Cleaning up the blog even more

I’ve been paying more attention to my log files lately. What I’ve found is not surprising, just disheartening. There are a number of requests by bots and script hackers to specific pages that have been regularly exploited in the past.

Aside from keeping my platform up-to-date (this includes Apache, Linux, WordPress, and so-on) I’ve been restricting access to these potentially unsafe resources and I’ve finally put together a script to automate denying compromised hosts access to the site.

The first important bit (again, besides keeping my platform up-to-date) is restricting access to xmlrpc. I did that with a simple .htaccess script:

# BEGIN protect xmlrpc.php
<files xmlrpc.php>
    order allow,deny
    deny from all
# END protect xmlrpc.php

The next thing I added (found with a little help from Google and stack overflow) is an IP list restriction. I just put this in every virtual host config:

    <Directory /www/>
         Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
         AllowOverride All
         Order allow,deny
         allow from all
              Require all granted
              Include /path/to/IPList.conf


(I’ve also just realized how limited pasting code into WordPress can be… but luckily I found this awesome nugget

And the last bit is a script that will search my log files and tell me who is being naughty. It doesn’t update the exclusion list in place and it doesn’t restart apache – we’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader 😉


$threshold = 250;
$days = 7;

%iplist = ();

open(INF, "/path/to/IPList.conf" );
while ($a = <INF>) {
    @fields = split(' ', $a);
    $ip = $fields[ @fields-1 ];

    $iplist{ $ip } = 1;

@URLS = ( 'wp-login', 'xmlrpc' );
@files = `/usr/bin/find /path/to/apache2/ -name '*access*log*' -mtime -$days`;
$filelist = join(' ', @files);
$filelist =~ s/\n//g;
print "searching $filelist\n";

foreach $urlfragment ( @URLS ) {

    @list = `/bin/zgrep -h $urlfragment $filelist | /usr/bin/awk '{print \$1}' | /usr/bin/sort | /usr/bin/uniq -c | /usr/bin/sort -rg | /usr/bin/head -n30`;

    foreach $ipdata ( @list ) {
	@fields = split(/\s/, $ipdata);
	$ip = $fields[ @fields - 1 ];
	$count = $fields[ @fields - 2 ];

	if ( $count > $threshold ) {
	    if ( $iplist{ $ip } != 1 ) {
		# new ip to add to the list
		$iplist{ $ip } = 2;
		print "adding $ip for requesting $urlfragment $count times over $days days.\n";
	    } else {
		print "skipping $ip, already in our list.\n";

open(OUF, ">/tmp/IPList.conf");
foreach $ip ( sort keys %iplist ) {
    if ( length($ip) > 3 ) {
        print OUF "Require not ip $ip\n";

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