A Temporary Change (Updated Aug 13, 10:40 am)

Aug 13, 10:40 am:

A major denial of service attack on many sites in Canada has been reported.  Although this report involves email attacks, it is likely that the type of activity seen on my site (attacks on WordPress) is related to this.

I have been using a blocking list that includes email spammers.  Unfortunately, if this email originates in compromised machines sitting on an ISP (say, Sympatico), some of that ISP’s addresses will be marked as compromised.  However, this is a shared pool of addresses, and when other users connect they may be assigned a blacklisted address.  Sorry about that, but the choice I have is to accidently block some users or have the entire site go off the air.  I am still seeing a fair amount of legitimate activity on the site, and that indicates a lot of people are getting through.

The original post follows below. 

Due to a recently discovered Word Press problem, I have made two changes to this site:

1.  The theme has been changed back to the “out of the box” Word Press setup.  It works the same way, it just doesn’t quite look the same.

2.  A change has been made to trap a denial of service attack before it reaches the site.  The filter that does this uses a realtime black list (RBL) that tracks known originators of spam.  In some cases, this spam may come from infected machines that use the same Internet service provider (ISP) as you do, and some of that ISP’s network addresses may be flagged.

Several people have reported problems connecting, but that they came in via a new session once they had disconnected and reconnected to their ISP and obtained a new network address.  Also, the RBLs are updated from time to time and today’s “bad” address may drop off of the list tomorrow.

Note that these addresses are not maintained by me.  They are an Internet service used my many sites worldwide to control unwanted activity by spammers and other types of site attacks.  If someone is consistently having a problem, they should report to me the IP address shown in the error message, and I can add it to my own whitelist.  Note that this will not happen quickly given that I and my friend who hosts this site have other things to do including fending off a recent denial of service attack that crashed the site several times late last week.

We will return to our standard look and feel once this problem is sorted out.