The Digital Photo Guy

A Pox on Russian, Chinese, Ukranian and Nigerian Spammers

by on May.09, 2010, under Monday Morning Tips, Webcast, Website

I Hate Being a Webmaster

Over the past week, a perfect storm of self-inflicted disasters as well as junk from all the creeps in cyberspace has left me with with anger management issues. If I had a tactical nuclear weapon, I would be inclined to turn parts of certain countries into large, glass parking lots.

A few months ago, I noticed traffic from Russia, China, Ukraine, Nigeria and other unsavory places had increased noticeably. After watching the trend for a few weeks, I went searching for an answer. There were many snake oil remedies as well as a few legitimate sounding fixes. After reviewing about a dozen solutions, I selected what I thought was the most rational sounding. is a service that allows a webmaster to block whole countries based on IP addresses. As soon as I applied their solution, my site traffic dropped by 40% which worried me  since I wasn’t sure it was only blocking Russian traffic.

Today, I removed the block and, within minutes, my site was being overrun by Russian IPs (Internet Protocol, addresses like After a few hours, I accepted that all the traffic I thought was readers interested in digital photography was simply Russian hackers looking to do bad things in, on or through my site.

On the “Shot-Myself-In-the-Foot” front, I nearly lost close to 500GB of photos when I tried to resize my network drive. In the end, I only lost about 600 photos from this month but I also lost all the edits I had made to about 50 photos. That means I have to recreate about 100 hours of work on photos like my 2010 San Diego Fair entries and my photos from the Nicole & Paola series. I also lost all my photos from the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo, Flinn Springs Park flowers, Santa Ysabel Mission and various test shoots.

Fortunately, I had a full backup from a month ago so I was able to recover but restoring nearly 500GB of data from point A to point B is a slow, painful process. I’m grumpy, grouchy and hate the world at times like this. I feel better now, after whining.

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