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How to prevent malicious bots from visiting my website?

How to prevent malicious bots from visiting my website?

During a targeted attack towards your website, it is common that malicious bots will access your web site attempting to gain access via brute force for example. This, in turn, will commonly result in multiple script executions and will greatly increase the resource usage of the hosting account.

While SiteGround implements a large set of additional security rules on the web server level, it is always good to have additional means of protection in order to avoid issues caused by such unauthorized access.

Two approaches are recommended in this case, that proved to be most helpful:

  • Add an additional plugin for your application that prevents such attacks. For example, a nice option for WordPress is the Wordfence security plugin and the alternative for Joomla users is developed by us jHackGuard plugin.
  • Use a set of .htaccess rules that will prevent malicious requests towards your website. A good one that you can use out of the box for pretty much any general case is the 7G Firewall. You can find more information on its developer website. The exact rules you can add to your .htaccess are also included below:
# 7G FIREWALL v1.2 20190727
# @ https://perishablepress.com/7g-firewall/

# 7G:[CORE]
ServerSignature Off
Options -Indexes
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /

# 7G:[QUERY STRING]
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
	
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !(7g_log.php) [NC]
	
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ([a-z0-9]{2000,}) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (/|%2f)(:|%3a)(/|%2f) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (/|%2f)(\*|%2a)(\*|%2a)(/|%2f) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (~|`|<|>|\^|\|\\|0x00|%00|%0d%0a) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (cmd|command)(=|%3d)(chdir|mkdir)(.*)(x20) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (fck|ckfinder|fullclick|ckfinder|fckeditor) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (/|%2f)((wp-)?config)((\.|%2e)inc)?((\.|%2e)php) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (thumbs?(_editor|open)?|tim(thumbs?)?)((\.|%2e)php) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (absolute_|base|root_)(dir|path)(=|%3d)(ftp|https?) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (localhost|loopback|127(\.|%2e)0(\.|%2e)0(\.|%2e)1) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (\.|20)(get|the)(_|%5f)(permalink|posts_page_url)(\(|%28) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (s)?(ftp|http|inurl|php)(s)?(:(/|%2f|%u2215)(/|%2f|%u2215)) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (globals|mosconfig([a-z_]{1,22})|request)(=|\[|%[a-z0-9]{0,2}) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ((boot|win)((\.|%2e)ini)|etc(/|%2f)passwd|self(/|%2f)environ) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (((/|%2f){3,3})|((\.|%2e){3,3})|((\.|%2e){2,2})(/|%2f|%u2215)) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (benchmark|char|exec|fopen|function|html)(.*)(\(|%28)(.*)(\)|%29) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (php)([0-9a-f]{8}-[0-9a-f]{4}-[0-9a-f]{4}-[0-9a-f]{4}-[0-9a-f]{12}) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (e|%65|%45)(v|%76|%56)(a|%61|%31)(l|%6c|%4c)(.*)(\(|%28)(.*)(\)|%29) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (/|%2f)(=|%3d|$&|_mm|cgi(\.|-)|inurl(:|%3a)(/|%2f)|(mod|path)(=|%3d)(\.|%2e)) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (<|%3c)(.*)(e|%65|%45)(m|%6d|%4d)(b|%62|%42)(e|%65|%45)(d|%64|%44)(.*)(>|%3e) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (<|%3c)(.*)(i|%69|%49)(f|%66|%46)(r|%72|%52)(a|%61|%41)(m|%6d|%4d)(e|%65|%45)(.*)(>|%3e) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (<|%3c)(.*)(o|%4f|%6f)(b|%62|%42)(j|%4a|%6a)(e|%65|%45)(c|%63|%43)(t|%74|%54)(.*)(>|%3e) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (<|%3c)(.*)(s|%73|%53)(c|%63|%43)(r|%72|%52)(i|%69|%49)(p|%70|%50)(t|%74|%54)(.*)(>|%3e) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (\+|%2b|%20)(d|%64|%44)(e|%65|%45)(l|%6c|%4c)(e|%65|%45)(t|%74|%54)(e|%65|%45)(\+|%2b|%20) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (\+|%2b|%20)(i|%69|%49)(n|%6e|%4e)(s|%73|%53)(e|%65|%45)(r|%72|%52)(t|%74|%54)(\+|%2b|%20) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (\+|%2b|%20)(s|%73|%53)(e|%65|%45)(l|%6c|%4c)(e|%65|%45)(c|%63|%43)(t|%74|%54)(\+|%2b|%20) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (\+|%2b|%20)(u|%75|%55)(p|%70|%50)(d|%64|%44)(a|%61|%41)(t|%74|%54)(e|%65|%45)(\+|%2b|%20) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (\\x00|(\"|%22|\'|%27)?0(\"|%22|\'|%27)?(=|%3d)(\"|%22|\'|%27)?0|cast(\(|%28)0x|or%201(=|%3d)1) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (g|%67|%47)(l|%6c|%4c)(o|%6f|%4f)(b|%62|%42)(a|%61|%41)(l|%6c|%4c)(s|%73|%53)(=|[|%[0-9A-Z]{0,2}) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (_|%5f)(r|%72|%52)(e|%65|%45)(q|%71|%51)(u|%75|%55)(e|%65|%45)(s|%73|%53)(t|%74|%54)(=|[|%[0-9A-Z]{0,2}) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (j|%6a|%4a)(a|%61|%41)(v|%76|%56)(a|%61|%31)(s|%73|%53)(c|%63|%43)(r|%72|%52)(i|%69|%49)(p|%70|%50)(t|%74|%54)(:|%3a)(.*)(;|%3b|\)|%29) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (b|%62|%42)(a|%61|%41)(s|%73|%53)(e|%65|%45)(6|%36)(4|%34)(_|%5f)(e|%65|%45|d|%64|%44)(e|%65|%45|n|%6e|%4e)(c|%63|%43)(o|%6f|%4f)(d|%64|%44)(e|%65|%45)(.*)(\()(.*)(\)) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (allow_url_(fopen|include)|auto_prepend_file|blexbot|browsersploit|(c99|php)shell|curltest|disable_functions?|document_root|elastix|encodeuricom|exec|exploit|fclose|fgets|fputs|fsbuff|fsockopen|gethostbyname|grablogin|hmei7|input_file|load_file|null|open_basedir|outfile|passthru|popen|proc_open|quickbrute|remoteview|root_path|safe_mode|shell_exec|site((.){0,2})copier|sux0r|trojan|wget|xertive) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (;|<|>|\'|\"|\)|%0a|%0d|%22|%27|%3c|%3e|%00)(.*)(/\*|alter|base64|benchmark|cast|char|concat|convert|create|encode|declare|delete|drop|insert|md5|order|request|script|select|set|union|update) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ((\+|%2b)(concat|delete|get|select|union)(\+|%2b)) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (union)(.*)(select)(.*)(\(|%28) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (concat)(.*)(\(|%28) [NC]
	
	RewriteRule .* - [F,L]
	
	# RewriteRule .* /7g_log.php?log [L,NE,E=7G_QUERY_STRING:%1___%2___%3]
	
</IfModule>

# 7G:[REQUEST URI]
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
	
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !(7g_log.php) [NC]
	
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ([a-z0-9]{2000,}) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (=?\\(\'|%27)/?)(\.) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (/)(\*|\"|\'|\.|,|&|&amp;?)/?$ [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (\.)(php)(\()?([0-9]+)(\))?(/)?$ [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (/)(vbulletin|boards|vbforum)(/)? [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (\^|~|`|<|>|,|%|\\|\{|\}|\[|\]|\|) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (\.(s?ftp-?)config|(s?ftp-?)config\.) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (\{0\}|\"?0\"?=\"?0|\(/\(|\.\.\.|\+\+\+|\\\") [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (thumbs?(_editor|open)?|tim(thumbs?)?)(\.php) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (/)(fck|ckfinder|fullclick|ckfinder|fckeditor) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (\.|20)(get|the)(_)(permalink|posts_page_url)(\() [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (///|\?\?|/&&|/\*(.*)\*/|/:/|\\\\|0x00|%00|%0d%0a) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (/%7e)(root|ftp|bin|nobody|named|guest|logs|sshd)(/) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (/)(etc|var)(/)(hidden|secret|shadow|ninja|passwd|tmp)(/)?$ [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (s)?(ftp|http|inurl|php)(s)?(:(/|%2f|%u2215)(/|%2f|%u2215)) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (/)(=|\$&?|&?(pws|rk)=0|_mm|_vti_|cgi(\.|-)?|(=|/|;|,)nt\.) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (\.)(conf(ig)?|ds_store|htaccess|htpasswd|init?|mysql-select-db)(/)?$ [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (/)(bin)(/)(cc|chmod|chsh|cpp|echo|id|kill|mail|nasm|perl|ping|ps|python|tclsh)(/)?$ [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (/)(::[0-9999]|%3a%3a[0-9999]|127\.0\.0\.1|localhost|loopback|makefile|pingserver|wwwroot)(/)? [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (\(null\)|\{\$itemURL\}|cAsT\(0x|echo(.*)kae|etc/passwd|eval\(|self/environ|\+union\+all\+select) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (/)(awstats|(c99|php|web)shell|document_root|error_log|listinfo|muieblack|remoteview|site((.){0,2})copier|sqlpatch|sux0r) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (/)((php|web)?shell|conf(ig)?|crossdomain|fileditor|locus7|nstview|php(get|remoteview|writer)|r57|remview|sshphp|storm7|webadmin)(.*)(\.|\() [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (/)(author-panel|bitrix|class|database|(db|mysql)-?admin|filemanager|htdocs|httpdocs|https?|mailman|mailto|msoffice|mysql|_?php-?my-?admin(.*)|sql|system|tmp|undefined|usage|var|vhosts|webmaster|www)(/) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (base64_(en|de)code|benchmark|child_terminate|e?chr|eval|exec|function|fwrite|(f|p)open|html|leak|passthru|p?fsockopen|phpinfo|posix_(kill|mkfifo|setpgid|setsid|setuid)|proc_(close|get_status|nice|open|terminate)|(shell_)?exec|system)(.*)(\()(.*)(\)) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (\.)(7z|ab4|afm|aspx?|bash|ba?k?|bz2|cfg|cfml?|cgi|conf(ig)?|ctl|dat|db|dll|eml|et2|exe|fec|fla|hg|inc|ini|inv|jsp|log|lqd|mbf|mdb|mmw|mny|old|one|out|passwd|pdb|pl|psd|pst|ptdb|pwd|py|qbb|qdf|rar|rdf|sdb|sql|sh|soa|swf|swl|swp|stx|tar|tax|tgz|tls|tmd|wow|zlib)$ [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (/)(^$|00.temp00|0day|3xp|70bex?|admin_events|bkht|(php|web)?shell|configbak|curltest|db|dompdf|filenetworks|hmei7|index\.php/index\.php/index|jahat|kcrew|keywordspy|mobiquo|mysql|nessus|php-?info|racrew|sql|ucp|webconfig|(wp-)?conf(ig)?(uration)?|xertive)(\.php) [NC]
	
	RewriteRule .* - [F,L]
	
	# RewriteRule .* /7g_log.php?log [L,NE,E=7G_REQUEST_URI:%1___%2___%3]
	
</IfModule>

# 7G:[USER AGENT]
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
	
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !(7g_log.php) [NC]
	
	RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ([a-z0-9]{2000,}) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} (&lt;|%0a|%0d|%27|%3c|%3e|%00|0x00) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ((c99|php|web)shell|remoteview|site((.){0,2})copier) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} (base64_decode|bin/bash|disconnect|eval|lwp-download|unserialize|\\\x22) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} (360Spider|acapbot|acoonbot|ahrefs|alexibot|asterias|attackbot|backdorbot|becomebot|binlar|blackwidow|blekkobot|blexbot|blowfish|bullseye|bunnys|butterfly|careerbot|casper|checkpriv|cheesebot|cherrypick|chinaclaw|choppy|clshttp|cmsworld|copernic|copyrightcheck|cosmos|crescent|cy_cho|datacha|demon|diavol|discobot|dittospyder|dotbot|dotnetdotcom|dumbot|emailcollector|emailsiphon|emailwolf|exabot|extract|eyenetie|feedfinder|flaming|flashget|flicky|foobot|g00g1e|getright|gigabot|go-ahead-got|gozilla|grabnet|grafula|harvest|heritrix|httrack|icarus6j|jetbot|jetcar|jikespider|kmccrew|leechftp|libweb|linkextractor|linkscan|linkwalker|loader|miner|majestic|mechanize|mj12bot|morfeus|moveoverbot|netmechanic|netspider|nicerspro|nikto|ninja|nutch|octopus|pagegrabber|planetwork|postrank|proximic|purebot|pycurl|python|queryn|queryseeker|radian6|radiation|realdownload|rogerbot|scooter|seekerspider|semalt|seznambot|siclab|sindice|sistrix|sitebot|siteexplorer|sitesnagger|skygrid|smartdownload|snoopy|sosospider|spankbot|spbot|sqlmap|stackrambler|stripper|sucker|surftbot|sux0r|suzukacz|suzuran|takeout|teleport|telesoft|true_robots|turingos|turnit|vampire|vikspider|voideye|webleacher|webreaper|webstripper|webvac|webviewer|webwhacker|winhttp|wwwoffle|woxbot|xaldon|xxxyy|yamanalab|yioopbot|youda|zeus|zmeu|zune|zyborg) [NC]
	
	RewriteRule .* - [F,L]
	
	# RewriteRule .* /7g_log.php?log [L,NE,E=7G_USER_AGENT:%1]
	
</IfModule>

# 7G:[REMOTE HOST]
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
	
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !(7g_log.php) [NC]
	
	RewriteCond %{REMOTE_HOST} (163data|amazonaws|colocrossing|crimea|g00g1e|justhost|kanagawa|loopia|masterhost|onlinehome|poneytel|sprintdatacenter|reverse.softlayer|safenet|ttnet|woodpecker|wowrack) [NC]
	
	RewriteRule .* - [F,L]
	
	# RewriteRule .* /7g_log.php?log [L,NE,E=7G_REMOTE_HOST:%1]
	
</IfModule>

# 7G:[HTTP REFERRER]
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
	
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !(7g_log.php) [NC]
	
	RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} (semalt.com|todaperfeita) [NC,OR]
	RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} (ambien|blue\spill|cialis|cocaine|ejaculat|erectile|erections|hoodia|huronriveracres|impotence|levitra|libido|lipitor|phentermin|pro[sz]ac|sandyauer|tramadol|troyhamby|ultram|unicauca|valium|viagra|vicodin|xanax|ypxaieo) [NC]

	RewriteRule .* - [F,L]
	
	# RewriteRule .* /7g_log.php?log [L,NE,E=7G_HTTP_REFERRER:%1]
	
</IfModule>

# 7G:[REQUEST METHOD]
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
	
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !(7g_log.php) [NC]
	
	RewriteCond %{REQUEST_METHOD} ^(connect|debug|delete|move|put|trace|track) [NC]
	
	RewriteRule .* - [F,L]
	
	# RewriteRule .* /7g_log.php?log [L,NE,E=7G_REQUEST_METHOD:%1]
	
</IfModule>

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