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Spambot Stopper - Prevent Spambots from Registering Details »
Spambot Stopper - Prevent Spambots from Registering
Mod Version: 1.1.1, by kh99 (Coder) kh99 is offline
Developer Last Online: Feb 2017 I like it Show Printable Version Email this Page

vB Version: 4.x.x Rating: (51 votes - 4.92 average) Installs: 418
Released: 01 Feb 2013 Last Update: 16 Feb 2013 Downloads: 1863
Not Supported Uses Plugins Auto-Template Re-usable Code Translations  

What is it?
----------------------------
This mod rejects registrations where the form is filled out in less than a minimum time. You can configure one of the following actions to be taken when an automated registration is detected:

- Show a "No Permissions" page
- Display the "Successful Registration" message but without creating an account
- Redirect the user to any URL you choose
- Reload the registration page with an error message of your choosing

You can also provide a list of email addresses to be notified each time a registration is blocked.

Added for version 1.1.1: Time delay enforcer, maximum time option, time limits to cut down on email notifications, posting to a thread.

In the future, I'd like to add some simple logging and statistics, and a summary type of email notification (because people seem to quickly get tired of the single emails).

Note: I coded this myself from scratch, but I would like to acknowledge a couple of previous mods that used this same idea, by users Calorie and noppid, and maybe others. In any case, I believe this one adds some features that the others don't have.

Other advantages: no ads or links, no abuse of update notifications, no disappearing features, no threats to delete the mod (it will never be deleted, at least by me). Also, translations are allowed.

Installation:
----------------------------
1) If you have "Is Bot", "Stop the Registration Bots", "Spammers Suck!", or another mod that works on registration time, note any admincp settings for that mod then uninstall it.

2) Import the product XML file from the Product Manager.

3) Go to Settings > Options > Spambot Stopper Options and configure the desired settings.

4) IMPORTANT: try to register a new user to make sure that there are no problems with humans registering. If you want, you can also temporarily set the minimum time to a higher value (like 60 seconds) and test to see if the spammer rejection is working.



History:
----------------------------
1.1.1 (Feb 16, 2013)
  • Added timer for enforcing minimum time
  • Added maximum registration time limit
  • Added time limits for email notifications
  • Added posting notificatiosn to a thread

1.0.1 (Feb 01, 2013)
  • Fixed bug
  • Added check for fake timestamps

1.0 (Jan 31, 2013)
  • Initial Release

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  #46  
Old 03 Feb 2013, 11:58
kh99's Avatar
kh99 kh99 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Real name: Kevin
Originally Posted by sadiq6210 View Post
I installed it from 2 hours only and I received 106 emails in my inbox

Can I make the mod to send email if the time is more than 10 seconds and less than 30 seconds? because most of the emails I received was 1 second only !
I think that's a good idea - so you only have to get emails when it's possible that it stopped a human? I'm also going to implement some kind of way to discourage or prevent actual humans from submitting the form until enough time has elapsed, which will hopefully eliminate that concern.
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  #47  
Old 04 Feb 2013, 05:24
sadiq6210 sadiq6210 is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Real name: Sadiq
Originally Posted by kh99 View Post
I think that's a good idea - so you only have to get emails when it's possible that it stopped a human?
Yes exactly
+
In last 24 hours there is 1 spam account registered in my forum
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  #48  
Old 04 Feb 2013, 12:49
djbaxter djbaxter is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Originally Posted by sadiq6210 View Post
In last 24 hours there is 1 spam account registered in my forum
This only stops rapid registrations, i.e., spambots. It won't stop all spammers.

You'll also have to find the optimal duration for your site. I viewed all the emails for 4 sites over the weekend and settled on 25 seconds as optimal for me.
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  #49  
Old 04 Feb 2013, 18:42
Lionel Lionel is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Real name: Lionel
I've installed my new product in conjunction with yours. Not one single bot since yesterday. :-) Down from 150 daily. They can't even go thru registration so no email is sent

Last edited by Lionel; 04 Feb 2013 at 18:48.
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  #50  
Old 04 Feb 2013, 19:21
CLaNZeR CLaNZeR is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
This is working great on 4.2 level patch 3

Stopped loads today since I installed it.

Still have to manually add the IP addresses to ban list, so that would be a great addition to this mod.

Good work.

Cheers

Sean.
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  #51  
Old 04 Feb 2013, 20:42
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kh99 kh99 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Real name: Kevin
Originally Posted by Lionel View Post
I've installed my new product in conjunction with yours. Not one single bot since yesterday. :-) Down from 150 daily. They can't even go thru registration so no email is sent
Looks good - but now I feel like I'm a competitor.


Originally Posted by CLaNZeR View Post
This is working great on 4.2 level patch 3

Stopped loads today since I installed it.

Still have to manually add the IP addresses to ban list, so that would be a great addition to this mod.

Good work.

Cheers

Sean.

Thanks. This is probably a good time to say, I give credit to users Max Taxable as well as calorie, because calorie wrote a mod many years ago that uses this idea, and Max Taxable has been recommending calorie's mod for a long time. I was actually skeptical because I always found that Q&A worked fine, but I can't argue with all the people who have found this method useful. Anyway, my only contribution is in making sure that an updated version of this idea remains available on vbulletin.org.

As for the ip banning, I was considering that, but the problem I have is that I feel if ips are going to be banned automatically, you also need a way to monitor the process and search and remove ips, as well as a way for someone to contact you if they get banned by mistake, and then it turns in to a major thing. What I was thinking of doing in the next release (some time this week) is to use the login "strikes" system so that at least it wouldn't be possible for anyone to try too often. I'm also going to try to include a summary email option instead of one per registration.
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Last edited by kh99; 04 Feb 2013 at 20:52.
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  #52  
Old 04 Feb 2013, 21:03
Lionel Lionel is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Real name: Lionel
Originally Posted by kh99 View Post
Looks good - but now I feel like I'm a competitor.
No I also use yours. Bots use vbulletin defined named for custom fields e.g. field1, field2, field3 etc .. mine uses an admin defined name for custom field. If they ever find out then admin simply changes the name and jQuery stops process if field is empty.
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  #53  
Old 04 Feb 2013, 21:14
CLaNZeR CLaNZeR is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Originally Posted by kh99 View Post
As for the ip banning, I was considering that, but the problem I have is that I feel if ips are going to be banned automatically, you also need a way to monitor the process and search and remove ips, as well as a way for someone to contact you if they get banned by mistake, and then it turns in to a major thing.
Or set a second count value option before they to add to ban IP list would be good.

If some human can sign up in 2 seconds then they super human or a bot.
Most of the ones today were 2-5 seconds that it caught for me and I just manually added their IP to the ban list. But it still a lot of work.

Good Stuff and thanks again for your time and effort!

Cheers

Sean.
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  #54  
Old 05 Feb 2013, 12:09
BadgerDog BadgerDog is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Real name: Doug
Installed for testing with thanks on vBulletin 4.1.3pl5...

Regards,
Doug
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  #55  
Old 05 Feb 2013, 20:59
Lionel Lionel is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Real name: Lionel
They already came to my site to investigate what is blocking them, but then your mod kicks in. So once I get an email from you, I simply change the field name in my mod vboptions. My mod also indicates that 99% of the bots are from China. So I blocked China an end of the story
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  #56  
Old 05 Feb 2013, 21:24
djbaxter djbaxter is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Originally Posted by Lionel View Post
My mod also indicates that 99% of the bots are from China. So I blocked China an end of the story
Easier said than done. Every day there's a different IP range, even if you're using 0/24 range blocking.
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  #57  
Old 05 Feb 2013, 21:36
Lionel Lionel is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Real name: Lionel
easy for me. I get country from IP. A special function gets it, not from range
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  #58  
Old 05 Feb 2013, 21:49
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Alibass Alibass is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Originally Posted by djbaxter View Post
Easier said than done. Every day there's a different IP range, even if you're using 0/24 range blocking.
I've been using FASSIM and it works pretty good.
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  #59  
Old 05 Feb 2013, 21:54
djbaxter djbaxter is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Originally Posted by Lionel View Post
easy for me. I get country from IP. A special function gets it, not from range
Originally Posted by Alibass View Post
I've been using FASSIM and it works pretty good.
You're both missing the point. I also use a country IP blocker on 2 forums as well as a custom IP locator on those plus 2 others. My point was that new IP ranges are added almost daily to highly populated countries like China and India and it requires monthly or weekly updates of IP ranges just to keep up - even that might not work on a busy established forum which is targeted by spammers.

Battling spam is not a "set it and forget it" issue. It requires continuing vigilance and varying the tools over time as spammers adapt their own weapons to current defenses.
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  #60  
Old 05 Feb 2013, 22:17
Lionel Lionel is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Real name: Lionel
Battling spam is not a "set it and forget it" issue. It requires continuing vigilance and varying the tools over time as spammers adapt their own weapons to current defenses.
I agree with that. When they catch up with my mod, Kevin's mod kicks in and I simply adjust my mod with a new vbotions name for that specific required custom field. As far as IP is concerned I get the country code from a 2 lines function. If that were to return nothing then it still stops it. But so far it has always returned a country code

bottom line I am down from 150 spams daily to 0 -2 and I am happy with that. Since I stopped China, back to 0

If the majority of vb users were using good tools that would certainly discourage spammers

Last edited by Lionel; 05 Feb 2013 at 22:32.
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