Sunday, January 07, 2007

Ip Deny Manager, useful or a waste of time?

My blog host provides an IP Deny Manager where I can input an IP and deny them access to my blog. I've been using this to battle the spammers who attempt to leave their garbage as comments every night. Does anyone else use this? Am I wasting my time?


This Post was written by Vanessa from whatgeekseat.com

6 comments:

Annie said...

IP bans can inadvertently block legitimate users on shared hosts. And since some spammers hack into legitimate hosts to send their comments, you'll end up blocking a lot of innocent visitors.

It looks like you're running WordPress. Have you tried the ASkimet spam blocking plug-in? I haven't had a problem with spam since installing it.
http://akismet.com/

cybele said...

I've been doing IP bans to battle spam as well and for a while it was successful.

I too am concerned that some of the spam is coming from zombie computers (ordinary computers that have been infected with some malicious software) which would mean that banning those IPs (especially from large hosts like Verizon or AT&T) might mean that I'm limiting my regular readers. If it does, it wouldn't be more than a day or so before they could return as large ISPs do not give out static IPs.

I don't think my paltry list of 200 IPs is likely to intersect with actual readers though. And if you are getting a momentary flurry from a single IP, certainly stop them in their tracks.

The most recent spate of spam I've been getting has been using random IPs, so that tactic was ineffectual.

My suggestion is to, as Annie suggested, update your software with some other spam blocking software. I just installed a more secure version last night and it seems to have done the trick.

kiplog said...

I've been getting a slew of spam from the same IP addresses lately, which is the only time I bother. banning IPs. After a while I empty my banned list.

McAuliflower said...

I use the block ip feature in combination with askimet. If a comment spam tally rises above 5, I block the ip address.

What we've (Sweets and I) been discovering is that the biggest threat to my food blog now are 'scrappers' who don't show up as comment spam and random bot attacks.

Scrappers will visit a site and hammer it for page requests, take your content and put it up on a page with adds.

The bot attacks show up as your web site getting hammered for lots of page requests as well- in an attempt to bring down your website by over-whelming your server.

When we detect scrappers or bot attacks, we ban the ip address and report it to their service provider.

Sweets is currently working on a Word Press plugin that gives one a live view of the traffic (page requests, visitors and referals) to their site. This tool is how we have been detecting scrappers and bot attacks.

The plug in isn't ready to be released yet, but I'll post here when it is.

delicious:days said...

Hi Vanessa,

I'd say it is a combination of both, a proper list of spam keywords (and trapping software) & selective/careful IP banning, like Paul (kiplog) does it. So at the end of the week I usually remove the banned IP's. Also, if you do ban IP's make sure that you put up a meaningful 403 server error message so legit users are informed and can contact you.
Here is the spam plugin I use (Wordpress): SMP

Re: statistics & analytics, here is a good WP plugin I found a little while ago. It only utilizes a small portion of database space but offers a clean and very useful interface, including interactive drill down, searches etc: WP-SlimStat

Cheers,
Oliver

Vanessa said...

Thank you all for your kind help with this. Annie was right ASkimet solved my problem. I don't have a ton of traffic so I think I'm good for now. It is amazing what a drain it can be to have to view that garbage on a daily basis and I often wonder why...when there are so many better things to do with life, are there spammers, bots, and scrappers...it sounds like a line-up for the bar scene in Star Wars. Anyway, thanks.