Problems with registering users

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Joined: 28 Oct 2008, 16:48
Location: S.E. London

Problems with registering users

Postby Richard » 18 Nov 2012, 12:13

Regular users will have noticed over the last couple of years the occasional "spam" posting, usually advertising fitted kitchens. These have been infrequent and easy to delete. But the forum, and our sister Regius forum, have been attacked by the registration of large numbers of new members, probably by some automated procedure. The attacks started late on Thursday 15th Nov and have generated hundreds of new members until I switched off the registration of new members. Fortunately, only a few of these new "members" posted spam. Whilst it's not difficult to remove new members and their posts, it's a chore and poses the risk that any new valid member, someone who is interested in the Granvia, will also get deleted! (If that's happened already, my apologies - please try again after we've resolved the problem.)

Various techniques are being tried to filter-out the malicious registrations since the old "Where is the Granvia manufactured?" test question is ineffective. The ReCaptcha test of recognising a jumble of letters has been tried and even that is ineffective. A different approach is being tried today to try to find out if the attack is coming from real humans or machines.


Posts: 15
Joined: 13 Oct 2012, 12:34
Location: Romania, Maramures

Re: Problems with registering users

Postby Maxoffroad » 19 Nov 2012, 18:19

Hi Richard,

I have same problem on my forum (is a biggest 4x4 forum from Romania).
I think spammers use some new script and penetrate our protection. For now, i don't have a solution. I just watch new members and i delete spammers. Is verry easy to detect wich is spammer.
My forum platform is Vbulletin with pay licence and is the best forum platform but spammers is more stronger. :)

All best,

Posts: 463
Joined: 28 Oct 2008, 16:48
Location: S.E. London

Re: Problems with registering users

Postby Richard » 22 Nov 2012, 17:50

Thanks for all the expressions of support in postings and messages - it's appreciated!

I re-enabled the new-member registration process a few days ago - there has been no sign of any further spurious registrations. There is now a new test question which must be answered before the system allows registration to proceed: "How many doors does a standard 1995 Granvia have?" The eagle-eyed will have spotted that the description of the Granvia at the top of the header page has been slightly altered.

On the assumption that sooner-or-later the bot-nets will come-up with the correct answer to the test question, does anyone have a simple question which anyone with an interest in the Granvia could be expected to answer without too much difficulty? (The answer can't be Yes/No or have a limited number of answers, for example "Is the Granvia Left- or Right-hand Drive? - too easy to guess for the bot-nets).


Posts: 225
Joined: 05 Sep 2009, 15:09
Location: New Forest, Hampshire

Re: Problems with registering users

Postby daveveal » 24 Nov 2012, 18:13


Can I suggest that the question whatever it is, is displayed as a picture eg jpeg so that the bot-nets are unable to understand it?

I realize that the ReCaptcha test isn't effective, but that comprises random letters/digits which can be recognized and replicated, and do not require an intelligent response.

That, together with requiring registrants to give their email addresses for activation, should defeat most attacks.

R 613 PEL - 1998 2wd Diesel self-build camper. Pearl white over gold. New Forest, Hampshire

Posts: 68
Joined: 30 Apr 2011, 06:43

Re: Problems with registering users

Postby jarmmo » 25 Nov 2012, 11:37

Hello Richard
Maybe for existing owners a valid engine code, but this does not help people who are not yet owners, maybe they could delve into the internet to find one?

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