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Kill spam registrations promoting websites  XML
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forum_clean
Newbie

Joined: 21/10/2004 20:57:13
Messages: 4
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If, like mine (and this forum you are in now!), your forum seems to be plagued by idiots registering with a false email address just so they can advertise their websites within their profiles - here is a simple way of stopping them.

They are able to fake any IP address so blocking IP addresses won't work (I tried that!). It has really, really annoyed me. Why should these parasites use our hard work in setting up our forums to advertise their seedy little websites?

There is an excellent, sophisticated solution here http://www.phpbb.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=232413 but if you want a simple, quick fix - do this...

One of the files in PHPBB is called usercp_register.php and this is found in the "includes" folder within your forum. FTP to your forum and download this file and open it in an editor - notepad, Dreamweaver, Frontpage etc.

Find the bit that begins:



The significant bit is the "INSERT INTO" as this is the part of the code that adds a new registrant into your forum database.

Immediately before the line that has the "INSERT INTO" add the following code:





This is what it does....

$urlbits = parse_url($website);
This bit simply splits their website URL into its component parts and stores their domain name in $urlbits['host']

The next line tests to see if their domain name contains ".ru" (a good one to block as this is common to many of these horrible web sites).

The || at the beginning of each subsequent line simply means OR so what it is saying is IF the domain name contains ".ru" OR 'jewelry' OR 'e-pathto' etc etc then they can't get any further, they just get a blank screen that says "Drop dead ...". Obviously, you can change this "Drop dead ..." phrase to whatever you want!

All the other words are ones that I use (look at the recent registrants in your forum and you will see what I mean).

If you find that someone registers in your forum and has some other new web site simply duplicate one of the lines like :

|| strstr($urlbits['host'] ,'chopoy')

and change the word - in this case 'chopoy' - to whatever word you want that appears in their domain name.

Then, all you need to do is save the file and put it back (FTP) on your server, into the "includes" folder, so that it replaces the original.

The way I look at it is that these parasites can only have a finite number of websites between them. So adding a new line to this code every now and then is no real hardship. It blocks them from registering so they can't promote their websites and gain a higher Google page rank by having all our forums linking to them.

Finally, for goodness sake, delete all these parasites that have registered in your forum!!

If you have a PHP/MySQL guestbook on your site you will be able to do something similar.
Carbonize
Master
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Joined: 12/06/2003 19:26:08
Messages: 4291
Location: Bristol, UK
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Spam like your post you mean? You obviously only signed up to try and promote/spam your idea. If you actually read these forums (which btw happen to be for a bunch of PHP scripts including 2 guestbooks) you would of actually noticed there are better ways of preventing Guestbook spamming. I also find it funny that you are trying to explain to this sites webmaster, who happens to be an excellent PHP scripter, how PHP works. Spam is spam and the worst spam is spam advertising anti spam techniques. Spam from people who obviously typed something into google (such as "powered by phpBB") just to visit a particular script to do their spamming on.

Carbonize
I am not the maker of the Advanced Guestbook

get Lazarus
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forum_clean
Newbie

Joined: 21/10/2004 20:57:13
Messages: 4
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I really don't get your attitude...

I searched Google for one of the spammers usernames (BITARINTERNATION) that kept appearing in my PHPBB forum as I wanted to see how widespread this problem was. I really resent these parasites having a free ride off my hard work and I assume that other guestbook and forum owners feel the same. I found that the problem is rife in PHPBB forums and in the very Guestbook that you have created. I found a religious site where spam registrations were promoting a site about sex with animals and the (religious) site owner was apologising to his visitors saying that he didn't know how to stop it happening.

I am just trying to do my bit and I have posted a similar message on the PHPBB homepage/forum and searched for your site - I believe, the creators of the Guestbook? - to do the same.

You will notice that I didn't add links to my own web site, the yahoo mail address that I used gives no clue as to who I am. I do not have any alterior motive for posting in your forum other than wanting to help people stop the spammers.

Yes, there are more sophisticated ways of stopping spammers (as I said in my original post) buy what I was suggesting was just a quick fix - what is wrong with that?

I actually did not make the post to explain to YOU how to do this, I thought it may be useful to your other visitors.

By the way, your own forum has loads of spam registrants promoting sites selling drugs and all sorts of rubbish... and yes... you have the one about sex with animals too - look at the profile of nahuy194

Only trying to be helpful to the website owning world and I'm sorry that me post offended you.
Carbonize
Master
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Joined: 12/06/2003 19:26:08
Messages: 4291
Location: Bristol, UK
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You are refering to my old, and now locked, forum. That is only there for archiving purposes and is soon to be deleted once I transfer the posts I want to keep.

ps. I'd love to know which member you are refering to as I cannot find a single member with a link to a site such as you describe let alone a member called nahuy194.

Carbonize
I am not the maker of the Advanced Guestbook

get Lazarus
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forum_clean
Newbie

Joined: 21/10/2004 20:57:13
Messages: 4
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I mean THIS forum here... 90% of recent registrants are spammers. You have "nahuy753" and "nahuy194" both linking to THAT website, you have loads and loads of "andxxx" where the xxx are 3 random numbers, you have my old favorite "BITARINTERNATION". In fact most of the registrants who don't post but have put their website in their profile turn out to be spammers.

If your forum is spiderable by Google then all these entries simply help boost the page rank of the sordid sites in question. Just try searching Google for any of these usernames and you will see how widespread their work is. Loads of PHPBB forums have been affected and you will also find loads of your PHP/MySQL guestbooks affected too.

The general concensus (according to the PHPBB site) is that the spammers are employing some sort of automated robot that visits forums and guestbooks, registering and adding their url. Next time Google spiders, it notches up another link to their website.

Apart from the modifications that site owners can make to their own forums and guestbooks, there is talk of a future release of PHPBB having spammer blocking security built in.

Maybe... (sorry for my cheek ) you might consider a similar modification in a future release of your Guestbook?

We seemed to get off to a bad start after my first post... but I hope you now realise my sincerity.

Best wishes
Carbonize
Master
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Joined: 12/06/2003 19:26:08
Messages: 4291
Location: Bristol, UK
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This is not my site. I am just a user of the Advanced Guestbook who comes here to help people who are having problems with the script and to offer modifications to the Advanced guestbook script. My site is reached by clicking the the WWW button beneath my signature.

Carbonize
I am not the maker of the Advanced Guestbook

get Lazarus
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JTD
Graduate

Joined: 08/05/2004 21:52:50
Messages: 529
Location: Arkansas
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Well I did a google on these 2 here "nahuy753" and "nahuy194" The first one I only found twice and the second only once. And if a person sets up there forums to where they have to approve all members they wouldnt have alot of problems. Also in the guestbook we have an image verification script. To prevent bots and spammers. And the option to turn on or off html. Which all works fine.

LINK-> Use Lazarus Guestbook
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forum_clean
Newbie

Joined: 21/10/2004 20:57:13
Messages: 4
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Look - I don't want to be pedantic here, but just look at the memberlist for THIS forum for the last couple of months. Look at the registrants who haven't posted but have added their URL. Most PHPBB forums are similar... AND many, many installations of Advanced Guestbook are similar.

Of course, a visual confirmation mod works well, as do many others. I was just adding another suggestion... a possibility that might help other webmasters... it's no big deal.

Why the defensive attitudes?

Christ, it's like I have to apologise for sharing an idea. Isn't that what forums are all about?

And yes, I did join this forum just to make my original post... for the reasons given above. I certainly can't see any reason for me to come back...
Carbonize
Master
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Joined: 12/06/2003 19:26:08
Messages: 4291
Location: Bristol, UK
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Spam is spam whether it is to advertise a site or try and spread a message. In this case you were trying to spread a message.

Carbonize
I am not the maker of the Advanced Guestbook

get Lazarus
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Trevor
Student
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Joined: 17/06/2004 02:53:11
Messages: 67
Location: UK
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It's unusual for me to take sides but I think forum_clean's been given a bit of a hard ride here.

My take on this is that FC has gone out of his / her way to share info which may benefit other users. I can't see that this was done with anything other than the best of intentions.

Most users are here to find info, very few actually contribute towards the pool of info available. Shouldn't we be encouraging people who have a positive contribution?

Personally I'd like to see more posts from FC and more like minded people getting involved, this can only benefit the forum and help it evolve.

No disrespect to Carbonize or JTD, both of whom are very knowledgeable and essential to this forum.

Riight, that's got that off my chest - on to the next post...

Trevor
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Carbonize
Master
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Joined: 12/06/2003 19:26:08
Messages: 4291
Location: Bristol, UK
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You know my feelings on spam. And as FC pointed out there is already a fix available on the offical phpBB website. Also FC's "fix" would need constant updating as you find new bits to add. Look at http://www.rotorwashinternational.com/guestbook/index.php which is full of spammed entries and see how many of the spammed urls would get caught by a script using the list FC supplied.

Carbonize
I am not the maker of the Advanced Guestbook

get Lazarus
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Trevor
Student
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Joined: 17/06/2004 02:53:11
Messages: 67
Location: UK
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I agree with you Carbonize - it's not an ideal fix. I think the important thing is that it's a positive contribution.

It seems to me that a great many people come to the site expecting answers to their questions without having first tried to find a solution themselves or even to do a search. There's an inbalance between those taking from, and those giving to, this forum. Any contribution, even if it's flawed, should be welcome.

Trevor
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Carbonize
Master
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Joined: 12/06/2003 19:26:08
Messages: 4291
Location: Bristol, UK
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Trevor wrote: Any contribution, even if it's flawed, should be welcome.


Why do you think I leave JTD alone

Carbonize
I am not the maker of the Advanced Guestbook

get Lazarus
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JTD
Graduate

Joined: 08/05/2004 21:52:50
Messages: 529
Location: Arkansas
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Hey now I resemble that remark. Go take your aspirin and hush.

LINK-> Use Lazarus Guestbook
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Auron
Expert
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Joined: 23/06/2003 22:02:17
Messages: 1053
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IF there are spammers her why would they have a zero post count if they
were trying promote their site? No 1 is gonna go thru the member list going
to every1's sites. If they don't post you don't go to their site coz there's no
link. Also why post the solution here where they can see it and maybe write
a script to get round it. Your best bet is to go to the ADMIN OF THIS SITE!

Final point. Why do we care about spam here? Its not our forum. And there
isn't a lot of spam posts here at all. Apart from in the German bit there is
a few.

just my 2 cents...
Auron

Visit my site @ www.ragnaru.com
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