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Tip for stopping automated registations

  • Hello,

    We’ve been using bbPress for a couple of weeks now, and have been getting a couple dozen automated accounts each day. Now it appears they are coming alive adding spam posts to the forums.

    We’re using the instant-password plugin because we don’t want our users to have to wait for e-mail, and I personally despise captcha (see

    After cleaning out the bot accounts, here is what we did to stop it:

    Our registration page:

    Using CSS, we hid the occupation and interest fields (don’t need them). Spam bots will often fill out all the forum fields on a page. If a new registration comes in with one of those filled, we discard it.

    We also added a hidden field (potpan) that gets filled with a unique id generated on each page load via javascript. If the potpan id doesn’t match the one in the session, we discard it.

    Since we put it in place yesterday, it’s blocked all 35 automated registrations.

    If anyone is using the instant-password plug in and would like the modified code, let me know and will zip it up. Perhaps this functionality could make its way into the standard registration.



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  • chrishajer


    Sounds like a neat system, better than having a visible input field with a note for people to read that says “don’t fill this out.” Sounds simple and effective.

    Ah neat!

    Adding stuff to the standard registration would probably mean the trick wouldn’t work for too long – Invisible Defender used a similar trick but eventually spammers updated their software to bypass the extra fields:

    Would love to see this code as a plugin!!

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