Topic: Anti-Bot Modification for PunBB
I apologize in advance if this isn't the correct forum to post this in; it seemed the most applicable one that I saw.
Due to the rather aggressive increase in bot activity that I've seen across many of my forums I've developed some "bot buster" code, and I'm offering it to the PunBB community (and several of the other major message boards as well).
I've bundled up a drop-in BotBuster mod for PunBB that people are welcome to use. Technically it's not 100% "drop-in", but it's very, very close. It's all self-contained in one file, requires NO database modifications, and should require only one minor edit to the registration file. (You'll also want to set a couple of very simple configuration options in the BotBuster file, but that's it.)
It uses the http://www.BotScout.com API to check registration emails and reject known bots. Because it uses the BotScout API you don't have to host anything, change your database, or do any complicated modifications to your code. BoutScout.com keeps a list of emails, IPs, and user names that bots use and makes them available through a simple API (as well as manual searches).
I'm the owner/operator of www.BotScout.com. What we do is trap bots by using a large number of "bot honeypot" forms located on a bunch of our sites. We then publish that information so people can use it to screen registration attempts.
I've included configuration options for SMF, VBulletin, phpBB, Phorum, PunBB, Invision Power Board, FUDForum, Ikonboard, Snitz, and W-Agora. It seems to work fine and it can be used on virtually any kind of forum, contact page, or web form.
The code and a ReadMe file are available for download here: http://www.botscout.com/code.htm (click the "Download BotScout BotBuster ver. 1.10" link) If you use it I'd love to hear about it.
If anyone would like to write up specific installation instructions for PunBB, I'll gladly include it in the ReadMe.txt file.
Also, if anyone would like to create a PunBB-specific mod or plugin using the BotScout API, I'd be very interested in helping and would be happy to publish the code or a link to the mod on the BotScout site. The API is simple and easy-to-use, and the API details can be found here: http://www.botscout.com/api.htm.