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 Post subject: Re: We got our first spammer!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 11:55 am 
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Due to lack of ANY TYPE of registrations lately, I took a look at some Captcha graphics for new registrants. WOW, extremely unreadable!!! I think this explains it... man, if a real person can't read this thing, it's too hard. This was waaaay too hard.

I doubt there are many OCR reader bots which are actually reading Captcha graphics successfully; they're probably making inroads some other way.

For the time being, I've dropped some noise from the Captcha graphics. Let's see what happens. Here is a sample graphic from the new scheme:


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Captcha Sample.jpg
Captcha Sample.jpg [ 4.95 KiB | Viewed 418 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: We got our first spammer!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:37 pm 
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wammie wrote:
I doubt there are many OCR reader bots which are actually reading Captcha graphics successfully; they're probably making inroads some other way.

There are plenty, actually, but forum admins hit a tipping point of diminishing returns really fast, when they start making their Captcha harder. That is, they can start blocking out the bulk of valid registration attempts along with the flood of spam (which ebbs and flows).

A mild Captcha is fine, in my opinion. If we only throw out MOST of the bathwater, so what; we can always towel-dry the baby by hand.

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 Post subject: Re: We got our first spammer!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:46 pm 
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Theo wrote:
wammie wrote:
I doubt there are many OCR reader bots which are actually reading Captcha graphics successfully; they're probably making inroads some other way.

There are plenty, actually, but forum admins hit a tipping point of diminishing returns really fast, when they start making their Captcha harder. That is, they can start blocking out the bulk of valid registration attempts along with the flood of spam (which ebbs and flows).

A mild Captcha is fine, in my opinion. If we only throw out MOST of the bathwater, so what; we can always towel-dry the baby by hand.


Sure, let's roll with this for a while and see. I'm game for trying something different too. If any of our moderators want to discuss or deal with this further we'll approach it outside of the general discussion.

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 Post subject: Re: We got our first spammer!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:34 am 
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OK, we have a spammer or two already. Sometimes when unsure about a registrant I'll google the email address and see what pops up. On this one, I found it at a site called "www.stopforumspam.com." Looks like this site is legit and a good resource!

Needless to say, the user has been deleted.


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spammer.jpg
spammer.jpg [ 27.23 KiB | Viewed 407 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: We got our first spammer!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:15 pm 
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Yeah, what human would ever voluntarily give themselves an email of "dremayc4"? That's not pronounceable in any language, and I'm including Klingon and 1337.

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 Post subject: Re: We got our first spammer!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:42 am 
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Alright, we've been getting one or two spam registrations per day now. I've upped the complexity of the registration images just a bit, adding waviness and horizontal lines. The images are still very readable to the human eye though.

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