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Living like an Irvanian in a universe filled with Dweasels

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From Russia with mild disinterest

February 3, 2011

Once in a great while, usually just after I've made some major changes to Irvania.com, I look through the logs to get an idea of what sort of traffic is coming and going across the web site. Since there's not a lot of interactive content on the site, I don't have a clear notion of the traffic Irvania.com generates unless I pour through the logs.

As it turns out, there is quite a lot of traffic across Irvania.com, even after you filter out all the search engine robots, spiders, and web crawlers. The photo galleries of wargaming miniatures are quite popular, as are The Book of Tanks (gotta get back to work on that one of these days!) and Terry Manton's naval artwork, and much to my surprise, the photos of my dogs.

The funniest thing I see in the logs, from my perspective anyway, is all the activity by spammers, spam-bots, and would-be hackers. I usually refer to them collectively as "the Russian hackers" but they're really from Russia, Ukraine, China, the Slovak Republic, Latvia, and a few other places. I don't really know how many of them there are, but I'm guessing there are about two dozen of them.

The logs indicate that a fairly high percentage of non-robot traffic across this entire web site consists of people trying to hack into the Discussion Forum (in both its present location and the spot it was in before I moved it a couple of years ago) and the Blog section. Most of the attempted attacks are aimed at the old Wordpress-driven Blog, which I deleted in early January and so no longer exists.

A few of the attempted attacks are now aimed at the new Blog's location, although the would-be attackers seem to be trying to hack into the new Blog as if it were using the same Wordpress software as the old Blog. Little do they know, there's nothing to hack into. There is no SQL database, no login ID's, no user files, no comment section for them to hack.

Why do they do it? As others have pointed out, partly it's so they can sneakily post the addresses of web sites, buried in forum messages or blog comments, in order to boost those web sites' ratings on search engines. But why do they keep trying so hard, year after year, with no success? Surely that can't all be automated spam-bot activity.

The more important question is this: does this mean that the real purpose of Irvania.com is to give the Russian hackers something to do?

This article was filed under:
February 2011 articles
Irvania.com webmaster: Dave Ferris
The content on this page was written: February 3, 2011
Last updated: June 11, 2016