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Sat, Mar 22, 2014 10:49 pm

Blocking Internet access except for virus scanning sites

After a system became infected with malware, I disconnected its network cable then added rules to the firewall separating it from the Internet to block all Internet access except for DNS access to its designated DNS server provided by the user's ISP. I then granted access to the VirusTotal IP addresses on all ports. VirusTotal is a website belonging to Google that will allow you to scan files you upload to it with multiple antivirus programs to determine if they may be malware.
NameIP Addresses

After implementing the firewall rules, I reconnected the network cable to the system.

Since accessing redirects one to, I wasn't able to access the VirusTotal website until I added the IP address to the list of destination IP addresses the infected system was allowed to access through the firewall. Even though I could then access the site's webapge and select a file to upload, I was unable to actually upload a file that I wanted to check for malware.

So I then added the IP address for the Jotti's malware scan website to the permitted outbound access list for the infected system. I was able to access it with a web browser on the system and upload a suspect file to have it scanned by the 22 antivirus programs the site currently uses to scan uploaded files.

NameIP Addresses

[/security/scans] permanent link

Sat, Mar 22, 2014 5:42 pm

Blocking access from

I noticed entries in Apache's error log today associated with IP address

[Sat Mar 22 15:23:58 2014] [error] [client] PHP Notice: Undefined index: HTTP_USER_AGENT in /home/jdoe/public_html/index.php on line 39
[Sat Mar 22 15:23:58 2014] [error] [client] PHP Notice: Undefined index: HTTP_USER_AGENT in /home/jdoe/public_html/index.php on line 46
[Sat Mar 22 15:23:58 2014] [error] [client] attempt to invoke directory as script: /home/jdoe/public_html/blog/

The error was occurring because of PHP code in the file that checks the value for HTTP_USER_AGENT.

I found that the IP address, which is allocated to a system in China, is listed at the Stop Forum Spam site as being associated with someone trying to post spam into forums today - see And when I checked Apache's CustomLog to check the user agent for the browser the user or software program running at the site might be using to identify itself, I found that the log entries indicated that it wasn't providing user agent information, which browsers and web crawlers normally provide. The log also showed that other than that one file at the site's document root, the user or program accessing the site only queried a directory that has "forums" as part of the path. I have blog entries posted on forum software, so that may have prompted the visit to the site from that IP address, if the person or program is looking for sites where he or it can post forum spam.

I checked the "reputation" of the IP address at other sites that provide information on whether an IP address has been noted to be associated with malicous activity and found the following:

  1. Site: WatchGuard Reputation Authority
    Rating: Bad
    Reputation Score: 95/100
    Comment: The score indicates the overall ReputationAuthority reputation score, including the name and location of the ISP (Internet Service Provier), for the specified address. A score of 0-50 indicates a good to neutral reputation. 51-100 indicates that threats have been detected recently from the address and the reputation has been degraded.
  2. Site: Barracuda Reputation
    Reputation: Poor
  3. Site: McAfee Trusted Source
    Reputation: Unrated
  4. Site: Check Your IP Reputation - Miracare of Mirapoint
    Reputation: High Risk
    Comment: This IP address is used for sending Spam on a regular basis
  5. Site: BrightCloud Security Services URL/IP Lookup
    Reputation: High Risk
    Comment: Location - Chengdu, China. Spam Sources found. Webroot IP Reputation is listed as "High Risk", but lower down on the page the status assigned to the address is "Moderate Risk".

To stop any futher access to the server from that IP address, from the root account, I used the route command to reject access by the IP address.

# route add reject

Note: the command is valid on a Linux system, but though the route command is available on a Microsoft Windows system, that operating system doesn't support the "reject" parameter.

The blocked route can be seen by issuing the route command with no parameters.

# route
Kernel IP routing table
Destination     Gateway         Genmask         Flags Metric Ref    Use Iface    -      !H    0      -        0 -

If I ever want to permit access to the server from that IP address again, I could use route del to permit access from that address.


  1. Stopping an Attacker with the Route Reject Command
    MoonPoint Support
    Date: April 15, 2007

[/security/scans] permanent link

Sat, Mar 22, 2014 2:10 pm

Renamed Website Files Still Being Crawled

I've noticed in the site's error logs that files that haven't existed on the site for years are producing error entries when web crawers still attempt to access them. Apparently, elsewhere on the web that are still links pointing to the nonexistent files, which has led me to conclude that I need to create redirects for those files on the site that I move or rename, if the files have been on the site for any significant lengthh of time.

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[/network/web/crawlers] permanent link

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