on Feb 7, 2008
My web host was a very good sport about this, all things considered, although I’m still not clear on where this load was coming from. I wasn’t flooded with newcomers or lots of comments, so the “visitors” were most likely not people. Perhaps an attack, perhaps just some very stupid spammer. It’s hard to tell.
I had this problem a couple of months ago, and then my host went in and blocked huge ranges of IP’s. Most of them from Russia and China. I wasn’t crazy about this solution, since I wasn’t consulted, but it did indeed fix the problem. Over the next few weeks I’d get emails from people saying they could reach me at work but not at home, or vice versa. I unblocked some of the IP ranges and the frustrated readers came back. I figured we were all good until it happened again today.
I’m going to leave the IP blocks in place this time. I take no joy in this. I know there are readers out there who won’t be able to get to my site, won’t be able to read this message, and won’t be able to reach me and tell me about the problem. Right now I don’t see any way around it. Someone out there – or more than one person – is pounding away at this site in such a way that they use up more resources than all of my legit visitors combined. The bandwidth costs are unacceptable, my website can’t function, and there is always the risk that my host will ask me to take my business elsewhere. (Note that they have never threatened this, I’m just saying.)
The “attack” – intentional or the result of inept spamming attempts – is particularly pointless since none of it makes it through. Between Akismet, Bad Behavior, and Peter’s Custom Anti-Spam, less than one in ten thousand spams make it through the nets, and I’m pretty sure the ones that DO make it through are entered by hand and not automated.
Sorry to all the users who are locked out, not that you can hear me. What a stupid, pointless shame.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.