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Micah can actually ban IP addresses from within phpBB and then anyone trying to visit from that IP address won't actually be able to see the forum at all. The problem is, and you probably know this but for anyone who doesn't but may be reading...winterlens wrote:Can't we ban a block of IP addresses? And doesn't Micah sort of run the server? If he has access to the space, we can just set up a firewall rule that would drop traffic from the offender's subnet block. That could mean dropping legit visitors, too, but...
An IP address is the number that your computer uses to communicate across the Internet. You send out a message, for example, that says I am number 123.456.789.111 (or whatever) and I would like to see the information being served by a computer called www.thepetrazone.net (actually that would be converted to an IP address too, 126.96.36.199). The ThePetraZone.net sends the information requested back to 123.456.789.111 (or whatever). We can block 123.456.789.111, and then the person using that IP address will not be able to request information from ThePetraZone.net ...seems easy, but the problem is that if you use dialup or AOL, you actually probably have a different IP address every time you log in! ISP's share IP addresses between dialup users so they can have more users than they have IP's to use, so it's cheaper for them and I've never heard of any problems of ISPs running out.
SO: if we block 123.456.789.111 and that person is on dialup, the next time they connect they may be on 123.456.789.112, and they can get through. And their next-door neighbor, Sue Dempster, dials up and gets 123.456.789.111 and can't get through! So blocking IP addresses is a tricky proposition, although people on cable modems, company networks, DSL, stuff like that which is always on the Internet, an IP block can stop them until they go to their neighbor's house to use his computer.
Blocking a range of addresses can maybe keep a whole ISP off the site, but that locks out a LOT of people that might be legitimate. It's hard to do, and wise Webmasters use IP blocking as a last resort, or a temporary measure until the attacker gives up trying.
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