I’ve been noticing a sharp increase in trackback spam from zombied Windows machines. The interesting part of this is that they “broke” the URL by lowercasing it… the 2q2000 should be 2Q2000.
Well, after over 2,000 hits from over 248 unique IPs, I decided to take some retaliatory action. I wanted to try to resolve the IPs down to a really granular level (ISP name, gps coordinates, whatever), but there really aren’t good tools to do this yet (not without lots of manual checks).
Originally I wanted to craft up a quick mod_rewrite rule to bounce the “broken” request to the valid one.. but that would be espensive on the Apache side. Since I value elegance and simplicity, I just created a symlink from the original directory to the “broken” directly. Problem solved!
So now instead of getting thousands of 404 requests per day from these countries, each request goes to a valid page which either earns us some revenue for impressions, or causes Google to index our pages by initiating the hit.
Either way, a win for us.