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Old 28th June 2011, 01:13 PM   #1

Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1
Question Help: Spammers Flooding My Autoresponder.

Hello There,

I've come here looking for a bit of help or advice regarding a dilemma that I am currently having for my website.

I host an auto-responder that doesn't require a double opt-in. Anybody can come and create an account and they will start receiving our series of emails.

The problem is that I am being attacked by a persistent group of hackers/spammers that are installing bogus accounts and using proxies to do their work.

Although I've filtered all their IP addresses and eliminated the bogus email accounts, they still come at me every day! I've thought about using a CAPTCHA, but that will only slow them down, it won't stop them, so my question is:

Is there some way that I can stop this attack, other than using a double opt-in???

I thank you for your help and look forward to your input.

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Old 1st July 2011, 12:45 PM   #2
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I don't know if this would help, but this is what I would do if I were in your shoes. I would reroute my notifications so they came through my gmail account. Then I would use the gmail tools to filter the contacts. If there is any pattern to the spam, use those patterns to create filters and weed them out. Then I would check the spam folder every so often to ensure nothing unwanted got caught. Tweeking the filters as needed.

This is probably low tech, but I can be quite resourceful when faced with issues that seem unresolveable.

Good luck!

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Old 1st July 2011, 01:04 PM   #3
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I know its not the perfect answer... but have you tried to disable the form? Just for a couple of days. Remove it. The spammers may just walk away and go on to the next project. Just a thought.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

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Old 2nd July 2011, 12:39 AM   #4
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Location: Bulgaria / Canada
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You can try a simple trick.
what is does is if a spammer loads your form he will submit to
/contact-alt.php then you'd use this script to block him.
If JavaScript is enabled the form will be submitted to contact.php

<noscript>Please enable JavaScript because your data won't be submitted and/or you may get blocked! (Anti-Spam Efforts)</noscript>

<form name="contact_form" method="post" action="/contact-alt.php" enctype="multipart/form-data" accept-charset="UTF-8" onsubmit="this.action='contact.php';">
the rest of your form
do let me know if you have any questions.

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Old 12th July 2011, 09:58 PM   #5
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Location: NH
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these are the steps i have taken which has whittle the issue down a lot.

put a common form name object in your form like "subject" and if it has a value reject the post.

use validation on every form field as strict as possible without creating user head aches. regexp are good for this.

on textboxes boxes i check for embeded links because typically the spammer is looking for back links... you guys know who you are. so i look for "http://www.prgdesign.com/stop-form-spam.asp You can easily convert this concept to PHP or any other language.

Hope that helps

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Old 15th November 2011, 08:31 PM   #6

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Greenville, NC
Posts: 64
Default Honey Pot trick for spammers

You'd need a pro programmer for this, but basically the Honey Pot works like this: Included in the form is a hidden field your visitor can't see. The submit program is set to only submit the form IF THE FIELD IS EMPTY. If a spammer's automated script fills in the field, which is probably will, the form will not submit.

It's better for visitors because no CAPTCHA is needed and the visitor doesn't have to deal with keying in the generated code.

Just an alternative method you may want to consider.

Casey Turton
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Old 16th November 2011, 10:03 AM   #7
Gary Barzel
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Try to assign a fake reply-to address for your autoresponder such as [email protected]. You can do this in the same place where you setup your autoresponder. Look for the field "Return address" and enter: [email protected]. This will disallow spammers to reply to your autoresponder.

Gary Barzel - Manager of Business Development
FastUpFront - Small Business Loans & Financing
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