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Hotlinking/bandwidth theft

#1
I saw out bandwidth usage shot up by nearly 400% last month. Tried to figure out why and was setting up advanced stats to see. While I was it, I changed the server configuration to disable hotlinking to our theme images. (I have to do this on a per directory basis because there are certain images that we are allowing this for.) 

Outgoing bandwidth (transfer/hour) instantly dropped to about 1/3 of what it was. There might be other images being hot linked, but someone is stealing our images somewhere (presumably they didn’t upload them to their own site and instead linked to ours). And it’s not even like we have anything special. Most of it is the MyBB default icon set. Tongue

It’s a common problem on the internet. It’s a rabbit chase to try to stop it completely. But for now, this game of whack a mole was caught. For now. Finna
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#2
oh geebus.

see this is why if I borrow an image from somewhere I download it and throw it up on an image host so I don't take bandwidth from people lol.

and usually I do it with permission too.
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
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#3
Wow, sorry to hear you had to go through that Sad .

I kind of have the opposite problem: my hotlink protection is excessively strong, to the point where it even blocks images on my own test board Tongue .
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#ForzaJules 1989-2015
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#4
(February 3rd, 2021 at 7:16 PM)Kyng Wrote: Wow, sorry to hear you had to go through that Sad .

I kind of have the opposite problem: my hotlink protection is excessively strong, to the point where it even blocks images on my own test board Tongue .

Ahhh wow. Even on the same domain? 

Yea it's a little tricky. I have to blacklist rather than whitelist for reasons like this. I've got several domains running on one server, and sometimes I need to share images between them. 

Who is your host?
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#5
(February 3rd, 2021 at 7:26 PM)Darth-Apple Wrote:
(February 3rd, 2021 at 7:16 PM)Kyng Wrote: Wow, sorry to hear you had to go through that Sad .

I kind of have the opposite problem: my hotlink protection is excessively strong, to the point where it even blocks images on my own test board Tongue .

Ahhh wow. Even on the same domain? 

Yea it's a little tricky. I have to blacklist rather than whitelist for reasons like this. I've got several domains running on one server, and sometimes I need to share images between them. 

Who is your host?

I'm using KnownHost (on Megan's hosting, but I think she disabled hotlink protection altogether on her end a while back). My hotlink protection is done through CloudFlare.
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#ForzaJules 1989-2015
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#6
Sneaky little buggers.

I admit, I used to be guilty of this... back when I was like 14. Tongue

It's kinda just lazy, and also really unreliable. Kinda get their just due if their board/website is now missing images because they just hotlinked them...
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#7
Yea, it’s one of those things we’ve all done at least once, whether on accident or otherwise. I don’t really care if it’s done here and there. I mean, they don’t take that much bandwidth if they are on a small little site and if it’s a couple images, it’s a few GB and that’s it. It’s easy to do on accident.

But this person was using at least 3x as much bandwidth as Saturn Moon and MS combined. Whoever it was, it was definitely not a small website. Finna
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#8
did you try doing a reverse lookup to see who was hotlinking?
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
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#9
I could, but we get many thousands of page hits a day on this server, so I've got AWstats and some other tools being worked on to look through the logs in more detail. The goal is to get the source of it, but for the time being, disabling theme hotlinking seemed to have helped trememdously.

The logs fill up very fast on this server. It takes some time to really look through them.
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#10
LOL who would want these images?
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#11
(February 4th, 2021 at 5:27 AM)Thomas Wrote: LOL who would want these images?

Good ole MyBB defaults. World premiere. Big Grin
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