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An interesting impersonation

So this happened to me at another Forum where I am staff. Someone successfully managed to impersonate my account by creating a new account with my user name with a period behind my name. And then copying my avatar and signature so that it turned into an almost exact replica of my account. The person didn't get far with that of course, but I must say in my history of posting on forums, this is the first time I've seen something like this.

Part I thought I would share is how one could prevent something like this from happening with myBB Forums. I first went into the myBB Admin panel and created as many disallowed username combos with wild cards as I could come up with. Then realized that what was really needed was a plugin for disallowing certain characters and spaces in names. Then after a while of searching found the plugin below. What I like about the plugin is one has some control over how far one can go with disallowing certain characters, or capitals, or spaces. Here is a link to the plugin:

2 blog comments below

Sounds like a good idea for eliminating some of the special characters. I would not like restrictions to only lower case or only upper case, but I'm sure you wouldn't like to see someone sign up with username DeanHills, and I wouldn't particularly relish seeing a new username sonlight on the forum. It would make sense to allow spaces and mixed case, but reject certain near-duplicate names.

I would suggest that a new username must be unique after conversion to lower case and removing all spaces and perhaps punctuation. Probably numbers should be allowed to make it unique. Some special cases like zero/oh and one/ell could be considered non-unique, for example joel.gray and joe1.gray would not both be allowed.

Non-latin letters could be a special problem. On an English site, it might be sufficient simply to ignore them for the uniqueness test. For other languages, it should be possible to consider all letters of that language unique, but again with special cases. Only someone with a good knowledge of Spanish could say if it were reasonable to treat the en(n) and ena(n~) as non-unique, for example.

I wonder if such a plugin exists, or if the developers of the one you found would be interested in adding features. It would be nice to be able to make up arbitrary rules besides the ones provided as a checklist, but clearly good defaults should be provided.
SonLight on Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:27 am
Thanks Sonlight. I'm almost certain the developer of the plugin would be interested in your suggestions and open to adding new features, particularly since it is a brand new plugin dated 1 Feb 2015. It was posted at the myBB developer Board. You can post your suggestions at this link:
deanhills on Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:52 pm

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