Automatically block IP addresses of bots and hackers by monitoring their 404 events
The Smart 404 Block is an extension for the All In One WP Security and Firewall plugin and gives you the ability to automatically and permanently block IP addresses based on how many 404 errors they produce.
Not all HTTP 404 events are created equal!
Firstly, what is a HTTP 404 event?
The Wikipedia definition is:
The 404 or Not Found error message is an HTTP standard response code indicating that the client was able to communicate with a given server, but the server could not find what was requested.
If you were to look at all of the HTTP 404 events which occur on your website during the space of a typical day, week, month or year you may be shocked by what you find. Firstly you will be surprised by just how many 404 errors occur on your site in the space of a few hours especially if you have a busy site.
But you will be even more alarmed when you see the non-existent URLs people are trying to reach on your site. Along with the legitimate 404 errors which occur when someone innocently mistypes the URL of one of your pages, you may see a sobering amount of 404 events which are malicious in their origin and are basically attempts by hackers to find weaknesses in your site.
Some “malicious” examples we see daily on typical sites are things like:
- attempts by unauthorized visitors to reach your login page
- URLs with the following: /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php?action=revslider_show_image&img=../wp-config.php
- URLs with the following: /wp-admin/js/mssqli.php
- …..and there are literally thousands more examples of 404s which are indeed suspicious!
These types of suspicious 404 events are increasing exponentially as the online world becomes more popular and hackers are creating more and more bots which are are looking for weaknesses in your site and which are producing these 404 errors.
What does this addon do?
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to monitor HTTP 404 events and block IP addresses based on how many 404s they produce?
Well this is exactly what the Smart-404 addon allows you to do and more!
More often than not, visitors with sinister intentions will produce a lot of 404s on your site and finally with this plugin you now have the opportunity to block them permanently.
This plugin will monitor the HTTP 404 events on your site and will automatically and permanently block IP addresses based on the amount of 404s within a certain period of time.
The plugin will also identify the country of origin of the IP address for each 404 produced.
Handy statistics and charts to help you identify which countries and IPs are producing the most 404s
The Smart-404 addon also provides you with invaluable information and statistics via some handy charts which will keep you informed of how many 404s and which IP address or country is producing them.
Easy to set up and use
Setting up and using the Smart-404 addon is simple.
One requirement is that you will need to have at least version 4.04 of the All In One WP Security and Firewall plugin installed and active before you can use this addon.
After you have installed and activated the addon, you will see a new menu item called “Smart 404” in the AIOWPS menu as shown below:
When you click on the menu you will be directed to the plugin general settings and configuration.
Simply click the checkbox to enable the 404 blocking feature and enter values for the max 404 events and retry period and click the save button. After doing this, the Smart 404 addon will do its magic and will start monitoring the 404 events on your site and will block any IP addresses which violate the settings you configured above.
White-list IP addresses or address ranges from being blocked by 404
Sometimes there will be occasions where you want to make certain IP addresses immune to blocking by this plugin. This is a cool feature which will allow you to specify IP addresses which you don’t want to be blocked even if they produce more 404 events than what your settings allow.
This is useful for cases where you might have a malware scanning service whereby the scanning bots will produce a lot of 404s as part of their daily scans and since such a thing is normal, you want to prevent these IP addresses from being blocked.
Instantly block IP addresses based on 404 events where the URL matches certain strings
You can add even further granularity to how you deal with malicious 404 events by monitoring each 404 URL for certain strings. In a many cases there will be 404 events produced because someone is trying to look for certain pages or files they have no business looking for other than for malicious purposes. Hence with this feature you can identify any 404 URL which contains certain strings and block that IP address instantly. For example, based on the configuration in the figure above, if an IP address produces a 404 event when it tries to locate the following URL (yoursite.com/wp-admin/js/mssqli.php) it will instantly be blocked permanently.
Summary of blocked IP address count for today and all-time in dashboard
This addon adds a handy summary box inside the main All In One WP Security & Firewall main dashboard, so you can see exactly how many IP addresses were blocked today and also how many 404 events occurred today plus the total count of the permanently blocked IPs.
There is also a table you can view showing the total list of permanently blocked IP addresses.
You can also unblock any IP addresses from the table above.
Get the Smart 404 Block Addon
Click on the following button to see the addon pricing and get it.