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[GlowHost] Spam-O-Matic - Spam Firewall stops forum spam Details »
[GlowHost] Spam-O-Matic - Spam Firewall stops forum spam
Mod Version: 2.1.2, by GlowHost.com (Coder) GlowHost.com is offline
Developer Last Online: Nov 2017 I like it Show Printable Version Email this Page

vB Version: 4.x.x Rating: (543 votes - 4.80 average) Installs: 4649
Released: 05 Aug 2010 Last Update: 28 May 2013 Downloads: 23170
Supported DB Changes Uses Plugins Auto-Template Additional Files Translations External Content  

If you install this mod, please mark this as "Installed."

VERSION 2.1.2 RELEASED 5/28/2013!


About Spam-O-Matic 2.x:
Spam-O-Matic 2.x (SOM) is a spam firewall for your vBulletin Forums version 4.x and later. It prevents known spammers from registering on your forums. If they can't register, they can't spam!

Languages Packs Available
English
German - Courtesy of Alex@bulletin (included in zip)
Romanian - Courtesy of Teascu Dorin's (included in zip)
Spanish - Courtesy of vbluis (included in zip)

How it Works
This data responsible for blocking user registrations comes from the stopforumspam.com (SFS) spammer database. After the user who is trying to register passes the built-in vBulletin registration checks which you have configured in your vBulletin settings, SOM then checks the SFS database to see if the IP, username, or email address that the user is trying to register with has been recently tagged as a known spam source on other forums around the Internet. Also can be configured to check the Akismet service for known comment spam.

This is without a doubt, one of the most important mods that you will be using on your forum.

Other Notable Stuff
It also does a ton of other cool stuff like moderating posts automatically if the post is found in the Akismet database, or if it contains words on your "Bad Words" keyword list which can be configured within the mod itself.

The mod WORKS with vBulletin's new Facebook integration.
This module works with all of the Facebook functions that are built into the vB4 series.
Similar mods do not handle Facebook integration completely.

This module has the ability to submit new spammer details to the StopForumSpam or Akismet databases automatically, all without any new templates or manual template modifications!

This means other forums that are running Spam-O-Matic will not have the same spammer on their forums if you have (automatically) reported the spammer to the SFS database.

Just install the product in the product manager, upload a few files, configure the system and you are done. (Estimated time: 5-10 minutes)

What's new in 2.1.0:
  • Fixed a problem with MySQL engine selection to make mod more compatible with different types of servers.
  • When SOM "Newbies Group" is activated + vB's native option to "Verify Email address in Registration" is activated at the same time, "Users Awaiting Email Confirmation" must click the verification link to become a newbie.
  • Added remove user, post, ban to user profile options in admincp under "Quick User Links"
  • Added German Language Pack
  • Optimized default settings to work with the needs of most forums
  • Added a new coupon for GlowHost (available after you submit a spammer)
  • Several other performance tuning options

Feature List:
  • Optional Public Statistics. Show off to the world how many bad guys you have automatically prevented from posting junk on your forum.
  • Auto-Moderation moderates posts that have links, bad words, and other configurable settings.
  • Auto-Moderation ignores your RSS posts.
  • Registration / Denial Logs available from Admincp > Statistics and Logs
  • Optional "Newbies" Manager! After registration, newly registered users can be placed in a "Newbies" group which has more limited permissions as compared to your regular "Registered Users" group. Newbies will graduate to your Registered Users group based on your required post count settings.
  • Auto-Submit Spammers from the moderation tools menu on each postbit.
  • Remove Posts, threads, PMs, Calendar Events from your spammer in one easy wizard. No double logins needed.
  • Shows other users who signed up with the same IP. (Sleeping Spammers)
  • Optional Affiliate System
  • ~50 customizable settings to fine-tune Spam-O-Matic to your exact needs.


A) StopForumSpam:
The StopForumSpam Module lets you:
  • Check a registrant's IP address.
  • Check a registrant's email address.
  • Check a registrants Username.
  • Disable or enable any of the above checks.
  • Block and log, or, allow and log known spammers.
  • All registration attempts are logged for your viewing pleasure.
  • Several other performance tuning options
If a user (or bot) tries to register on your forum and they pass the built-in vBulletin registration system. (Human verification, email verification, etc), their registration details are then passed to the Spam-O-Matic firewall for further checking.

NOTE: You should use some sort of human verification checking in vBulletin's built-in options to limit the number of requests to the already heavily-loaded StopForumSpam database servers. This will also prevent additional load because SOM will not have to do anything if the bot/spammer fails preliminary registration validation which is built-into vBulletin itself.

It is completely invisible to humans who are registering that this process is taking place. Bots are stopped dead in their tracks.

If a spammer is able to sneak past the first line of defense, and manages to post, then there are secondary, tertiary, and, uh...4th level protections too!

B) Auto-Moderation:
Auto Moderation lets you:
  • Define how many URLs a new member can post before being sent to moderation.
  • Define keywords that will send a post to Auto-moderation (viagra, porn, more here)
  • Define minimum post count to avoid Auto-moderation.
  • Excludes admin and moderators from Auto-moderation.
  • Completely disable Auto-moderation if you don't want it.
C) Akismet Service
Spammers that make it past the StopForumSpam and Auto-Moderation will be checked against the Akismet service. If they manage to make a post, and then are found on Akismet, they can be auto-moderated.

The Akismet settings let you:
  • Set the number of posts that Akismet will check from each user. After this number is exceeded, Akismet checking will be disabled for that user.
  • Auto-Submit spammers that post on your boards back to the Akismet service so that other forums and blogs do not do not receive the same spam.
  • Completely disable the Akismet service.
D) Newbies Manager
Should you decide to enable this option, you can create a new usergroup and then tell Spam-O-Matic about it. Once SOM knows about this usergroup, and once enabled, all new users will be part of the Newbies group. The idea here is that you make a Newbies group that has limited forum permissions. For example, no signatures, no BB code, no images, and etc. This group is created completely in the vB admincp. Spam-O-Matic simply makes it the graduation process to the normal Registered Users group, automatic.
Learn More and Discuss the Newbies Manager here.

Punitive Actions:
If you find a spammer has made it past your 4 front-lines of defense, and has managed to post on your forum, then you can help the community...

The spammer's details can be sent to the Stop Forum Spam and Akismet databases automatically, preventing them from registering or posting on other forums. When other forums do the same, the protection is reciprocated.

Simply moderate a post and choose the option to "Delete Posts As Spam..." an then choose the option to "Ban User." Banning the user sends their details to either Akismet, StopForumSpam, (or both) depending on how you set it up.

API Keys:
API Keys are not required for this system to stop spammers on your forums. But you should obtain them so that your forum can contribute to the real-time block lists.

A StopForumSpam API key is required if you want to contribute to the StopForumSpam blacklists by adding your spammers to their database. By submitting spammers you help keep other forums and blogs clean.

An Akismet API key is required if you want to enable any Akismet auto-moderation features in this module. Akismet API key is not required for all Auto-Moderation functions.

You can obtain a Stop Forum Spam API key which is free from stopforumspam.com.

Get your StopForumSpam API Key Here

You can obtain an Akismet API key from Akismet.com.
Akismet offers free and paid API keys so choose your version based on your situation.

Get your Akismet API Key Here

Why it is better than the other anti-spam solutions on vBulletin.org:
  • Works with all of vBulletin 4 functions including Facebook automatic registration.
  • Report spammers that you find to the Stop Forum Spam Database.
  • Report spammers that you find to the Akismet Database.
  • Built-in Auto-moderation.
  • Auto-moderation rules based on post count.
  • Auto-moderation rules based keywords.
  • Auto-moderation rules based Akismet results.
  • Enable or disable any actions that you do not want.
  • Customizable "Registration Rejected" message.
  • Consolidates 4 popular methods of spam prevention into one product.
  • No Manual Template Modifications!
  • Lots of community support!
======================
Compatibility:
vBulletin 4.0.x

Server Requirements:
Curl or allow_url_fopen must be compiled/enabled into PHP. Ask your web host to enable curl or allow_url_fopen if it is not already available on your server's PHP configuration. (Or just host with GlowHost.com, where it already is

=====================
Donations:

If you like this mod, sure, you can donate!

Donations can be all sorts of things:
1) The "Give Thanks" option in your settings is an optional link back to GlowHost Web Hosting.
2) Tell your friends and others about this mod.
3) If you are in need of web hosting, please consider ordering it from the hosting and development professionals at GlowHost.com who were able to develop this mod to you.
4) Help others who are having trouble with this mod by posting tips and suggestions in this forum thread.
5) Cash! Use the "Support Developer" option on the top right of this page.

When you choose to donate, you are contributing to the product development, bug fixes and new releases for SOM and are helping to feed our hungry developers and their families! In other words, your donations helps to cover the time and money spent to develop this system.

The entire team at GlowHost thanks you for your help and support!

We hope you enjoy the mod!

=====================
Installation:

1) Download the attached file
2) Mark As Installed
3) SOM 2.x does not support updates from the v1.x series.
When upgrading to version 2.x, please, be sure to remove any other existing version of SOM 1.x from the product manager before installing v2.x series. Also make sure to remove /forum/includes/xml/bitfield_glowhostspamomatic.xml from version 1 if you had it installed.

4) Extract the zip file, and view the readme file for the rest of the instructions.

=====================

Original concept credits go to the authors of vBStopForumSpam, MonkeyStop.

Download Now

Only licensed members can download files, Click Here for more information.

Screenshots

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Show Your Support

  • To receive notifications regarding updates -> Click to Mark as Installed.
  • If you like this modification support the author by donating.
  • This modification may not be copied, reproduced or published elsewhere without author's permission.
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  #196  
Old 08 Sep 2010, 13:41
GlowHost.com's Avatar
GlowHost.com GlowHost.com is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
BadgerDog

functions_vbghsfs.php is from easier versions of this mod.

functions_ghsom.php is the name of this file in 1.2.5+

Anyways, this information was for the other poster who didn't upload the file, so it should not affect you.
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  #197  
Old 08 Sep 2010, 16:31
BadgerDog BadgerDog is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Real name: Doug
Originally Posted by GlowHost.com View Post
BadgerDog

functions_vbghsfs.php is from easier versions of this mod.

functions_ghsom.php is the name of this file in 1.2.5+

Anyways, this information was for the other poster who didn't upload the file, so it should not affect you.
Understood ... so can I delete functions_vbghsfs.php from my server?

Follow up ... v1.25 is NOT sending information to ADD spammers to stopforumspam.com. I've tested it several times using the AdminCP function add-on panel you provide in the users screen and nothing ever arrives and is placed in their database.

I don't know if it works through the moderation "delete as spam" function as I haven't had a spammer get through to be able to post a message.

I am able to manually go to their site and add spammers to their database.

1.25 is working to analyze and stop spammers from registering ...

Regards,
Badger
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  #198  
Old 08 Sep 2010, 17:29
TheRedGoat TheRedGoat is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Originally Posted by Lazorbeam View Post
Ah yes, this fixed my problem, thanks!

My mistake was putting the "upload" folder into my forum root, rather than opening the folder first.

Thank you to you both. Had the same issue this morning. I dunno how I overlooked the file install.

Thanks for the quick fix!

~Brian
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  #199  
Old 08 Sep 2010, 17:47
Jaxel Jaxel is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
I've decided to uninstall this mod. After looking at the logs for the past month, I have come to the following conclusions...
  • My forum rejects 9 out of 10 registration requests from spammers.
  • This mod is only responsible for ONE out of those 9 rejections.
  • The amount of false-positives is not worth the hassle.
  • Akismet has NEVER (and I mean NEVER) returned anything other than a false positive.

The other 8 of those 9 rejections were done using a custom profile field:
  • Simple Question: Are you a spam bot?
  • Default Value: Yes
  • Field Required: No, but display at registration
  • Regular Expression: [NOno]+
Its simple. When someone registers, right before the submit button is this question "Are you a spam bot?"; with the default being "Yes". Unless they change the answer to "no", they will be rejected. This simple thing is responsible for almost all of my spam rejections.

Any bots that do get through eventually get caught by this:
http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=248560
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  #200  
Old 08 Sep 2010, 18:00
GlowHost.com's Avatar
GlowHost.com GlowHost.com is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Well, 1 is better than none I would say.

Why not just turn off the Akismet option if it doesn't work for your purposes? Is that the only thing giving false positives?

The question thing you have does work good and is a great thing unless everyone uses the same questions on their forums. The spambots can easily be trained to answer that type of question. The mods I have seen with such systems all have the same questions which sort of defeats the purpose.
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  #201  
Old 08 Sep 2010, 18:18
GlowHost.com's Avatar
GlowHost.com GlowHost.com is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Originally Posted by BadgerDog View Post
Understood ... so can I delete functions_vbghsfs.php from my server?
Yes unless you want to run version 1.2.4 or earlier.

Originally Posted by BadgerDog View Post
Follow up ... v1.25 is NOT sending information to ADD spammers to stopforumspam.com. I've tested it several times using the AdminCP function add-on panel you provide in the users screen and nothing ever arrives and is placed in their database.
How are you checking that? The results do not appear on their site for quite a while after submission. Last we tested, it was something like an hour before you could see them when posting from the API. I guess they have a cron setup to save server resources.

Are your logs updated indicating the submission was successful? If yes, then they were submitted because that is a response from SFS indicating the successful submission.
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  #202  
Old 08 Sep 2010, 18:20
Jaxel Jaxel is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
I turned Akismet off a week after I installed this mod. The false positives I am talking about now are during registration when this mod rejects legitimate users. I get emails from users all the time who ask for help registering because they get rejected on some random ip check.
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  #203  
Old 08 Sep 2010, 18:41
Iguana Goddess's Avatar
Iguana Goddess Iguana Goddess is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Real name: Jennifer
Originally Posted by GlowHost.com View Post
Anyone else?
Me too.
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  #204  
Old 08 Sep 2010, 18:42
GlowHost.com's Avatar
GlowHost.com GlowHost.com is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Originally Posted by Jaxel View Post
I turned Akismet off a week after I installed this mod. The false positives I am talking about now are during registration when this mod rejects legitimate users. I get emails from users all the time who ask for help registering because they get rejected on some random ip check.
I see. Well, the 2 suggestions I have for that would be to:

1) Turn off the IP check
or
2) keep IP check on and turn "StopForumSpam: Remote Expiry" down to something less less, like 10 so that only newly found IPs are checked, instead of stuff from 3 months ago (90)

At the end of the day, if it is picking up their IPs spam did come from that IP at some point. Likely those who complain are in Internet cafes overseas where spammers like to play, which ends up getting everyone punished.

Might encourage them to find a more reliable ISP that better controls spam if that is the case.

On the other hand, if that IP has been playing nice lately, and you set a low threshold of 10 or so, it might help you and the users since that IP would be expired from results.

The email check is the most effective anyways, so simply turning off the IP check is probably best for your situation since your other registration checks seem to be strong enough for you.

Hope it helps, if not, I tried.
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  #205  
Old 08 Sep 2010, 21:52
BadgerDog BadgerDog is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Real name: Doug
Originally Posted by GlowHost.com View Post
How are you checking that? The results do not appear on their site for quite a while after submission. Last we tested, it was something like an hour before you could see them when posting from the API. I guess they have a cron setup to save server resources.

Are your logs updated indicating the submission was successful? If yes, then they were submitted because that is a response from SFS indicating the successful submission.
It's been over 8 hours and the submissions we tested under 1.25 are still not appearing.

I can find no record of any submission in the user logs for either of the tests we conducted ...

Regards,
Badger
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  #206  
Old 08 Sep 2010, 23:17
GlowHost.com's Avatar
GlowHost.com GlowHost.com is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Originally Posted by BadgerDog View Post
It's been over 8 hours and the submissions we tested under 1.25 are still not appearing.

I can find no record of any submission in the user logs for either of the tests we conducted ...

Regards,
Badger
Can you try it using the moderation tool to delete posts as spam and see if it ends up in the logs and SFS DV? Perhaps there is a problem with the combination of options that you are choosing when submitting from the user profile in admincp.

I did find one bug there for another reported issue where a certain combination of options just reloaded the page, that is fixed but I would like to see if we can pinpoint your issue before making another release.
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  #207  
Old 09 Sep 2010, 15:11
BadgerDog BadgerDog is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Real name: Doug
Originally Posted by GlowHost.com View Post
Can you try it using the moderation tool to delete posts as spam and see if it ends up in the logs and SFS DV? Perhaps there is a problem with the combination of options that you are choosing when submitting from the user profile in admincp.
I could, but I need a legitimate spammer to break through the defenses and post a thread that is spam, in order to be able to use 1.25 to delete it as spam and test it.

Will advise as soon as I have that set of circumstances ....

BTW, still no sign of the spammers I sent to StopForumSpam using the AdminCP add-on for user settings, so there must be a problem with that part of it ...

Regards,
Badger
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  #208  
Old 09 Sep 2010, 15:24
GlowHost.com's Avatar
GlowHost.com GlowHost.com is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
I suggest disabling email, username and IP checks for a while so that a spammer can get on your boards otherwise we may be waiting a while for one to get through the system.
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  #209  
Old 09 Sep 2010, 16:11
DBs DBs is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Originally Posted by GlowHost.com View Post

I did find one bug there for another reported issue where a certain combination of options just reloaded the page, that is fixed but I would like to see if we can pinpoint your issue before making another release.
Any chance you could release the fix for the problem that I am experiencing?
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  #210  
Old 09 Sep 2010, 16:40
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GlowHost.com GlowHost.com is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Originally Posted by DBs View Post
Any chance you could release the fix for the problem that I am experiencing?
I'd like to patch them both at the same time and stop development of the 1.x tree.

The first reason being is I don't want to make a new release every day for minor issues that have workarounds (this one has a workaround, which is to delete posts as spam instead of using the user option in admincp)

The second reason being this function is deprecated in version 2.0 which we are in release candidate stages for version 2.0 already. I am trying not to back-pedal too much.

In 2.0 the function in the user profile has been removed in favor of an option on the moderator tools called "Spam-O-Matic" in the postbit which will take care of everything without having to login to admincp, find the user, select the options, and ban them which is a time consuming process.

Everything is done in one step from the post itself in version 2.
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