Saturday, January 26, 2008

Yahoo Slurp Using New IPs

Yesterday my bot blocker notified me of a new range of IPs being used by Slurp that I haven't seen before.

This is a prime example of why I keep telling people that still use IP checking only to update their code and use full trip DNS checking to validate major search engines to avoid bouncing spiders with new IPs but people just don't listen.

Hope the following helps for anyone still validating Slurp by IP only.

The user agent:

"Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Yahoo! Slurp;"
A few reverse DNS samples: [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []
The complete list of new IPs Slurp used:

Apollo Hosting Shared Server Customers Appear To Be Hacked

One of my websites is a directory and when I last ran my link checker about 10 days ago, to validate that the sites were all still valid, several of them triggered a test that I installed to check for hacked sites. After doing a little bit of research they all turned out the be hosted on Apollo Hosting.

What I found were very large blocks of ads embedded in the home page of each compromised site for every kind of pharma product you've ever seen spammed with their links pointing to landing pages on multiple compromised servers including several universities. Some of the landing pages are also hosted on Apollo Hosting so they are being used to host both the hackers pharma links and pharma landing pages.

Took a quick look in Google and found a lot of references in Google about individual sites on Apollo being hacked but I don't think they know the extent of the problem.

Please note that these types of hackers don't seem infect every account on the server, they just infect a chunk of them based on some unknown criteria, so it's hit and miss which domains are infected. Perhaps individual accounts were hacked but I don't think so as I've seen this same type of thing on iPowerWeb (which now appears cleaned up), random sites, some servers had more sites infected, others just a few, who knows why.

Here's a few examples, view the HTML source to see all the embedded pharma ads typically at the bottom of the page:

Caution: disable javascript before you go to any domain

Sample 1: view-source:
Sample 2: view-source:

Sample 1: view-source:
Sample 2: view-source:

View the source on any domain in the list, not all are infected but it's a more
heavily server wide infestation...

So on and so forth, you get the idea.

I spot checked a handful of servers, but based on what I've run across in the past with other similar shared server infestations it's probably on all shared servers.

DISCLAIMER: The sites and servers referenced still contained the pharma ads at the time of this writing and may be cleaned up in the future. Follow the links to check the domains hosted to see if the problem still exists in the future.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sprint Broadband Saves Bacon Again

Last night I was working quickly trying to stop some asshole that I found attacking my site and was just about finished with the task when suddenly BLAMMO! my SSH session terminated.

My first thought was I had just done something bad and whacked the server.

In a bit of a panic I try to pull up the site in the Firefox, nothing, dead.

Is my internet connection down?

Nope, I can get to other web sites and my other servers in different data centers just fine.

Must be Comcast having a routing problem so I quickly confirm that there's a routing issue with a traceroute and breath a sigh of relief when I can access that server via my other server.

However, this doesn't solve the problem of the asshole that was waging war on my server still abusing the damn thing. The attacker was using a huge proxy list that was more current than mine plus some other things so it wasn't as simple as just blocking a single IP address or anything like that.

So I grabbed the Sprint Broadband USB stick, plugged it in, and a minute later was back on the server via a different network connection and finished blocking the attacker.

A few hours later Comcast was functioning properly again, but thanks to Sprint Broadband I no longer feel like I'm being held hostage when Comcast's service has problems.

Having the Sprint Broadband backup is definitely not a cheap solution but it's saved my ass a few times and now I no longer need to chase Wifi hotspots when I'm on the road. If you can afford the extra $60/month for internet connection redundancy I highly recommend getting a Sprint Broadband card or an equivalent from other providers. I'll think I'll stick with Sprint until something better and faster comes along in my area!