May 23, 2009

Web crawlers

David's message yesterday afternoon is correct. But to add a bit more data to the mix, which is probably more than most of you care about, here's some interesting tidbits. There are at present two webbots "attacking" NHU-PAC. One is msnbot, the other is crawler2 which comes from google, I believe. These two programs are trying to index everything in NHU-PAC. While this may be really good for people who use their search engines it is also a type of "denial-of-service-attack" While these two little buggers are doing their thing for their customers, we the innocent library users of New Hampshire cannot use our own system! In order to stop these attacks the State's firewall has to be modified to filter out the IP addresses for these two companies. Unfortunately, DoIT (Department of Information Technology) must make these changes and I believe this is an infrastructure change request (ICR) This ICR procedure is in place to insure that no State agency is accidentally denied legitimate access to their computer resources.

The down side is that it usually takes a week before EVERY section supervisor signs off on the proposal. I am sorry. The result is that by the time the permission to effect the needed firewall changes is in place for the person who will actually take 2 minutes the put the new filters into action, the bots will have finished their indexing of our database.

Maybe some good will come out of this problem, I hope!


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