For some reason, I failed Monday to delete the weekend spam, as well as the Monday spam, so we had an insane amount of backlog to deal with.
We had a system in place before the upgrade to the forums that helped, but it wasn't altogether foolproof (and caused some frustration with legitimate users). The web team is looking to do some backend stuff in the next week or two which may help, and there are a few things I personally want to do as well to help stop the influx. Unfortunately, phpBB being more or less open source is never going to completely stop the spam. As fast as new versions appear, spambot creators will have solutions almost right away. With higher traffic boards, there's never going to be enough security to completely negate it.
The problem with limiting links and/or posts is something we've come up against before. In one of the first upgrades, we limited responses, and that caused a lot of issues for people in the Developer's forum (which by necessity needs to include links, and it's something that as far as I know can't be done on a per-forum basis without extensive modding). It puts too much of a burden on the user base to limit them like that, so we decided to get rid of that and just "deal" with the spam. And as the BULK of the spam ends up on the Off-Topic forum, I'm not too worried about it. I'd much rather the spam be limited to here than to trickle into the other forums, which is how it's currently working to our advantage. And something I've argued in the past when the spam was MUCH more prevalent.
C. Shawn Smith
The Cosmos is all that is, and all that was, and ever will be. -- Carl Sagan