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Messages - Mike

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BotScout Discussion / Re: Submittion Error from Godaddy server
« on: January 28, 2012, 05:08:24 PM »
I don't think we've made any changes to the code since then (or for sometime before that, either).

yeah I coordinate with them and see if they have any ideas its strange though that the only website it wont fetch from is yours so I thought i would check with you. Checked all my sites that use my module and they are throwing the same errors. Last time it was able to correctly get a response from your server seems to be on the 24th. Ill be calling godaddy soon and seeing if they can help with the problem so that I can continue development on the botscout drupal module, Cheers

BotScout Discussion / Re: Submittion Error from Godaddy server
« on: January 28, 2012, 04:23:19 PM »
No idea what's going on, but it seems like it's on GoDaddy's end. (??)  If it works from home but not on the godaddy site then I'd suspect something in their setup is different enough to cause it to fail.

It may be that you need to send headers first, but that's just a guess.

there seems to be a problem with my godaddy server communicating with your server. To explain why I believe this,

I went to do some upgrades to the BotScout Drupal module but before I could change anything I noticed it wasn't working correctly.

It would throw an error that showed it wasnt getting a response from the query to your server

so I try from my home server and it works

Heres you can see the response from my home server


And the same file on my godaddy server


(if you wait long enough it throws an error about connection timeout)

Warning: file_get_contents(http://botscout.com/test/?name=acetolyne) [function.file-get-contents]: failed to open stream: Connection timed out in /home/content/a/c/e/acetolyne/html/Development6/test.php on line 3

So I think okay my godaddy server has a problem? It was working before and all of a sudden quit?

So I file_get_contents() something else from another site it works just fine.

here it gets the robots.txt file from youtube


Ok then why the response from your server?

So I try to wget a file on your server and still I get an error

I use wget http://www.botscout.com/download.php?file=1

It starts downloading but then throws the error

Connection reset by peer retrying

after that it keeps repeating Connection timed out

Is your server blocking godaddy's server maybe or does anyone have any other ideas as to what might be happening?

Thx for your time in resolving this issue

OK - have DL'd and installed the module for SMF 1.1.16.  It "seems" to be working as my forum registration notifications from bots have dropped dramatically - THANK YOU.

Glad it seems to be working for you. :)

Just one question - because of the sheer volume that had been registering (25+ every hour) how do I know the daily count of attempted registrations?  Can't see any chamges or notification indicators on the Admin side of SMF.

This truly seems to have stopped the bots and I would not mind getting an API Key but am uncomfortable not having a "gauge" to determine what the daily attempts / lookups are so I acquire the correct size of key.


1) You could install some simple code to log attempts or send an email for each failed attempt.

2) API keys are free.

3) There's only one "size" of key, apart from corporate or "sponsor" users.

BotScout Discussion / Re: Unknown Error Submitting via FSLC
« on: January 07, 2012, 05:08:31 PM »
I think we may have to wait for Gunner to weigh in on this.

Mike, Gunner,

Lately, none of the submissions I send through FSLC are accepted by BS, even though I submit to SFS simultaneously and those submissions are accepted there. Just checked the status of my API key and it seems fine. Also indicates my last submission was... Jan 7; that's today. Yet FSLC shows me a red X instead of a green check.

Not sure if there's a bug somewhere or if I'm submitting "bad" data.

Any opinions?

BotScout Discussion / Re: singapore bots
« on: December 18, 2011, 06:42:15 AM »
You can submit bots here:


You can also use the FSLC bot submitter:


I'm new here, so please forgive me if this isn't the proper place to report new bots. I'm unclear on the correct procedure.



BotScout Discussion / Re: No key arrived
« on: December 02, 2011, 08:59:38 PM »
Oh, and thanks for sending my login credentials with the typo'd email address.

You're welcome.

I'll log in and change it soon.


I assume there will then be the function to re-generate the key?

No. Why would you need to create a new API key?

BotScout Discussion / Re: No key arrived
« on: December 02, 2011, 08:57:53 PM »
Just another thought. How about introducing a "confirm email" field in the api key request form

This is one item in a long list of "to do" tasks we've been working our way through.

The code is pretty simple. I could post something that would work if you like.

No thank you.

BotScout Discussion / Re: No key arrived
« on: December 02, 2011, 08:55:08 PM »
How could we know? You couldn't but you could introduce functionality for someone to re-request it/cancel it or something other than just "oops, you made a typo, now you can't use the service, bye!".

There are two mechanisms in place for this, one is to request a lost password, the other is to contact us. Please don't blame us because you didn't type your own email address in correctly.

It is illegal to knowingly add an email address to a database which claims it is connected to a bot with no evidence that it is. In fact, it's libellous.

No, actually it's not. Trust me, we've been through this many times with lots of different people and services. It's not libel, it's not slander, it's not anything.

There's no need to be so combative.

And there was no need for you to be such a dick in your first contact with us.

I was making some perfectly reasonable observations about some perceived shortfalls in how your system works

No, you were being a dick, complaining about a service we spend a fair amount of time providing to people like you for free. And this whole thing started because you, yes *you* didn't enter your email address correctly- not something we have any control over.

If you don't like the way we operate, feel free to start your own service, Charlie. Commission a server, outfit it, and then pay for it out of your own pocket every month. Then you can deal with an endless stream ungrateful, short-tempered people who can't enter their own email address into a form correctly.

BotScout Discussion / Re: No key arrived
« on: December 02, 2011, 07:40:03 AM »
You mistyped your email address when you entered it. There's not really any way for us to know that you didn't enter your email address properly (how could we know??).

1) No, it's not illegal to add your email address to our database.

2) We're receiving email here with no problem as far as we can tell. In fact, we received your request (and your reply) for help via our email form, so it appears to be working as far as we can tell. If you'll send us the error message or bounced email, we'll be glad to have a look. But since you've been able to send and reply to our emails, we're not sure what the problem is. Maybe you mistyped our email address, or replied to a "no-repy" address. (??)

3) The reason we don't protect our own forum with BotScout is because we use it as a honeypot- we get hundreds of bots signing up there every day, and we add them to our "known bot" database to help improve the effectiveness of our service. It's a great way for us to catch more bots, especially new ones, and in the end this helps prevent more bots from signing up on your forum.

4) Your login details were sent to you, so you can login and change your email address.

5) If you're that dissatisfied with our service, feel free to use another one. We can recommend several if you like.


Today I requested an API key and it didn't arrive. I requested another key and I got an error saying I already had one. I decided to sign up to the forum and only after I had entered my details did it tell me if I didn't send an email via the contact form I'd be added to the blacklist as a bot so I begrudgingly did this despite the fact that it is illegal to make such threats. In my message I not only entered the required information to have my account activated but also requested help with the API key and mentioned my disgust at the way anyone who signs up to this forum is treated.

I am also wondering why the people running this anti spam bot service have not used their own software and have, instead, made life very difficult for new forum members by insisting that they send an email with their details  requesting activation.

I have had a reply from a chap called Mike but unfortunately his reply address bounces as unknown.


I have, for now, used an existing key but I suspect I'll be at the 300 queries limit pretty soon. The new site should be very busy.

I'm not trying to be a tw@t and I do appreciate the free service being provided but this is like a Monty Python sketch.

You could try some stuff with hidden "stumble" fields, time-gating, and a better CAPTCHA (like recaptcha, perhaps).

Any suggestions?

Not sure what you mean by this....?

Could it be related to this multiple site thing which iv seen on here from other users?

Everyone elses seems to work fine apparently... sound it be down to the fact my site is off a folder called /site2/ and not off the root?
I don't think that's an issue.

When you say "loads of bots", how many are we talking? 10 a day, 50 a day...?

As for the specifics on configuring the plugin, what's shown looks reasonable to us but we don't know if it's working correctly or not. We'd suggest that you contact the author of the plugin to see if it's working right or not.

It's remotely possible that you're getting waves of never-before-seen bots. In that case you'd likely need to take additional measures, like an industrial strength CAPTCHA.


I have Joomla 1.7-2 and I have had a plug-in called osolCaptcha.

Now in this I have set everything like this...

Use in mod_login? = No
Auto add in Contact Us form? = Yes
Auto add in Login form(component page)? = Yes
Auto add in (joomla default)Registration ? = Yes
Auto add in Reset Password? = Yes
Auto add in Remind Username? = Yes
Enable second level security for Core forms? = Yes
BotScout Protection = Stop Execution and Mail
Botscout API key = (The API that botScout gave me)
Report -ve results from botsout ip verification = dan@risingsunuk.com
Redirect users from suspected IPs to = http://www.google.com/

I did all of this and still I get loads of bots signing up. How do I stop this?

BotScout Discussion / Re: Code Page Blank
« on: September 30, 2011, 05:09:14 AM »
I just checked and the page appears fine to me...??  What browser are you using?

Hi, just visited to chck latest version of your code, but you seem to have an error on http://botscout.com/code.htm as the page is blank!

BotScout Discussion / WordPress and the Subscribe2 plugin
« on: September 09, 2011, 06:08:46 AM »
This is code sent in by "Piotr" for use with WordPress and the Subscribe2 plugin.

To implement bot trapping I have used your sample code.

I was working on 6.2 version of the plugin, but I'm sure all changes can be made to any version of it.
If anybody want to modify Subscribe2 plugin like I did, subscribe2.php file need to be modify:

function is_bot() must be placed anywhere in the file (I've placed it under is_barred() function, here is code, I deleted most of the comments as you guys knows your code:)

Code: [Select]
function is_bot($XMAIL='', $XIP='') {
                 /////////////////// START CONFIGURATION
                 // use diagnostic output? ('1' to use, '0' to suppress)
                 // (normally set to '0')
                 $diag = '0';
                 // init vars
                 // your optional API key (don't have one? get one here: http://botscout.com/
                 $APIKEY = '';
                 // use XML output responses?
                 // '1' to use XML, '0' to use standard responses
                 $USEXML = '0';
                 /////////////////// END CONFIGURATION

                 // make the url compliant with urlencode()
                 $XMAIL = urlencode($XMAIL);

                 // for this example we'll use the MULTI test
                 $test_string = "http://botscout.com/test/?multi&mail=$XMAIL&ip=$XIP";

                 // are using an API key? If so, append it.
                 if($APIKEY != ''){
                  $test_string = "$test_string&key=$APIKEY";

                  // are using XML responses? If so, append the XML format key.
                  if($USEXML == '1'){
                     $test_string = "$test_string&format=xml";

                  if($diag=='1'){print "Test String: $test_string";}

                $ch = curl_init($test_string);
                curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HEADER, 0);
                curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
                $returned_data = curl_exec($ch);

                print "RETURNED DATA: $returned_data";
                // sanity check
                if($returned_data==''){ print 'Error: No return data from API query.'; exit; }

                  $botdata = explode('|', $returned_data);

                  if(substr($returned_data, 0,1) == '!'){
                print "Error: $returned_data";

                 if($botdata[3] > 0 || $botdata[5] > 0){
                //print $data;
                print "Bot signature found.";
                print "Type of test was: $botdata[1]";
                print "The {$botdata[2]} was found {$botdata[3]} times, the {$botdata[4]} was found {$botdata[5]} times";

                        return true;
                } else {
                        return false;

} //end is_bot()
Most important thing is to get email address and ip when calling a function
and to return true or false after checking that data.

2nd thing is to modify shortcode() function (3112 line of my file).

You have to search for this (3149-3151 lines of my file):

} elseif ( $this->is_barred($_POST['email']) ) {
 $this->s2form = $this->form . $this->barred_domain;
} else {

and change it to this:

} elseif ( $this->is_barred($_POST['email']) ) {
$this->s2form = $this->form . $this->barred_domain;
 } elseif ( $this->is_bot($_POST['email'], $_POST['ip']) ) {
$this->s2form = $this->form . $this->barred_domain;
 } else {

So now it works just like for barred_domain. If anybody wan't to show
something else, this could be modified, but for me this is fine.

That's it, I hope this will help people like me having problems with bots
and Subscribe2 plugin.

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