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I am currently working on project that involves identifying spammers who are creating fake accounts on my site. I am interested to know what type of information I would be able to extract.

First of all, there is browser fingerprinting. According to the library https://github.com/Valve/fingerprintjs2, there is about 25 features that I can use.

Then there is platform detection, available at https://github.com/bestiejs/platform.js/. This library seems to be able to extract some information about the uesrs' platforms.

And then I could also extract information from my http server by inspecting the request environment.

Are there any other techniques I could use to extract information from my requests?

  • It's a good and interesting question but it appears a little too broad to give a thorough answer. – Arminius Dec 6 '16 at 4:45
  • Probably better to think about what you want to actually achieve. How will some data help you combat spammers? – Julian Knight Dec 6 '16 at 8:29
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    I doubt this would help you mitigate spams. For example, just because 99% of your spammers sets their browser language to Russia, doesn't necessarily mean that it's a good idea to block the Russian speaking users that forms 30% of your legitimate traffic. And once the spammers caught on to this, all they need to do to avoid detection is to blend in with the user's who sets everything to browser defaults. – Lie Ryan Dec 6 '16 at 10:05
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    spammers don't typically use browsers or run JS... hide your form urls from mechanical scrapers and most of them go away. – dandavis Dec 6 '16 at 19:20
  • @dandavis You'd be surprised. A lot of spammers do use advanced scrapers that attempt to be as aware of the page layout as possible (even rendering the DOM and executing JavaScript). – forest May 8 at 7:10
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Most spammers aren't actually humans, but automated scripts sending forged requests to your site. Identifying them though JS is pointless, because they won't run it. Identifying them based on server headers might work for a while, but they will likely look just like a normal user's, and the spammer might well change them if you start blocking their requests.

A more reliable ways of stopping spammers is CAPTCHA (use reCAPTCHA and leave the hard work of identifying bots to Google - these days they don't even show anything to the user!).

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