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Frequent Bot Attacks

Question asked by Robb Barrett Expert on Nov 26, 2018
Latest reply on Nov 26, 2018 by Sanford Whiteman

Hi all, I know this is an often discussed issue but I'm going to start this discussion anyways. We've been getting hit lately. Honeypots don't work, mandatory fields don't work. We have some assumptions that I'd like to open up here for discussion:

 

  • The bot is looking for /contact-us or /contact on any domain
  • The bot is using direct API to pass data, not the form
  • The bot scrapes the page looking for the embed code to get the needed info

 

With that, we have a couple of thoughts on potential solutions:

  • Obfuscate the form embed info by hashing the Munchkin ID and the form ID
  • Change the URL from /contact-us to something different, like /talk-to-us
  • Block all traffic from IP address 122.54.253.2
  • Storing the form embed code in an external JS file so it's not easily readable

 

Our solution assumption is that this is a script and changing the embed code in a customized way would break the script from knowing what to do. 

  • We don't want to reCAPTCHA due to the bad user experience and the need for multilanguage versions.
  • The Etumos solution is cool, but that could get costly when we get hit with thousands at a time and that solution only works when the form is respected.
  • Sometimes we find that it uses actual valid email addresses
  • Because we've seen the form submit without mandatory fields, we're assuming that it's not respecting the form embed script and it's building it's own form code.

 

Following these assumptions, we wonder if hashing out the mktoForm_12345 and the munchkin string would make it impossible for the script to build it's own version of the form by scraping our page. We feel that the solution needs to be server-side for best results since it would be harder to reverse-engineer our changes. If that's not possible, then simply changing the code - for example, by placing a variable in place of the form ID and munchkin ID, would also break the script.

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