One of the threads I post on just got spammed, and I'm really beginning to take this personally.
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Postby drtom » Sun Mar 18, 2007 11:43 pm

Tom-SA wrote:I've recently run across this:

http://www.bbprotection.net/

Which I will try to install on the board in the next couple of days. Hopefully it can help.


Yikes!

With all the phpbb mods available, why this one?

1) It hasn’t even been released. The current version is 0.1.2, which means that it is a very early beta. Straightacting.com would basically be a guinea pig for these guys to help work out the bugs.

2) Personal information of board members would be sent to a third party – namely the bbprotection server. What exactly are they going to do with this information? Looks like a data mining operation which should scare the crap out of most people – as if there isn’t enough data mining going on here in the US.

3) All posts from all members are held until the bbprotection server approves the posts. And what if their server is down? What happens to the posts? What if a spammer posts from an address like AOL and that IP address goes on their ban list – does everyone who might use that IP address have their posts deleted or get banned.

I can see all sorts of problems here. I assume this caught your attention because it insinuates that this will all be automated with no manual intervention. I know that the Admin chores here are a real drain on your time and you have my deepest appreciation for everything you have done for this community over the years. I’m sure everyone here feels that way. Unfortunately, my prediction is that this tool will fall far short of total automation. They even state on their site: "This method effectively prevents 80% of the spammers to even get to your board." What about the other 20%? More importantly, what about the false positives – the legitimate users that can no longer post? Manual intervention will still be required. And the potential for abuse of personal information is a justifiable concern. A better method would be for them to make available a blacklist to customers who license their software. The blacklist gets exchanged and not personal information about board users. I have grave concerns about this.
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Postby Rune » Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:20 am

There's a plugin for phpBB, I'm not sure if it costs anything, but instead of image confirmations it will use a question confirmation like for example "Are you human" to which the correct reply is "yes". This can still be beaten by spambots if they build up a database of questions and answers, however, if this allows the mods to set up their own questions and answers it seems like they should be able to stay ahead of the bots by updating their questions/answers.

Here is a link: http://bbantispam.com/tc/

An alternative approach might be to install a mod called User Shield (http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=399863) and have moderators manually give access to people through a "Request Access" forum. From what I read this should prevent spambots from being able to post links in their profiles and other places, which will increase their positions on search engines (this is the main reason they spam boards it seems, and not for the users themselves).
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