Goodbye Bigpond-customers

Effective immediately, customers of the Australian ISP Bigpond are denied access to this site. The reason is simple: Some stupid spamming aussie f*ckhead is hammering my site, attempting large-scale referer-log-spamming – which won’t work at all, since there are no public referer logs visible on this site.

IIRC, I did send a mail with a complaint when this abuse started back in July, without ever receiving a response.
So far in October, this idiot has hit my site over 12000(!) times, and I’m tired of it. If denying Bigpond-customers doesn’t make the problem go away, I’ll solve the problem permanently by removing this blog permanently from the surface of the Internet.
And this is a message to all those of you who actually do publish your referer logs: Please stop this insanely stupid practice: *You’re actively contributing to the problem*, giving spammers free marketing, and you’re no less of an idiot than them, and you’re, _in my not so humble opinion_, no better than the spammers themselves.
*Update:* Since I wrote this entry, the number of “403 Access Denied” served has changed from ~12000 to 30499. Aaaarrrrgggghhhh.

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  1. I never thought of it like that.
    My referer logs never seemed to work anyways.
    What about the comments links?
    Can we prevent them from becoming filled with spam?

  2. I can sympathise with the problem, but two points:
    1. Bigpond is Australia’s largest ISP and market leader, you are effectively cutting of a potential audience pushing 1 million. (No, I am not a Bigpond customer, cant stand them and wont defend them, but the spammers are winning if you are blocking access to all)
    2. Referral logs: I always saw these as a way of rewarding those who link to my blog by providing an automated link back to them on The Blog Herald however I recently had a link to Discount Life Insurance appear in it (which I have blogged about). I do not think that I am an idiot, naive maybe, but I think you are being too harsh on myself, and others, who are only trying to assist fellow bloggers

  3. Duncan:
    1. I know I am blocking Australias largest ISP, and I know I am blocking access to almost a million people. I would block AOL and it’s potential 35 million users if the problem originated there, and AOL was unwilling, or unable to fix the problem. This is a matter of bandwith costs: I can now serve a 403 error that just transmits a few bytes, instead of a +20KB document, which is a huge difference when I have had 36000 requests in a week.
    2. Referer logs are a potentially useful tool for discovery of links from both internal and external sites. I actively use referals to discover quality sites linking to me, and if I find quality content linking to me, I read through the site, and sometimes I do link back.
    An automated system that just creates links back to a site whenever it is found in the referer log achieves two things, which spammers will want: It will drive traffic to their site, and it might even help the site achieve a higher search engine rank, since Google and it’s likes uses links to determine what is quality content or not.
    An automatic public referal list is perhaps even a better tool than e-mail spam, because one single computer on an ADSL line can hammer thousands of websites thousands of times every day, if desired, and achieve a high ranking on most of these lists.
    So, I use harsh language (re: Idiot) for a reason: I, and other website owners eventually end up paying for other peoples ignorance.
    Nick: So far, spam in the comment links have been a limited problem, since these tools usually have to be crafted to one specific blog system. I am however a bit worried about what will happen when the Atom API is popularized, and one can use the same software for posting comments to any blogging system. In the end, I believe I might end up moderating my comments before they are published, instead of retromoderating, like I’m doing now.