The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Friday, 21 January 2005]

"The blinking lights are killing me"

This bucolic little neighborhood of cyberspace has been under attack from a zombie army of referrer spam computers the last few days. These machines have been hitting the site enough that it’s been groaning under the load. But that’s not the worst of it: The poor little DSL line that connects this site to the rest of the world is shared by several other sites sitting on a different computer, and a flabbergasting amount of available bandwidth has been eaten by the zombies.

This sucks hard, for a multitude of reasons. Perhaps the most galling thing is that this site does not run a public referrer page, so there is absolutely no reason to hit it with referrer spam. None, zilch, nada, zippo. But there the horde of zombies stands, pounding mindlessly away.

In order to alleviate the pain, we have started to firewall off what seems like half the Internet in order to staunch the wound and give the server and Internet connection some breathing room.

Also disturbing is that the horde is growing–more and more machines are being brought in. But probably the worst thing is that a lot of the URLs they are trying to get on the referrer list make absolutely no sense. It’s mind boggling.

So, since some complete asshole wants to make a quick buck, I’m spending an evening looking at firewall rules instead of being with my family. Asshole. Asshole. Asshole.

At first it was actually kind of amusing to watch the flood and see what was going to happen, but then my gracious host Joe called and said, “The blinking lights are killing me,” referring to the little ecstasy-fueled dance party happening with the activity LEDs on the DSL modem.

Looks like we’ve knocked the frequency down a bit at this point–big thanks to Joe for digging in.

**Soundtrack: ** Stream from Groove Salad

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