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Pidgin plugin - Stop spap with Bot Sentry I widely advertise my instant messaging ID’s as I want potential clients to be able to find me easily. But the problem with doing that is that I end up with a lot of spam messages every day.

Never a day goes by without automated robots sending me instant messages inviting me to talk dirty with them or to go to a certain website to stock up on my Viagra tablets. Now normally I would just block them but this only really works for one or two messages a day.

If you are getting more than a few a day, you may need Bot Sentry. Bot Sentry guards your Pidgin application and disallows anyone not on your contact list from contacting you until they have answered a pre-defined question that you have set :

botsentry1

As you can see, you can decide what question and answer to set and when the person has answered correctly, they can then message you and their user ID will be added to a "white list" so they don’t have to answer the question everytime they want to chat with you.

But make the question easy – don’t write something like "Please give the exact population figure of Transylvania – including all the vampires". Just give an easy question with only one possible answer that a real person can answer right away. Obviously this will stop the automated bots in their tracks and you can now enjoy your day without IM’s popping up inviting you to join the Gay Network.

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  1. John
    February 11, 2009 at 1:42 am

    I'm having the same issues with this plugin. Running Pidgin 2.5.4 in XP. Please update us if you receive any feedback from the developer. I have an additional issue which is that even after I click to close the popup alert, the unknown contact still gets added to my "Not In List" section of my Buddy List and I have to manually remove each one of them. This is very time consuming.

    What I suspect most users want is a silent killer plugin which denies all unauthorised requests and drops the them *SILENTLY* without any popup or alerts. Just drop them and shred them to bits without ever letting me know.

  2. Chris
    January 28, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Is there any update on fixing the alert. It's a great idea that's unfortunately rendered useless as I have to close a window each time a spammer (or at least someone not in my contact list) tries to IM me. Atleast I don't get an alert sound, but it's not useful in it's current state. FOr me at any rate

  3. Dumbass
    January 8, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    So how do you install it?

    Isn't there a simple process where I can double click something and have it install itself?

    Seriously...

    • Mark O'Neill
      January 8, 2009 at 3:00 pm

      Double-click the exe file and install. Then go into your Pidgin Tools-->Plugins and find Bot Sentry. Click on it and turn it on. You can also go into the preferences and modify it including specifying the question and answer.

      That's it.

      Oh and I removed the verbal abuse from your comment. There was no need for all of that. Come on, grow up.

  4. doorknob60
    December 30, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Woot, just found out about this linked form The Mark Pack. It's a simple yet effective way to stop spambots :)

  5. Daniel
    November 23, 2008 at 2:46 am

    Yea its from MSN as well. That seems to be the main problem. I recently did the same thing as well. But it annoys me that anyone who wants to contact me via MSN will have to contact me via other means first so i can add them to my buddy list. Oh well. Annoying messages are gone. Thats all that matters. (Yes it works for me as well)

  6. Dan
    November 18, 2008 at 10:59 am

    What service are you getting them from? I get them from MSN. I just decided to block anyone who isn't on my contact list on MSN, and it works fine so far.

  7. Lord Zeon
    November 17, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    Same as everyone else. Dunno why this happens with pidgin either, I've never gotten spam bots like this using Trillian...

  8. Adam bolte
    November 12, 2008 at 2:04 am

    Same issue here using Ubuntu 8.10. Very frustrating.

  9. Dan
    November 11, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    I'm getting the same problem - Anyone figure something out yet?

  10. bd
    November 9, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    I'm getting the same thing too

    • Daniel
      November 9, 2008 at 8:14 pm

      Anybody filed a support ticket / bug report?

  11. ted
    October 29, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    Yeah I would agree that this is useless if I keep getting a window that I have to close. My windows however say the following:
    (10/29/2008 4:29:36 PM) Message could not be sent because an error with the switchboard occurred:
    Bot Sentry engaged: you are now being ignored! Your message will be delivered if you can correctly answer the following question within 10 minutes: How do you spell 10?

    If there was a way to make these go away then I'd be happy as can be. However, I haven't been able to find any other solution to this and figured I'd try to give this a try.

    • Mark O'Neill
      October 30, 2008 at 6:48 am

      OK, that's what the other side is seeing and you should NOT be seeing that. I don't see that on my screen so I don't understand why you see that on yours.

      I am going to try and contact the developer of Bot Sentry and see if he can address this issue. This is really bothering me now.

    • youdontmeanmuch
      October 31, 2008 at 10:27 pm

      Anything on that, I'm receiving the same message.

  12. Mark O'Neill
    October 27, 2008 at 6:44 am

    I have never received a conversation window to tell me that it has blocked a spam. This is completely new news to me. In all the time that I have used this (and it must be two years now), I have never once received any kind of notification.

  13. Jocko
    October 26, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    Agreed, this is useless if you still have to close a window.

  14. Vik
    September 16, 2008 at 11:36 am

    I agree with Mario. Is there a way to not open a conversation and notify me that i blocked something? If that is done, this plugin is perfect and should be included in the Pidgin distribution.

  15. Mario
    September 8, 2008 at 10:23 am

    I cant really see the usefulness of this plugin because every time it blocks a spam it still opens a conversation to tell me that it blocked something and is just as annoying as the spam. Whats the difference in closing the spam message or having to close the bot sentry message? Unless I am missing a way to turn off the blocked messages.

  16. Robb Topolski
    March 13, 2008 at 6:08 am

    Thank you. Why the hell is this extremely useful plugin missing from pidgin.im's webpages? I love it!

    Upgrade Request: Spam Executioner

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