New Joomla Plugins to fight Form Spam

Web form spam has been an increasing problem over the last couple of years, and in particular has been a problem for VirtueMart 1.1.x which features an "Ask about this product" enquiry form. Sites may have hundreds, or even thousands of product pages, so this form has been something of a big fat target for the form spam bots that inject spam messages through them.

Over the last few months we have tested a range of different anti spam solutions, with varying degrees of success. The security tools built into sh404SEF offer some protection, but the most effective been various captcha type plug ins. We have tested both image based captcha systems and mathematical types, and the clear winner for us has been EasyCalcCheck PLUS.

We have found the image based captchas have been far more susceptible to being bypassed or cracked, but where EasyCalcCheck PLUS has been deployed, spam has been very effectively stopped. It has a number of significant plus points over image captcha: legibility and no reliance on images being available being two. Additionally, it works well on all the core system components, plus a wide range of the most common additional components, including VirtueMart, so we are now making it a standard part of our installations.