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From Gene <>
Subject [users@httpd] Out of control Referrer spam; I'm puzzled.
Date Mon, 05 Dec 2005 15:36:46 GMT
Hi All:

I don't know about everyone else, but Referrer Spam on my site has 
reached epic proportions. I've been reading up on it, but one thing 
still puzzles me.

If the referrer url is phony and the ip address from which it came is 
phony, how does that benefit the spammer? It seems to me that the url 
that got posted to a stats page would simply be a dead end.

Moving on - Since a lot of the spam urls have certain things in common 
(ie., "porn", "foto", etc.) I can return an error code to a lot of 
spammers via mod_security, but of course, the spammers don't care. They 
wind up in the logs anyway. This raises some questions.

1. Is it possible to redirect the http request back to the referrer url, 
thus letting spammers with valid urls spam themselves?

2. Is it possible, using the commonalities above, to prevent them from 
getting into the log file? Can apache simply drop the request making it 
appear there is no server running?

3. Can the referrer url be validated before accepting the http request?

4. Since my page shouldn't be linked to from anywhere else, except maybe 
search engines, is it possible to create a sort of whitelist of referrer 
urls and reject all others (letting the request drop into a black hole) ?

5. How about an rbl for referrer spam? (or did I see that somewhere 
already. I don't remember.)

Anyway, anyone find a way to deal with it that at least reduces the 
spam? My ISP graciously allows me to run a server as a hobby, but if 
this spam keeps increasing, they're liable to consider me a commercial 

Maybe we should get a thread going and see what we come up with (or was 
there one that I missed?)

Any thoughts appreciated.


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