14,000 WordPress Users. How did they get there?

Somehow my WordPress site has over 14,000 users. I know from looking at the records that these are “spam users”…

Spam User              Email
martin28651162   martin28651162@promatekng.com
martin322929651  martin322929651@playgirlgalleries.co.cc
martin443534673  martin443534673@wirelessnetworkcentral.com
martin640363627  martin640363627@bestcamcorderguide.com

Is there an easy way to remove all of these users without removing my actual “Real Users”?

Real User              Email
yyyy            yyy@email.com
zzzz            zzz@email.com

How can I prevent these users from being created automatically?

Solutions Collecting From Web of "14,000 WordPress Users. How did they get there?"

They were probably automatically created by spam bots. You can disable user registration by going to the Settings > General page and unchecking the Anyone Can Register box. You’ll still be able to manually create users, but users won’t be able to register themselves automatically.

If you want to allow users to register, but still avoid spam bots, you can use a plugin like Pie Register to setup a CAPTCHA on the registration form.

To remove the existing spam users, you can use a plugin like User Spam Remover.

For more information and ideas, see these existing questions:

  • Reducing spammy user sign-ups
  • What is the best way to avoid spammers registering to my blog?
  • What do spammers gain by signing up as a user?