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#1 2018-08-29 9:58 pm

AndalayBay
Member
Registered: 2018-08-01
Posts: 6

Reporting Bots

I have a contact form on my website with an anti-bot measure that seems to be working really well. When a bot is detected, I log the IP and email address. Since this isn't a community forum, I don't have a user name. I guess I could capture what they enter as a name, but I'm not doing that right now. How do I go about reporting them?

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#2 2018-08-29 10:10 pm

Papa Parrot
Moderator
From: Mexico
Registered: 2011-08-19
Posts: 1,676
Website

Re: Reporting Bots

A username is part of the required info when submitting anything to the data base. Also , if no spam is posted, there is nothing to submit.
==edit===
I forgot, also the e-mail address needs to be verified, in some way to make sure it is a valid e-mail address.

If you plan to use this as some kind of "honey pot" setup, and be submitting bots like this, you also need to contact Pedigree, PM would be best,  and make sure you have his approval and is aware of what is going on.

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#3 2018-08-29 10:12 pm

AndalayBay
Member
Registered: 2018-08-01
Posts: 6

Re: Reporting Bots

If I grabbed all of the fields, there would be spam. I just didn't want to see it. Ok, that's fine. I won't bother.

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#4 2018-08-29 10:49 pm

Papa Parrot
Moderator
From: Mexico
Registered: 2011-08-19
Posts: 1,676
Website

Re: Reporting Bots

It is up to you, if there are fields that have spam in them, this is use full as evidence, all though evidence is not required.
You are welcome to give us a little more details about your form, etc,  but it would be better to use the The Tech Shop
This board is view able by the general public, including non members, the "Tech Shop", is only view able by registered members

I am wondering, if it is not a community forum, what it is ?

Please read this:
What constitutes reportable spam?

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#5 2018-08-29 11:11 pm

Alex Kemp
Moderator
From: Nottingham, England
Registered: 2009-12-02
Posts: 1,988
Website

Re: Reporting Bots

Hi AndalayBay, welcome to SFS.

Whilst most spam is posted by bots, and therefore most of the reports in the SFS database are of bots, SFS does NOT act as a collection of bot info. SFS acts as a collection of spammers, many of whom are bots and some of whom are human. You need, therefore, to be careful to make sure that any reports are of spammers.

The method you report in the OP may NOT suitable for reporting to SFS, as no mention is made of any attempt to post spam (one of the requirements).

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#6 2018-09-01 9:41 pm

AndalayBay
Member
Registered: 2018-08-01
Posts: 6

Re: Reporting Bots

I didn't want to post any details because this forum is public. My mechanism captures both bots and human spammers. It's a contact form and I specify what the form is to be used for. Humans that ignore that are spammers and their email address and content of the form confirm that. Bots are identified through a different means, but once again, the content confirms their source. I'll use Fail2Ban to ban them from my server.

At first I was getting unwelcome solicitations from humans, but once I put the request to not use the form for solicitations, those have stopped.

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#7 2018-09-02 2:28 pm

Papa Parrot
Moderator
From: Mexico
Registered: 2011-08-19
Posts: 1,676
Website

Re: Reporting Bots

I didn't want to post any details because this forum is public

Ok , I understand on that,
Is this form for phpBB ? , or general forum software, by any chance ?
You can PM me, with more specific details,  like I said earlier, Pedigree has the final say, and needs to be aware of what is going one. He is very busy and sometimes takes a while to respond.
  About all I can say  right now, is I also do have a "contact form", on one website/forum, the forum is pretty well locked down, and not very active, no spam ever gets posted by any bots, but occasionally I have had some use the "contact form", and was able to submit them to the data base,  I used the name they use in the form, e-mail and IP, then my API key,  I make the submission manually and include evidence, they usually do try to dump  some spam in the form,..  Anyway, I am interested, and would be happy to go over the details if you want to PM me, after that, I can let you know if I think Pedigree would even be interested,... he may see this thread and post a comment as well,..

At first I was getting unwelcome solicitations from humans, but once I put the request to not use the form for solicitations, those have stopped.

,  Well that was nice of them,... yea, I have a warning about if it is spam, they will be submitted to a data base, and so far have not had any real humans try to contact me.

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#8 2018-09-02 11:52 pm

Papa Parrot
Moderator
From: Mexico
Registered: 2011-08-19
Posts: 1,676
Website

Re: Reporting Bots

We do have some boards that are only view able by registered memebers, one The Tech Shop The other titled "Forum Spam
Ahh, I see I did mention that before, I thought I had, but when I looked for it I did not see it, then just now I do see , any way, I will leave this, and mention it again,...

Keep in mind though , with: Total number of registered users: 76,345 even those are not what one would consider private.

In your OP :

AndalayBay>> How do I go about reporting them?

Apology here, I didn't really answer that,  and like Alex says , it might not be acceptable, but you did mention:

AndalayBay>>If I grabbed all of the fields, there would be spam. I just didn't want to see it. Ok, that's fine. I won't bother.

Can you clarify this a little more ? Better yet, and easier, if you PM me, and give me the URL, I will look at the site and the form.
   
   If for example, if and when the form is accepted, if it get published on your website, that definitely would be spam, if the content is spam.
A contact form that is sent to you by e-mail, I really am not sure on, Pedigree or Alex  would need to clarify on that, but I think it would be e-mail spam, and we do not deal with e-mail spam here. There are data bases, and sites for that though.

On "How to go about reporting them" , there is a FAQ, https://www.stopforumspam.com/faq#

You can submit any users that have spammed your forum or blog through the Submit a Spammer page. You will need a key in order to do this -- that's how we keep track of what's going on. In order to obtain your own key, please join our forums and check out this page to start.

  You get a API key, and then whenever you have something to submit , you use that API key, and make your submission. We do need to make sure there are no false submissions, or "false positives" are minimal,  Also with a API key, you can be responsible for whatever you do submit, and if need be use the "USER CONTROl" > "MySpammers", buttons, and remove any submissions, if need be.

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#9 2018-09-03 4:28 am

AndalayBay
Member
Registered: 2018-08-01
Posts: 6

Re: Reporting Bots

In response to your previous post, it sounds like we have a very similar situation. I do have a gaming community forum. I let the license on the software lapse because I'm in the process of switching to a new platform, so I'm using SFS to validate registrations. However what I was asking about here was in regards to my other site, which is not a forum. It's a commercial site with a contact form. When the form is submitted, it is rejected if it's a bot and the information is logged. The bot is given a 404 page. If it's not a bot, but a human spammer, the form is processed and I get an email. That's how I know it's spam. I haven't had any human spammers since I added the comment about solicitations.

If SFS is only interested in people spamming forums, then there's nothing for me to report. However if a bot is going to spam a contact form, I would think they'd try to spam forums too if they could. I have an API key, but since this is a bot spamming my contact form, I don't have a user name. I do require a name and I could use that, but it didn't look like SFS wanted the kind of spammers I get and hence my question.

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#10 2018-09-03 1:31 pm

Papa Parrot
Moderator
From: Mexico
Registered: 2011-08-19
Posts: 1,676
Website

Re: Reporting Bots

Thanks for taking the time, on this. Also especially for asking about before just submitting anything.

If SFS is only interested in people spamming forums,

but since this is a bot spamming my contact form,

  Do you get a lot of them ? Or is it just one , that keeps repeatedly trying, ?

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#11 2018-09-04 12:45 am

pedigree
uıɐbɐ ʎɐqǝ ɯoɹɟ pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ɐ buıʎnq ɹǝʌǝu ɯ,ı
From: New Zealand
Registered: 2008-04-16
Posts: 6,699

Re: Reporting Bots

spamming contact forms, forms, wikis, blogs, forums... as long as all the required fields are there then its reportable, as long as the email is verified, not just accepted "as is"

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#12 2018-09-06 5:04 pm

AndalayBay
Member
Registered: 2018-08-01
Posts: 6

Re: Reporting Bots

@Papa Parrot: Different ones, although the IP's are similar.

@pedigree: I'll have a look at the logs, and if it happens often enough, I'll make the changes to get all the info for reporting.

Thanks for your replies.

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#13 2018-09-06 9:26 pm

Papa Parrot
Moderator
From: Mexico
Registered: 2011-08-19
Posts: 1,676
Website

Re: Reporting Bots

If you modify this form script, so that the e-mail get's verified it would be perfect ,   Usually  , for example on a forum, the e-mail is verified by making them use a activation e-mail, that means a e-mail is sent to the registrant, and the account gets activated when the respond to the e-mail.
Obviously legit persons would use a valid e-mail address so that they can receive any response to any question,etc, they have put in the contact form,.....
Many spambots also follow through with the e-mail verification, so that they can dump the spam on the forum, or in your case in the form,...
   This would give you very good evidence as well, and those kind of submissions/info are of great help to many people that use the SFS data base,...
   It all can be done automatically,  you have part,

When a bot is detected, I log the IP and email address.

So, with some additional code, anything that is detected as a bot, get's flagged, as "bot", but it (the bot)is allowed to follow through with the process, if it verifies the e-mail, it then can dumb it's spam in the form,  but the forum does not get sent to your e-mail, it gets added to the data base here,... so you never really get "bothered" with the spam.
If it is a human, and what appears to be a legit contact form request, of course you get that e-mail, and can respond as needed.
The occasional human spammer, that simply does not read, and obey your rules for the contact form,  can also be submitted, how ever that would be done manually, after you have seen the form, and see it is spam.  The e-mail verification will stop a lot of bots, they will never complete the form, because they never activate the permission, they probably did not use a valid e-mail to start with,.... hope this all makes sense to you.

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#14 2018-09-06 9:38 pm

Papa Parrot
Moderator
From: Mexico
Registered: 2011-08-19
Posts: 1,676
Website

Re: Reporting Bots

Just a quick comment, I have a bad habit of just saying "bots", and actually I do mean "spambots",  there are many types of bots.
So anyway, here, when I mention bots, I do mean spambots, and spammers, not just any bot IE: google bot, etc,... but those don't usually try to post or fill out forms , etc . either.  Just saying

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#15 2018-09-17 7:16 pm

AndalayBay
Member
Registered: 2018-08-01
Posts: 6

Re: Reporting Bots

Yeah I meant "spambots" too and I understood that's what you meant. And after asking about this... they've stopped. No bots in a while now. lol

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