The anatomy of a live attack from China

I am maintaining a free service that provides IT Security news called ITSecurity News. Some time ago, it was called URLAggregator.

It does nothing else than aggregate various IT news websites, selects IT security news and republishing them in the name of the original authors.

I was asking myself why I get so much traffic on this website without having real visitors.

So, I installed the free edition of the WordPress plugin Wordfence in order to study who visits my website.

The results were… surprizing.

 

  • 90% of the traffic was Spiders, Bots, Crawlers from Google, Baidu,
  • 8% of the traffic were attempts to register an account like the one below:

 

China Shanghai, China left http://urlaggregator.net/ and landed on http://urlaggregator.net/forum/member/register
1 hour 19 mins ago   IP: 112.111.160.79 [block]
Browser: IE version 6.0 running on WinXP
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1;)
  • 2% real visitors checking either the website or the RSS feed

This is how an attack from these IP ranges looks like:

112.111.160.0 – 112.111.160.255
222.77.203.1 – 222.77.203.254
222.77.202.1 – 222.77.202.254

 

china-attack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After adding these rules in Advanced Blocking, the situation looked much better:

Browser Pattern: Block visitors whos browsers match the pattern: crawler
Browser Pattern: Block visitors whos browsers match the pattern: *spider

Browser Pattern: Block visitors whos browsers match the pattern: bot

IP Range: Block visitors with IP addresses in the range: 112.111.160.0 – 112.111.160.255
IP Range: Block visitors with IP addresses in the range: 222.77.203.1 – 222.77.203.254
IP Range: Block visitors with IP addresses in the range: 222.77.202.1 – 222.77.202.254

 

good-traffic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have to say, that slowly I am starting to understand why everybody screams loud that China is doing a cyberwar against… everybody.

 


© Copyright 2013 Sorin Mustaca, All rights Reserved. Written For: Sorin Mustaca on Cybersecurity

Check www.mustaca.com for the IT Consulting services I offer.
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About the Author

Sorin Mustaca

Sorin Mustaca, (ISC)2 CSSLP, CompTIA Security+ and Project+, is working since year 2000 in the IT Security industry and worked between 2003-2014 for Avira as Product Manager for the known products used by over 100 million users world-wide. Today he is an independent IT Security Consultant focusing on Cybersecurity, secure software development and security for IoT and Automotive. He is also running his personal blog Sorin Mustaca on Cybersecurity and is the author of the free eBook Improve your security .

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