@mattab opened this Issue on December 23rd 2018 Member

Currently we're using Google Recaptcha on pages with a form, which leaks lots of data to Google.

For example on this page: https://matomo.org/contact/

-> It would be fantastic to find & use an open source, decentralised alternative to Google recaptcha on our Matomo.org website.

If anyone knows an alternative to Recaptcha that works, please let us know

@fdellwing commented on December 24th 2018 Contributor

There are a lot of Captcha-Libaries, but none of them provide such features as reCaptcha.

@Findus23 commented on December 24th 2018 Member

@fdellwing The only feature we need is not getting overwhelmed with spam :slightly_smiling_face:

Bonus points if it is accessibility-friendly.

@fdellwing commented on December 24th 2018 Contributor

As I said, I know no captcha that is nearly as user friendly as reCaptcha. So best would be to take some random image captcha (where are MANY) and just hit an self made database on top that recognises returning users.

@Findus23 commented on December 27th 2018 Member

As I said, I know no captcha that is nearly as user friendly as reCaptcha

I really have to disagree. I regularly spend multiple minutes getting angrier and angrier as I am clicking through page after page arguing whether something can be considered a storefront when the captcha switches into extra-slow mode where every image takes a 5-second transition to load.
(I am not using a VPN or anything similar, just a regular internet connection)

I think a captcha doesn't need to be complex to stop most bots (after all while Recaptcha is hard to circumvent, it only costs 0.2 cent to pay someone to solve it for you), it just needs to be different enough so it stops automated bots programmed to popular wordpress forms.

I even think that a simple input field asking to enter the name of the open source project you are trying to contact (that maybe also allows common variants) would stop nearly all automated spam.
And the remaining ones I think (from what I see on the forum) are actual people pasting spam texts into the forms and those are not blockable via captchas.
@tsteur, would it be possible to add something like this to the forms without too much work?

@tsteur commented on December 27th 2018 Member

As long as there is a wordpress plugin for it that should be fine. We wouldn't want to build anything ourselves. The plugin would ideally hook into random places where needed and support gravity forms etc.

@Findus23 commented on December 27th 2018 Member

https://wordpress.org/plugins/humancaptcha/ seems to be pretty much what I described, but the plugin looks odd and only seems to integrate with comments.
Apart from that I could only find https://wordpress.org/plugins/humancaptcha/ which seamlessly integrates into login, registration, lost password, comments, bbPress and Contact Form 7.

I have never used Gravity forms before, but it seems to have many features and maybe one can make a required input field with the quiz feature Not sure if it can be combined with the normal contact form.

@tsteur commented on December 27th 2018 Member

Did a quick search for "captcha gravity" maybe https://wordpress.org/plugins/nomorecaptchas/ or https://wordpress.org/plugins/cleantalk-spam-protect/ would help? cleantalk also seems to support woocommerce. not really sure how good they are though.

I reckon something where people need to enter "Matomo" might be too complicated sometimes for some humans (it seems easy but may not always be clear what to enter) and at the same time someone wanting to spam us could easily achieve it.

@Findus23 commented on December 27th 2018 Member

https://wordpress.org/plugins/nomorecaptchas/ or https://wordpress.org/plugins/cleantalk-spam-protect/

Both plugins work by sending the visitor behaviour data to the services' servers and analyzing it there. So I guess they are no better than ReCAPTCHA.

It's odd that there isn't a well-maintained opensource plugin that just does basic local analysation.

someone wanting to spam us could easily achieve it.

Targeted attackers will probably always be able to afford the 0.2 cent it costs to reliably circuvent all types of captcha.

@mt-dave commented on May 7th 2019

I would think alternate of recaptcha will be kind of service, something that can solve traditional recaptcha issue like GDPR and accessibility and still provide solution like no captcha.

I came across some solutions and here is a quick summary

Captcha providers can widely be categorized in 2 categories :-

Captcha Service Providers : This option works well for mission critical Enterprises looking for protection against constantly evolving spam and bot threats. Some of the Industry players in Captcha Services are :-

RECAPTCHA : Free and One of the most widely used captcha service used across the globe. They have recently launched recaptcha v3 which generate a risk score based on user behavior on site, google cookies, traffic history etc. GDPR has been a major concern considering what information it stores and uses for other google product like google ads.

MTCaptcha : Captcha Service that is more focused for Enterprise needs. Provide NoCaptcha alternative to recaptcha, captcha account management, GDPR compliant, Availability across globe (China included). Limited in low friction captcha capabilities.

Solve Media captcha: Ad driven Captcha that uses advertisement to generate captcha and solving them. GDPR compliant, Beautiful captcha and customizable. It may not be good idea to show advertisement on enterprise site.

Captcha Library Providers: There are lot of players in Captcha Library space, And if you are willing to manage and setup the code, some of the options are:-

BotDetect CAPTCHA : Most widely used captcha library, Available in multiple languages. They license the library which then need to be implemented and managed.

KeyCAPTCHA - Innovative Anti-Spam Solution : Plugin driven captcha cover wide range of CMS systems. Mostly for CMS driven, need self hosting and management. Permutations are limited for captcha generation.

@Findus23 commented on May 9th 2019 Member

I just came across https://www.phpcaptcha.org/ which seems to be the only local open source captcha solution that has a wordpress plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/securimage-wp/

But I don’t know how well it supports the forms used on matomo.org

@Crypto-Loot commented on June 10th 2019

Hi there,
We offer a PoW (proof-of-work) based captcha system where a user must verify a captcha via mining a cryptocurrency for several seconds before proceeding to confirm the token. You may find more at our website: https://crypto-loot.org (will have to login to see the demo/code)

We are also doing a rebrand shortly along with a potential partner to help bring web mining into the white light for the industry.

Please feel free to let us know if you would like to work with us!

@mattab commented on June 29th 2019 Member
@joekarns commented on September 19th 2019

One non-google product you could use to better protect your login page (or any page of the site) would be using the free version of Cloudflare. I use "Page Rules", then configure only my login page with the form on it to be in "under attack" mode in Cloudflare. By doing so, it scans any/all users who try to access that page of the site. It's not a perfect solution but it should cut out most of the pure bots hitting that page. Hope that helps.

@Findus23 commented on September 19th 2019 Member

@joekarns Using Cloudlare might be even worse as it

  • allows one entitiy to intercept a huge fraction of the internets traffic
  • cuts of a large fraction of internet users (e.g. tor users)
  • still uses ReCaptcha (I think) to detect bots
@joekarns commented on September 19th 2019

Yes, fair points.

From: Lukas Winkler <notifications@github.com>
Sent: Thursday, September 19, 2019 4:50 AM
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Subject: Re: [matomo-org/matomo] Find an open source alternative to Google Recaptcha for our website (#13905)

@joekarns https://github.com/joekarns Using Cloudlare might be even worse as it

  • allows one entitiy to intercept a huge fraction of the internets traffic
  • cuts of a large fraction of internet users (e.g. tor users)
  • still uses ReCaptcha (I think) to detect bots

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