Scripting, databases, extensions, addons, and plugins are all part of my vocabulary, just part of the growth in technology I’ve had to experience since starting web work in 1996. HTML is rarely part of my work anymore. But the added dimension of security has become the camel with its nose in the tent. Yesterday is a case in point.
Two of us spent the better part of 8 hours yesterday analyzing logs and blocking IP addresses of known spammers and dictionary attackers (we like to call it “zapping” them because that is really what we would LIKE to be able to do…send an electromagnetic pulse back to the hackers and fry their motherboards) It seems that one of our cleint sites, a small and rarely updated restaurant website, had become the darling of hackers from Russia and the Ukraine. Why this is the case we have no clue. The only information the site has is their hours of operation and their menu. There are no online transactions, nothing worth hacking into. But they have been relentless in attempting to log into the admin of the site.
And so they have come by the hundreds this week. It’s like having someone come and jiggle your doorknob to see if the door is unlocked. Only in this case, there have been dozens at a time, almost non-stop. And having this happen is like having your name in the news and having the news vans parked outside your house with lights and cameras and people in your yard and doorstep. You just get no peace from these mindless scripted hackers.
We spent the entire day checking IP addresses against databases, and discovered that almost every one was a known spammer IP. And we discovered several that weren’t and needed to be reported, which felt good. So into the blocker they went. But hour after hour, new IP addresses would attempt to get into the admin. It seemed the flow was endless.
The good news is that we’ve found a solution that seems to be working, for now. We have “hidden” our admin area where the scripts can’t find it. And for those who come to the expected admin page, they get redirected to a website with a kazillion popups that you can’t shut down.
Yeah, sometimes this job feels really good.