cmarks03 wrote:Not sure how the server that runs these forums is configured, but I'm sure that there is a way to monitor the access logs for crawlers (either a crawler like Google uses or `wget` in recursive mode). Knowing the open source community, there's probably a ton of configuration options for that kind of software (people mentioned multiple tabs, which I'm guilty of doing a bit of, so it would need look for a constant stream of requests). But once you have the info, you can either ban a forum user or ban an IP address (which I personally recommend against unless the ban is temporary).
It would all be on the server side though, and might require more control than our webmaster(s) have.
We have full access and the environment is apache, and for the most part I know what I'm doing but I focus more on Cisco lately than unix/lamp. We've identified the culprits (and a very aggressive spider) and have rectified the problem. If you're using the forums to read them live (even opening a bunch of tabs) I really don't see that comparing to the volume of rapid data an aggressive depth wget would generate.
The problem for us isn't bandwidth at all. The problem is resource related. Since everything is database driven (every post) a very large and rapid demand for post after post after post causes the system to become taxed -- and quite honestly we didn't design it to support that kind of behavior because that isn't our target audience and it would be cost prohibitive.
If the issue keeps up, we'll install checks and balances that react if they see a specific session requesting too many sites in a very rapid succession instead of the more broad shutting down the forums, but recent changes seem to have nipped this issue for now.
I should clarify, if someone is reading the forums in a manner that is hurting us, we won't kick you out and shut off your account and throw away the key. We'll try to talk to you and determine what you're doing.
We will however take more aggressive action with people who intentionally and/or maliciously harm the forums for their own personal satisfaction and refuse to work with us if their access is detrimental to the system and/or it's resources.
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