VB Programs, blocking them from accessing forms

Hey,

I have a chatroom, but I have had someone bot the room with a VB program.  One time there were like 75 bots in the room.  I heard there is a way to block VB programs.  I know nothing about VB, I was told that the person isn't actually going in by the form, but from sending data straight to the server.  

What can I do to prevent these VB programs from doing this?

Thanks
MothBallAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
BrianGEFF719Commented:
I think your best bet would just be to have the user enter the word from the picture.
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BrianGEFF719Commented:
Firstly, this "chatroom" that you speak of. What type of Chatroom is it? Is it an IRC Server? You need to be way more specific.


-Brian
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MothBallAuthor Commented:
Sorry,

It's coded in Perl, which is uploaded to our server (well, not OUR server, but paid hosting).

It's a script from hotscripts.com called gtChat

I'm not too concerned about the chatroom, i'm more concerned about the website as well.  


Website is done in PHP, and you can register (post comments, submit downloads etc), and I have a feeling that this VB programmer will look for anything they can do.  

We had a case of this before, but on the forum host by ProBoards.com.  Someone used a VB program to register 1000's of clones, which took ages to delete.

We just need to do something for the website and maybe the chatroom.

Website, to prevent clones being registered
Chatroom, to prevent bots being loaded, or clones being registered

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BrianGEFF719Commented:
You have a few options you can try to log these users to see what there UserAgent is because if they are using the Microsoft Internet Explorer controls I think you might be able to detect that also they may be using the INET control or coding it straight using winsock control. Either way, first step is try to detect a use agent. They you can try using cookies to prevent automated logins. Another option would be to add those "Type the word from the image" things so that automated logins are not possible and every login requires printing the picture...we got a few options either way.


Let me know what you think
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MothBallAuthor Commented:
For the registering for website, that's not really possible due to the way it's all setup.  It's sort of like an installed portal, but not so much of a portal, ....oh....what about getting an email to activate the acount?  I think there is that feature for the website system.  Will check that out.

As for the chatroom, registered members or guests can enter for that.

So I think the problem now would just be the chatroom.
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BrianGEFF719Commented:
well what you can do is make the Chatroom SSL. Do you have SSL on your website because if you setup SSL and the VB Program uses pure winsock to connect to your site the programmer will have a harder time.
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BrianGEFF719Commented:
You can also use an Image entry to enter the chat room. Have a picture that the users have to type what it says to prevent automated users from joining the chatroom
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MothBallAuthor Commented:
Sorry for the newbie question, what's SSL?

Some security thing?

How would I do check for that?

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BrianGEFF719Commented:
SSL is Secure Socket Layer. Its essentially 'HTTPS'. It requires the client to encrypt data and decrypt data.


-Brian
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MothBallAuthor Commented:
Is it not easy to set this SSL thing up?
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BrianGEFF719Commented:
Well SSL may not remove your problem it will only encrypt.Now, it was an idea, but when I think about it more, it may not be necassary.

-Brian
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MothBallAuthor Commented:
i'll go with the image solution, thanks for the help :)
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