Lunacy Unleashed

Notes from the field in the War on Spam

What to do when Bad Behavior blocks you (or your friends)

One of the two topics I get most frequently is the assertion that Bad Behavior has blocked a legitimate request from an actual user, sometimes even the owner of the blog! Since this seems to come up every so often, I’m going to see if I can help out, and maybe eliminate the need for some of these folks to contact me.

(But before we get started, if you are an AOL user, do not use the built-in AOL browser. Use Firefox or something else. And get a real ISP as soon as possible.)

Before doing anything, though, ensure that you have the latest version of Bad Behavior.

The first thing to do is to determine why Bad Behavior blocked you. Get your IP address, and then log in to your phpMyAdmin, and Search the bad_behavior_log table for your IP address. In the returned fields, the denied_reason field will have a short explanation.

If the denied_reason says, “I know you and I don’t like you, dirty spammer,” keep looking for other entries. This reason means the IP address was previously identified and is being temporarily blocked, and another entry will have the real reason for the block.

If the denied_reason says, “Required header ‘Accept’ missing,” check to ensure that you are not using a proxy server, personal firewall, or any other software that may be interfering with your Web browsing. This type of software, if not configured properly, will cause this problem. Bypass the proxy (when possible) and try again. If you see this message, and you are using GoDaddy shared hosting, be aware that this is caused by GoDaddy and there is nothing I can do about it. Switch web hosts.

If the denied_reason contains a long string of “Aaaaaaaaaaaaa,” says “User-Agent … prohibited,” or contains “Banned proxy server” and you aren’t using a proxy server, this means your computer has most likely been infected with a virus or Trojan horse which is sending comment and referrer spam. Have your computer cleaned before trying again.

If the denied_reason contains anything else, you may find that the reason for the block is made obvious by the reason given. For instance, if you have used a fake User-Agent string, Bad Behavior may detect this and block you. In this case you would correct the User-Agent string and try again.

If you still can’t figure out why you were blocked, Export the records from phpMyAdmin in either SQL format and send them to me. You do not need to zip them. If you send me an Excel format file, I will curse your name until the end of days, and probably not respond.

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September 30, 2005 - Posted by | Bad Behavior, Blog Spam, WordPress

7 Comments

  1. Back to Bad Behavior

    I’m again using Bad Behavior here. Thanks go out to Mike and Kari for testing the install I had on GFMorris.org and seeing that their issues were resolved.
    In addition, I’m running Ajay D’Souza’s Bad Behavior Stats plugin pur…

    Trackback by The Indiana Jones School of Management | October 13, 2005

  2. Re-rollout of Bad Behavior

    After some testing, I’m rolling out Bad Behavior protection here on [rmfo-blogs.com] yet again. If you or your users are, for some reason, blocked, please contact me: there are ways to find out why people are blocked, and we can always unblock …

    Trackback by [rmfo-blogs.com]: About | October 17, 2005

  3. [...] Update: If you’re being blocked by Bad Behavior, don’t comment here. Read this. [...]

    Pingback by Lunacy Unleashed » Syndic8 and PubSub blocked by Bad Behavior 1.2.4 | December 10, 2005

  4. [...] Angsuman’s Referrer Bouncer looked good, but it doesn’t play well with wp-cache. Other well-documented tricks involved endlessly modifying my .htaccess file. Bad Behavior looked good, too, but I’ve already used that plugin, and disabled it because I saw occasions where it needlessly blocked legitimate access, requiring manual intervention. [...]

    Pingback by BlogRodent » Battling Referrer Spam with Wordpress | January 22, 2006

  5. [...] With Akismet’s recent nap, I’m going to leave BB running for awhile longer with the IPs whitelisted and see what happens. Unlike Tom, I’m not that concerned about getting on TechMeme, but it is kind of a bummer that we haven’t found a simple and reliable solution yet. [...]

    Pingback by Bad Behavior Misbehavin’? at FactoryCity | August 29, 2006

  6. [...] If you’ve been blocked, the developer’s official response is here, but I’m also working on fixing it. This means that the Rose McGowan post will just have to wait. My apologies – unless you’re commenting about GRANNY SEX AND HORSES – in which case you can go fuck yourself. [...]

    Pingback by Agent Bedhead » Spambot Casualties | September 19, 2006

  7. [...] to your comment (rather than it being rejected for moderation), please contact tekanji using the link on the sidebar.   [link] Filed under Shrub.com Related « Sexist Language[Red-blooded American Sexist, Part 3] [...]

    Pingback by Official Shrub.com Blog » Blog Archive » WordPress 2.0.4 | September 27, 2006


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