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Send User To Oblivion!

by carfac (Acolyte)
on Mar 20, 2007 at 14:15 UTC ( #605675=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

carfac has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Hi: I am a very novice user, so please pardon me if there is a very obvious solution I am missing!

I am writing an Apache Module, based on an existing script Apache::BlockIP. The existing script will block IP addresses (contained on a text file). Basically, you abuse my site, your IP gets written to this file, and Apache::BlockIP will block you from further activity.

What I am moding this to is called Apache::BlockRefer, and the purpose is to block log file spammers. Instead of an external text file of bad IPs, I keep an external list of common referrers spammers are using.

My problem comes at the end- The script will pass a 200, 302, 403 or whatever Apache server code. The thing about log spammers is you do not want to respond at all.

One option I have considered is to forward to my server on a port I have a sentry on, which will block the IP at the firewall, so there will be no further contact (and no write to the logs!) I set up a return REDIRECT, but that sends a 302 with the new URL, and that hits my logs. NOT a good solution.

Is there a way I can "silently" forward to "http://www.mysite.com:3550" in the manner of mod_rewrite- so the spammer is forwarded automatically with no 302? To me, this is the best solution as the IP is logged into my firewall, and all future attempts from the IP are ignored.

Alternatively, is there a way to just end the process with NO return to the user, or effectively black hole the request with NO reponse?

Once this little problem is solved, Apache::BlockRefer will be ready to go. I would be happy to share with anyone who wants a copy.

Thanks!

Dave

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Send User To Oblivion!
by randyk (Parson) on Mar 20, 2007 at 14:37 UTC
    Alternatively, is there a way to just end the process with NO return to the user, or effectively black hole the request with NO reponse?
    The MyApache2::BlockIP2 mod_perl example will, for blacklisted IPs, simply abort the connection without sending any reply to the client.
      That is probably the best solution, BUT it will only work on an Apache2 server.

      CountZero

      "If you have four groups working on a compiler, you'll get a 4-pass compiler." - Conway's Law

Re: Send User To Oblivion!
by derby (Abbot) on Mar 20, 2007 at 14:31 UTC

    One option I have considered is to forward to my server on a port I have a sentry on, which will block the IP at the firewall, so there will be no further contact (and no write to the logs!) I set up a return REDIRECT, but that sends a 302 with the new URL, and that hits my logs. NOT a good solution.

    Why not also push a specialized log handler onto the stack that will prevent logging for that namespace?

    -derby
Re: Send User To Oblivion!
by Moron (Curate) on Mar 20, 2007 at 14:56 UTC
    You can also configure conditional logging using the mod_log_config (Apache) module. I would imagine that any Perl module doing the job has to address that eventually.

    -M

    Free your mind

      Thanks for the help so far- I have been thinking a few different ways to proceed.

      OK, the SetEnv looks like a good solution. Not quite sure how to set that in the mod_perl script...

      Is it as simple as:

      env="spammer"

      or more like:

      $r->headers_out->{"env"} = "spammer";

      (Sorry, I told you I was a novice!)

      Dave
        SetEnv (syntax: SetEnv env-variable value) is a configuration directive to be placed in httpd.config

        I think you need to study the Apache documentation some more before deciding how to tackle it from Perl.

        -M

        Free your mind

Re: Send User To Oblivion!
by Sartan (Pilgrim) on Mar 20, 2007 at 17:34 UTC

    Might be overkill but you could add some mod_rewrite rules to your apache config to match against your referrers.

    http://httpd.apache.org/docs/1.3/mod/mod_rewrite.html

    D

Re: Send User To Oblivion!
by bart (Canon) on Mar 21, 2007 at 12:20 UTC
    I am writing an Apache Module, based on an existing script Apache::BlockIP. The existing script will block IP addresses (contained on a text file). Basically, you abuse my site, your IP gets written to this file, and Apache::BlockIP will block you from further activity.
    Hmm... once this file gets big, looking through this flatfile for every single request might be getting too expensive. There most be a way to make it faster...

    You could, as the document page referred to by one of the previous replies, indeed use a dbm database... or a SQLite database could work too. You'd have to compare the results in a benchmark.

    As this is for modperl, you probably could just as well store them in an in-memory hash. It'll be fast. It could eventually be big, too, depending on how many IPs you have blocked...

    If you have more than one webserver (that could be just child processes of the same mother web server) and they share this database (probably), you may still have to set up a make like set-up: you load the data from the file into the hash at startup, and every time you notice the modification date of the text file has changed, for example.

    One the hash gets too big, there might be a way to optimize this into something that's like a hash, but using much less memory. For example, you could use nested trees, splitting each IP address into bytes, and have a 256 entry array for each... and use vec at the last (4th) level, storing just a single bit, that'll use just 32 bytes for a block of 256 IP addresses. But it won't be as fast as a straight hash.

    It might even be a good idea to turn the latter into an XS module.

Re: Send User To Oblivion!
by 5mi11er (Deacon) on Mar 21, 2007 at 15:46 UTC
    The best place for dropping packets is at the firewall, just add a rule to DROP packets from those addresses.

    Now, to get perl back involved, write a script to modify the firewall rules as it automatically detects log file spammers.

    -Scott

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