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Comments August 19, 2008

Just How Vulnerable Are Unprotected phpBB2 Boards?

Filed under: Anti-spam, bbProtection — Dave Rathbun @ 10:00 am CommentsComments (13) 

Some people wonder just how bad the spammer problem is with phpBB2. I can answer the question posed in the subject of this blog post in one word: Very.

As part of an experiment and a desire to capture more seed data for the upcoming relaunch of the bbProtection service I set up a phpBB2 board with no protection other than what is built in to the software. I have enabled user activation and I have activated the visual confirmation. I launched the board on August 15. Within 48 hours I had my first spam registration and my first spam post. :shock: The honey pot process has started slow but I’m getting an average of four registrations a day so far. Nine of the 17 have posted at least once (over 50% ratio). None of the posts are anything you would want your children to see; it’s really nasty stuff.

The only MODs I’ve applied to this board are a MOD to capture the IP address during the registration process (in case the bot doesn’t post I still want to know where they’ve come from) and to add the “nofollow” attribute to every link. If google finds this board I don’t want to be penalized for all of the nastiness on the other end of the outbound links.

I’ll be back in a month to post more statistics about the board. It should be interesting.

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