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Stop Forum Spam

What Is Covered

Summary
Location
API Key
Limitations
Fields
Protection Levels
     • Level 1
     • Level 2
     • Level 3
     • Level 4
Troubleshooting
     • Requesting Removal
     • Too Many Queries


 

Summary


The Stop Forum Spam feature originated as a modification for the 7.5 series of UBB.Threads by Gizmo and can be found here; the codebase that the official feature is based loosely off of us the 0.5 release which was created specifically to be added to the official release.

Stop Forum Spam itself is 3rd party project with the goal of identifying and denying spammers (either human or bot) access to forum and blog software.


 

Location


The Stop Forum Spam settings can be located in the control panel:
Control Panel -> Master Settings -> Primary Settings -> Stop Forum Spam Tab


 

API Key


An API Key is required only if you'd like to submit spammers back to the Stop Forum Spam database to aid the community. To obtain a key you'll need to register on their forums here then go to their API Keys page. It is highly recommended that you sign up for a key as it doesn't take much time at all to do and you can aid the community which is helping you keep your forums spam free.

While signing up for an API key you'll notice two check boxes, Public and Reportable, they mean:
• Public - "By checking the box marked "Public" next to each API key, your site will be linked from our Contributors page. This is completely optional, and will only show your site linked from our page along with how many entries you've submitted. No other information will be public, and the default option is "off"."
• Reportable - "If you check "Reportable" then this will allow us, under very strict control, to provide an ISP with your forum IP number so that they can track down spammers. This often is the only way that some providers can track down spammers when they use NAT gateways (almost all in Russian and Poland). NO other details will ever be released."


 

Limitations


There is only a small handful of caveat's to using the Stop Forum Spam feature, for one there are only 20k lookups allowed per day; previously this limit was 20k lookup in a 1 month period. For a second, in rare instances the Stop Forum Spam service may experience a hiccup and be offline for a small period of time.


 

Fields


• Enable Stop Forum Spam - Enable the function of this feature, if disabled then it will not protect your forum from spammers.
• Stop Forum Spam API-KEY - This is your key obtained from the "API Key" section above.
• Spam Protection Level - See Below.


 

Protection Levels


You have four choices; Manual (initial setting), Semi-Auto, Auto with message to Registrant and Auto with silent Fail. Each have their pros and cons.

 

Level 1


This will allow you to check users in member management and via the edit user pages.

 

Level 2


Does the same as Level 1 and checks the registration queue and the approval screen and flags bad emails and ip addresses but allows registrations (relies on registration queue).

 

Level 3


Does the same as Level 2 however alerts the user as to any specified error from the database.

 

Level 4


Does the same as Level 3 however does not alert the user to a specified error (designed to trick spam signups into thinking their signup went through).


 

Expanding Functionality


There is a thread at UBBDev discussing adding Stop Forum Spam to several other sections on your forums, including the login page to detect "Sleeper Spammers" here.


 

Troubleshooting


There are some possible problems that we're going to cover below.

 

Requesting Removal


Users may request to be removed from the Stop Forum Spam Database here.


 

Too Many Queries


It's possible that other users on the same IP as you are doing similar searches (which can be common on a shared hosting environment), you can either move to a new host, buy an IP from your ISP (for "SSL" if they require reasoning), or try a different Stop Forum Spam host or IP:

In libs/user.inc.php Find:
$sfsUrl = "http://www.stopforumspam.com/api?";

Replace the URL with a port as:
$sfsUrl = "http://www.stopforumspam.com:81/api?";

Or a different host, such as:
http://us.stopforumspam.org/api
http://api.stopforumspam.org/api

As stated in the Stop Forum Spam posting both of these hosts work:
www.stopforumspam.com
us.stopforumspam.org

On the Ports:
HTTP: 80, 81, 7777
SSL: 443, 4443
Posted on October 3rd, 2014 - Updated on May 13th, 2015
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Comments or Attributions

Isaac DeCoursey has made a post at UBB.Central which can guide you through converting your database from one character set to another; however, be forewarned, that this is all done manually and you should have a backup on hand in case something goes wrong.

Comments

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