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  • Good idea!

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Thread: The status of China and Russia on this site

  1. #1
    It's all about the Light!
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    The status of China and Russia on this site

    We have blocked all of China and Russia at the main firewall in the last couple of weeks.

    What does this mean?
    • No one with an IP address in China or Russia can access our server (~25% of the planet)
    • If you are on holidays in China or Russia then no site access
    • We have eliminated 80% of hack attempts even starting
    • We have eliminated 60% of spammer registration attempts even starting


    Good call / Bad call ?
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
    Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff



  2. #2
    Member JohnB5319's Avatar
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    I'm sure you guys had a very good reason for doing it. I'll leave it to the experts!!
    John
    www.pbase.com/jb53 www.flickr.com/photos/johnb53

    CC always welcome (encouraged!)!!


  3. #3
    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Is there an advantage to have the Russians and Chinese on here?

  4. #4
    It's all about the Light!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance B View Post
    Is there an advantage to have the Russians and Chinese on here?
    For a genuine 'tog -- yes, and we do have overseas members -- but for the performance hit, hack attempts and spammers no.

    We can turn this on/off as we feel, but I thought it might be useful to get member feedback.

  5. #5
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Hmm! I dunno! I can appreciate the security it gives the site, and that's not to be discounted. But on another (Σ) forum I'm on
    there are a few Russian and Mainland Chinese contributors and they are very good members. (Actually, aren't there a 2ple of Chinese members here?)

    I suppose it is hard to distinguish the ferals from the fair-dinkumers, but then they're everywhere/when/why.
    Am(in 2 minds about it all).
    CC, Image editing OK.

  6. #6
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Perhaps we should block Nigeria too, though their spammers have been rather quiet of late.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
    My Photography

  7. #7
    Ausphotography Regular
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    It is AUSphotography, so I am less concerned about foreign access. If it keeps the site cleaner, and makes it easier for the mods, then I think on balance it is a good thing.

    Slightly OT, it seems to me that if the NSA used its giant privacy invading data slurp to track down and close down scamming and other criminal operations, they'd get a lot more positive press. Surely they must have a treasure trove of data relating to the scammers.
    Regards, Rob

    D600, AF-S 35mm f1.8G DX, AF-S 50mm f1.8G, AF-S 24-85mm f3.5-4.5G ED VR, AF-S 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G VR, Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM
    Photos: geeoverbar.smugmug.com Software: CS6, Lightroom 4

  8. #8
    It's all about the Light!
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmer_rob View Post
    It is AUSphotography, so I am less concerned about foreign access. If it keeps the site cleaner, and makes it easier for the mods, then I think on balance it is a good thing.
    Slightly OT, it seems to me that if the NSA used its giant privacy invading data slurp to track down and close down scamming and other criminal operations, they'd get a lot more positive press. Surely they must have a treasure trove of data relating to the scammers.
    It does not significantly affect the mods (vs admin) as they get to deal with spammers that actually join, which requires humans not bots due to our protection mechanisms.

    What the firewall block does is help Rick and myself in regards to
    a) system load and net traffic
    b) Hack attempts at the FTP/ssh/http and other open ports

    I agree about the NSA.

  9. #9
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    Block sounds good to me. I feel benefits outweigh the cons for the vast majority of users.
    Lauri

  10. #10
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmer_rob View Post
    Slightly OT, it seems to me that if the NSA used its giant privacy invading data slurp to track down and close down scamming and other criminal operations, they'd get a lot more positive press. Surely they must have a treasure trove of data relating to the scammers.
    They are probably in cahoots (sp?) with the scammers and spammers. Nothing like data mining while pretending to be a scammer. Recently there was a big attack on vbulletin websites by someone who found an exploit and worked out how to register themselves as an administator. Most sites report that nothing appears to have been installed or done by this hacker, but he/she gave themselves access to a LOT of data. Note that AP was protected and the exploit they used was not available to them on AP.

    But there is nothing to say this hacker was acting alone, whereas they could have been part of any of the 'secret' government organisations around the world. Hackers are generally assumed to be teenage boys who do it for fun, rather than actually being government employees doing it in the name of 'security'.

    Just google 'Th3H4ck' if you want to see the extent of the hacking. There are so many sites still with this hacker as a member and administrator.

  11. #11
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    Unless it stops existing members from accessing the site I think it's a good idea. I do the same thing in my iptables rule sets.

    It can be time consuming trying to keep a service secure and this provides a big time saving for what looks like a small impact.

    Steve
    Steve


  12. #12
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    How many people from China and Russia have become active members here? Not many (yet!).
    If blocking makes running AP easier, so be it (until AP becomes so popular world wide that hundreds of Chinese and Russian photogs will want to become active members ).

  13. #13
    Member Gribbles's Avatar
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    I'm sure travelling AP members would understand if they have to wait a few weeks to post new photos, esp. if it's for the benefit of the site.

    Determined existing members could probably still access site via a Proxy / VPN as well.
    Last edited by Gribbles; 09-09-2013 at 7:49pm.

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