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February 19th, 2007 · Posted by Skuds in Technology · No Comments · Technology

Earlier today I noticed that posts from this site were not appearing on the aggregated feed on the Bloggers4Labour site. I really had no idea how long this had been happening – or not happening depending on your point of view.

Andrew R didn’t know for sure either, but said he was getting a 403 message from my site feed, and reckoned it looked like something on my server was treating his server as a potential threat and blocking his requests. Other B4L users may remember he has been having some spam/DDoS trouble recently so has become a lot more aware and clued-up about about anti-spam measures after having to install a few himself in a hurry.

I had a deluge of spam comments myself recently, which was only fixed by installing Bad Behavior (sic). And that seems to be the problem. As well as blocking all that nasty spam it has also been blocking the legitimate requests from B4L.

There is a way out of this: amongst the Bad Behavior files is one called where you can put trusted IP addresses so they will be let through. I put the B4L server IP in there, wrote a bland test post and it appeared on the B4L site within minutes.

I had wondered why BB was reporting such a large number of access attempts blocked: over 200,000 in the first few days and now 80,000+ in the last 7 days. Looking at Statcounter, it looks like visits generally have been down, and that all makes a bit of sense now.

So if you are using Bad Bahavior and notice that your site feed is not appearing in places where it should – and if Bad Behavior log is reporting an unfeasibly large number of “access attempts blocked” it might be worth your while investigating the white list.

Having spent a little bit of time looking at the server logs as a result of this I now have more questions than answers though. Like – why am I getting so many hits with the referrer being something called “pukiwiki.php” at addresses ending in Is that where all the spam comments were coming from in the first place?

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