Side 7 Concerning the reCAPTCHA sytem  
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SQL Statement -- SELECT user_accounts.*, user_account_personal_info.*, user_account_system_info.*, access_control_list.*, SUM(account_credit_transactions.amount) as account_credits, user_accounts.id as user_account_id, user_account_personal_info.modified_date as personal_info_modified_date FROM user_accounts LEFT JOIN user_account_personal_info ON user_account_personal_info.user_account_id = user_accounts.id LEFT JOIN user_account_system_info ON user_account_system_info.user_account_id = user_accounts.id LEFT JOIN access_control_list ON access_control_list.id = user_accounts.access_control_list_id LEFT JOIN account_credit_transactions ON account_credit_transactions.user_account_id = user_accounts.id WHERE user_accounts.id = ? GROUP BY account_credit_transactions.user_account_id
Parameters -- 4797
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Concerning the reCAPTCHA sytem



BadKarma

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Subject: Concerning the reCAPTCHA sytem Posted: 02 Apr 2009 - 09:48 ET



Unfortunately, yes, the CAPTCHA is, at this point in time, a permanent fixture on Side 7. This was not our initial design, but over the past month and a half, our comment system has been innundated with spam bot attacks. We had a number of site members whose images were being hit by these bots about every 30 seconds with new spam posts.

Admittedly, the CAPTCHA institution was hastily done to stop the harassment. There are bugs in its implementation that are being worked on, such as the loss of comment data if the CAPTCHA is not performed correctly. Unfortunately, because we're using a CAPTCHA service, we have no control over the two-word issue.

And, unfortunately, looking through log data, the bots are still attacking the commenting and guestbook system, but at least now they're not getting through to the members.

I apologize about this inconvenience, but it's become a necessary evil. Personally, I find CAPTCHA systems to be annoying, myself. But, unfortunately, until we come up with a better solution, this is what we have with which to work.

Comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome.

-- BK


My Side 7 Gallery | Personal Site
Roadstripe

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Subject: RE: Concerning the reCAPTCHA sytem Posted: 03 Apr 2009 - 02:57 ET



Furcadia has a similar problem on one of its subforums. Posters agreed CAPTCHA was annoying even if necessary. One recommended not using regular words in a picture as bots are now programmed to crack them. Another groused that the words could be illegible. Lastly, and maybe more importantly, one recommended http://akismet.com/ instead. I don't know if it will work for Side 7, but it's something to think about.
This Post Has Been Edited 1 Time. - Last Modified: 03 Apr 2009 - 03:00 ET
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Subject: RE: Concerning the reCAPTCHA sytem Posted: 03 Apr 2009 - 07:03 ET



I have to say that this is a very annoying system (at first I though I was being logged off thats why i was asked to type those key words)
But if it's to fight off spam, then I will have to live with it.
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Total Posts: 1188
Subject: RE: Concerning the reCAPTCHA sytem Posted: 03 Apr 2009 - 07:27 ET



btw this started out resently, I donno if its form the commenting system's fault?
when I comment I get this message

Error: Error in: Library_global::finish Line 672
Non-Critical Error: Finish Called with no valid Statement Handle

but my comment is posted alright. Just pointing it out
Jinx

Jinx

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Subject: RE: Concerning the reCAPTCHA sytem Posted: 03 Apr 2009 - 07:57 ET



Have the spam comments all come from anonymous commenters? I wonder if maybe the CAPTCHA system could only be implemented for anonymous/not logged in users? Or, if possible, perhaps a sort of honor system could be put into place? Like, logged in users have to use the CAPTCHA system at first, but when they've shown that they're not posting spam - if there's a feasible way to monitor that - then they don't have to use it anymore.

Just tossing ideas out. I did see one of the pictures that was spammed, though I do also find the text illegible at times. (Thank heavens for the refresh button on it.) I'm also a little concerned about the impact of requiring the CAPTCHA input for sending out a help request.

No easy answer, I know, and I do thank you for looking out for us, BK.


"Finally, I can save the world with deadly lasers, instead of deadly slide shows." ~Al Gore, Futurama

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BadKarma

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Subject: RE: Concerning the reCAPTCHA sytem Posted: 03 Apr 2009 - 07:58 ET



Roadstripe wrote:
Furcadia has a similar problem on one of its subforums. Posters agreed CAPTCHA was annoying even if necessary. One recommended not using regular words in a picture as bots are now programmed to crack them. Another groused that the words could be illegible. Lastly, and maybe more importantly, one recommended http://akismet.com/ instead. I don't know if it will work for Side 7, but it's something to think about.


Unfortunately, Akismet won't work for us. It's a plugin designed for WordPress, which we don't use. Plus, we count as a commercial entity, and since Side 7 isn't making any money at the moment, we cannot afford to take on any additional financial burden to obtain the Commercial API.

With regards to bots and the words, the way reCAPTCHA works is pretty interesting. reCAPTCHA does book digitization as a service. Words that the computer OCR systems cannot distinguish are used in the reCAPTCHA program. And, using the reCAPTCHA system helps to fund their service of digitizing books.

-- BK


My Side 7 Gallery | Personal Site
BadKarma

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Total Posts: 542
Subject: RE: Concerning the reCAPTCHA sytem Posted: 03 Apr 2009 - 07:59 ET



posesimo wrote:
btw this started out resently, I donno if its form the commenting system's fault?
when I comment I get this message

Error: Error in: Library_global::finish Line 672
Non-Critical Error: Finish Called with no valid Statement Handle

but my comment is posted alright. Just pointing it out


Thanks. I had spotted that error in the error_logs, but it didn't have a reference as to from where it was coming. You've just given me the clue I needed. Thanks!

-- BK


My Side 7 Gallery | Personal Site
BadKarma

BadKarma

Total Posts: 542
Subject: RE: Concerning the reCAPTCHA sytem Posted: 03 Apr 2009 - 09:34 ET



Jinx wrote:
Have the spam comments all come from anonymous commenters? I wonder if maybe the CAPTCHA system could only be implemented for anonymous/not logged in users?


BRILLIANT! That's a great compromise. I'll get right on that.

No easy answer, I know, and I do thank you for looking out for us, BK.


My pleasure.

-- BK


My Side 7 Gallery | Personal Site
BadKarma

BadKarma

Total Posts: 542
Subject: RE: Concerning the reCAPTCHA sytem Posted: 03 Apr 2009 - 10:33 ET



I've updated the CAPTCHA system such that it will only show if you're not logged in.

Please let me know if there are any problems.

-- BK


My Side 7 Gallery | Personal Site
Unregistered User



Total Posts: 1188
Subject: RE: Concerning the reCAPTCHA sytem Posted: 04 Apr 2009 - 06:44 ET



BadKarma wrote:
posesimo wrote:
btw this started out resently, I donno if its form the commenting system's fault?
when I comment I get this message

Error: Error in: Library_global::finish Line 672
Non-Critical Error: Finish Called with no valid Statement Handle

but my comment is posted alright. Just pointing it out


Thanks. I had spotted that error in the error_logs, but it didn't have a reference as to from where it was coming. You've just given me the clue I needed. Thanks!

-- BK


always willing to help



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