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NoSpam! - an alternative to CAPTCHA images
by antialiasis
24 Aug 2006 22:18

10 Attachment(s)
This hack is for vBulletin 3.6.x. For 3.5.x, please use the one provided in this thread. If you are using 3.7.x, you must use the one in this thread.

This simple hack is meant as a replacement for the default CAPTCHA system in vBulletin. There are two main reasons one might want to do this: firstly, new technology is constantly being developed to crack CAPTCHA images and make spam accounts anyway, and secondly, the more secure the CAPTCHA, the more difficult it is for genuine users to tell what the numbers in the image are. There is also the issue of visually impaired users, and the fact that not all servers are capable of generating CAPTCHA images.

So what does this hack do instead? It asks a question. Any question you want. That's the best part: YOU make up the questions, which means that every forum is unique, which means that it is impossible for spambots to be simply programmed to bypass it at all forums with the hack installed. You can make one or many questions - if you make many, the hack will pick one at random when a guest attempts to register, search, post or send mail through the Contact Us form. Their input is compared with your specified answer, and voilą, if they get it right they're pretty much guaranteed to be human. If they get it wrong, they're given an error message.

It doesn't have to be a complicated question. Heck, you can just make it "Please type 'blah' into this box." Or you can go with inserting a simple image with HTML and ask what is shown on the image. Or you can ask them to tell you two plus two. It's up to you. In fact, this can also be used as a means of forcing people to read the rules by asking for a certain password found there, or if your forum focuses on a specialized subject, ask a question concerning the subject that all your genuine users will be able to answer, but a random troll or "CAPTCHA-sweatshop-reader" will be scratching their head over.

It's simple to install, too: just one product to import, and that's it.


VERSION HISTORY:

3.0: Added functionality to allow users to specify which pages should use NoSpam!.
2.0: Extended the NoSpam! functionality to guest posts, guest searches and guest "Contact Us" in addition to registration.
1.1: Made template edit automatic (with thanks to Cole2026), added ability to have more than one answer to each question, and made answers case insensitive. To upgrade, I recommend undoing the template edit so you won't have to worry about it anymore (replace $nospamfield in the template register with $imagereg, or if you added $nospamfield above $imagereg, just remove $nospamfield altogether), and then reimport the product through the Admin CP (making sure that Allow Overwrite is set to On).
1.0: Initial release.


INSTALLATION:

Please download NoSpam!.zip, not product-nospam.xml, for the tested version. product.nospam.xml is NoSpam! 4.0 adapted blindly to 3.6, i.e. by editing the XML file for the 3.7 version without actually testing it on a 3.6 board. Theoretically it should work, but I cannot guarantee it at this time. If you download NoSpam!.zip and unzip it, it will contain another file called product.nospam.xml, which you should use.

1. Import product-nospam.xml through the Admin CP product manager.
2. Go to your vBulletin options in the Admin CP and select NoSpam! Settings. Once there, turn the system on and input your questions and answers according to the instructions there.

The system should now be functional and running. :)


UNINSTALLATION:

Just uninstall the product through the Admin CP.


SUPPORT:

Full support will be given here in this thread. All suggestions are welcome.

Thank you and please click "Mark as Installed" if you like it.


If NoSpam! is not working for you or you are looking for something a little different, you might want to check out Advanced Textual Confirmation.

AzzidReign 24 Aug 2006 23:19

Wow...first to say thanks! I'll be installing this as soon as I'm done with my server mainenance!

Kaezul 24 Aug 2006 23:43

Saw this on another forum the other day, it was pretty awesome. Good work.. Maybe I'll find it useful in the future.

antialiasis 24 Aug 2006 23:50

On another forum? Can't have been the same thing, because I just made this up and haven't posted it anywhere else, but I wouldn't be surprised if you found something similar sometime.

whitetigergrowl 25 Aug 2006 00:06

Awesome! Thank you!

utw-Mephisto 25 Aug 2006 00:44

This is awesome easy and easy awesome :) thanks

/me installs

Kirk Y 25 Aug 2006 01:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by antialiasis
On another forum? Can't have been the same thing, because I just made this up and haven't posted it anywhere else, but I wouldn't be surprised if you found something similar sometime.

I too have seen this on another forum. Good idea -- but couldn't a script be programmed to simply input the appropriate answer, assuming there was only one question.

y2krazy 25 Aug 2006 01:28

I'm sure there's a slew of possible questions in the database. Maybe even an option to use your own? :)

Phaedrus 25 Aug 2006 01:32

Downloaded, installing later.... Thanks.

SoftWareRevue 25 Aug 2006 02:15

Installed and appears to be working fine. Thanks!

RMS-Chef 25 Aug 2006 04:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by y2krazy
I'm sure there's a slew of possible questions in the database. Maybe even an option to use your own? :)

If I understand correctly that is the point of this.
You create the custom question and answer.

Jon_Simmonds 25 Aug 2006 06:43

Really nice idea, thanks :)

Mr Chad 25 Aug 2006 07:29

umm, you could easily code a bot that grabs the string and adds the two numbers to produce the answer.

blankoboy 25 Aug 2006 08:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Chad
umm, you could easily code a bot that grabs the string and adds the two numbers to produce the answer.

Then you could simply create a different question and answer. Some example:

Quote:

What do you put in your car to make it go? Gas
What company makes the Xbox? Microsoft
Do you stop or go at a green light? Go
What is the main ingredient in cheese cake? Cheese
Is it hot or cold outside in the winter? Cold
What I'd like to know, as I have not tried this yet, is does this support multiple questions/answers? Can I create question/answer list as above and they will randomly appear? Also are the answers case senstive?

If yes to my first question....I'll be installing this asap! Please make it not case sensitive. :)
Would be nice to see a screeny of the AdminCP for this!

antialiasis 25 Aug 2006 09:35

The questions and answers are, as I thought I had made completely clear in the first post, completely customizable. There are no default questions or question formats that the bot could robotically answer. There is just an input field where you specify your questions and answers, which can be literally anything:

Quote:

So what does this hack do instead? It asks a question. Any question you want. That's the best part: you make up the questions, which means that every forum is unique, which means that it is impossible for spambots to be simply programmed to bypass it at all forums with the hack installed.
Yes, it supports multiple questions:

Quote:

You can make one or many questions - if you make many, the hack will pick one at random when a user attempts to register.
The answers are case sensitive at the moment, but I was now thinking about giving it a little more flexibility, both by making it case insensitive and allowing you to specify multiple possible answers to the same question (for example, if you were using the first question in your list, I believe the British would answer it with "Petrol" rather than "Gas").

I'll give you an admin CP screenshot when I've done those tweaks.


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