Potential attacks on my blog

Suzie Eisfelder

This is an article I wrote some weeks ago. I’ve no idea why it didn’t publish. It was set to publish on the 20th May 2019 and didn’t publish. I feel it’s important enough to publish now. To answer my thought in the last paragraph, yes it has reduced…a lot.

There are hazards to everything. Yesterday I downloaded my email only to discover 3,600 emails alerting me to a lot of potential attacks on my blog. I often get potential attacks and apart from checking that they were potential and nothing to worry about I’ve given it no more thought. I normally only get a handful of attacks, if I’ve been away I might find two or three hundred emails waiting for me. This time was rather more than that and I took exception.

I’ve recently upgraded all the software behind my website so was confident that I would be okay. With so many emails I wanted to take a little more time to ensure a lot more security. I googled ‘how to block IP addresses’ and proceeded to block all the IP addresses listed in the emails.

IP address?

Internet Protocol Address. It’s the numeric label assigned to a particular network. In essence it establishes a path to that particular network through the entire internet. Every network has an IP address, even your phone, although that will change depending on whether you’re hooked up to a wifi or not. I know, I checked.

A lot of work.

Having been through all 3,600 emails and blocked all the IP addresses listed in each email I proceeded to check my emails again. Another 3,000 emails came through. Bear in mind there were several hours between downloading the emails and blocking them so the IP addresses were likely to be the same or similar. While checking the first set of emails I put a video on YouTube, used it as good thinking time for my assignment – occasionally switching programmes and adding a few more pieces of dialogue – and also figured out a much more time efficient method of finding the IP addresses to block them. I used this second method to get through the second set of emails in only a few minutes, blocked all the IP addresses and decided I should tell you all about it.

I couldn’t log in.

At some stage my own IP address came up in my travels last night and I managed to insert that into my list of blocked IP addresses. Only took me a few seconds to realise this so it was an easy fix to find my own IP address in the list and delete it. I felt a little foolish but I’d done it before when I was fiddling around blocking IP addresses so I only wasted seconds on it.

Anyway, all is well. I’ll find out when I check my email later today how that’s worked and if there are any more problems that I need to solve. I really hope I’ve managed to block enough IP addresses to bring my potential attack emails back down to manageable levels. The moral of the story is to check your website and make sure it’s secure.

    1. It was rather annoying. So far it’s not paying off, although I’ve only had 15 or so potential attacks on any given day. I could look at the IP addresses properly and see if there’s a pattern. I can block ranges of IP addresses rather than individual addresses. I moved to self hosting in 2010 and I’m not going back as I’ve got far more flexibility with self hosting.

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