pinkunderscoregothic at gmail
Feb 27, 2012, 1:51 PM
Post #9 of 18
"Sent via BlackBerry from Smart"
Re: CAPTCHA recommendation for account-creation bots?
[In reply to]
From: Sumana Harihareswara <sumanah [at] wikimedia>
Sender: mediawiki-l-bounces [at] lists
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 14:49:58
To: <mediawiki-l [at] lists>
Reply-To: MediaWiki announcements and site admin list
<mediawiki-l [at] lists>
Subject: Re: [Mediawiki-l] CAPTCHA recommendation for account-creation bots?
On 02/27/2012 02:17 PM, mediawiki-l-request [at] lists wrote:
> Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 17:57:14 +0000
> From: Daniel Barrett <danb [at] VistaPrint>
> To: MediaWiki announcements and site admin list
> <mediawiki-l [at] lists>
> Subject: [Mediawiki-l] CAPTCHA recommendation for account-creation
> <68CF225601ADF74BA1F8A2511535F85D0A9D20DB [at] WNDMAIL02>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> Spam bots are creating accounts on my music wiki (http://www.blazemonger.com/GG/Special:RecentChanges). What is the best extension to prevent this? I installed ConfirmEdit and tried the default CAPTCHA (SimpleCAPTCHA) but it didn't stop the bots. Before I experiment with the many other options, I thought I'd ask what people recommend.
> Fortunately the bots can't edit articles, just create useless accounts.
I'll take this opportunity to point out that Dan's not the only one.
People who run MediaWiki instances come into IRC (#mediawiki) every day
asking for help fighting spam and vandalism. Some emails that have come
my way (reprinted with permission):
Jason Vertrees wrote:
> HI Sumana,
> After opening up my wiki for free registration, I immediately got
> three spam accounts. One turned into real spam being injected into and
> then cleaned from the wiki. None of the methods aside from preventing
> self-registration seem to work against spam. Unfortunately, this also
> prevents growth.
> I read the links you provided--do you have anything else more proactive?
> -- Jason
Sergey Chernyshev wrote:
"Do you by any chance know a reliable way to combat spam? I'm tired of
the hordes of spammers attacking my MW projects.... Unfortunately, I'm
well aware of current anti-spam features and none of them simplify the
spam combat to the level similar to WordPress, for example."
Anne Gray wrote of sfeditorwatch.com and sfartistwatch.com, which have
Google Analytics, ReCaptcha and Bad Behavior installed:
> Thank you for offering to help try to figure out what's gone wrong
> with sfeditorwatch.com and sfartistwatch.com. Cheryl's email reminds
> me that activity on the sf editors wiki was really picking up for a
> while, the year before it started getting attention from spambots.
> Once I started having to protect pages to keep from losing content and
> the wiki started being full of spam, participation declined sharply.
> It rapidly hit the point where I as an administrator couldn't possibly
> hope to keep up. Then reCaptcha broke and people *couldn't* edit
> their own pages. At this point, I'm pretty sure bots are almost the
> only thing active there....
> Sfartistwatch never really took off partly, I think, because it's
> really non-obvious how to post images (I still have never learned).
> And I'm worried that if we turn it on, it will get hit by the kind of
> spammers that are posting hundreds of spam images to the Carl Brandon
> society wiki...
> I don't know enough to set up bots to patrol, to set up notifications
> so that I as the administrator can "watch" all the pages, or to use
> scripts or whatever to nuke the massive amounts of spam pages that are
> created regularly. Bots are clearly getting past recaptcha to
> register users (they're doing that on the carl brandon wiki, too), and
> the "Random page" button is totally useless for a visitor who is
> actually interested in the topic of the wiki (is there a way to
> reprogram that, so it only selects a random page that has a category,
> at least? (it would be sooo nice, when you Block a user for spam or
> vandalism, for the following page to list pages that user created,
> with checkboxes beside them, and provide the option to select all of
> them at once and delete them. Even better if it gave the option of
> automatically protecting against future re-creation of those spam
Most of these administrators are smart people who just need a little
help fighting the bots. It sounds like the recommendations from this
group so far are:
* https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:QuestyCaptcha , a plugin for
the ConfirmEdit extension
so I've added those to these help pages:
and welcome additional improvements to those docs, especially if
recommendations that are in there right now are no longer worthy of
Also, anyone want to take a crack at cleaning out what's no longer
applicable in https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Spam_Filter so I can
suggest it as a project for contributors?
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