E-Scribe : a programmer’s blog

About Me

PBX I'm Paul Bissex. I build web applications using open source software, especially Django. Started my career doing graphic design for newspapers and magazines in the '90s. Then wrote tech commentary and reviews for Wired, Salon, Chicago Tribune, and others you never heard of. Then I built operations software at a photography school. Then I helped big media serve 40 million pages a day. Then I worked on a translation services API doing millions of dollars of business. Now I'm building the core platform of a global startup accelerator. Feel free to email me.


I co-wrote "Python Web Development with Django". It was the first book to cover the long-awaited Django 1.0. Published by Addison-Wesley and still in print!


Built using Django, served with gunicorn and nginx. The database is SQLite. Hosted on a FreeBSD VPS at Johncompanies.com. Comment-spam protection by Akismet.


Pile o'Tags

Stuff I Use

Bitbucket, Debian Linux, Django, Emacs, FreeBSD, Git, jQuery, LaunchBar, macOS, Markdown, Mercurial, Python, S3, SQLite, Sublime Text, xmonad

Spam Report

At least 237143 pieces of comment spam killed since 2008, mostly via Akismet.

My first DOS

If you tried to reach this blog or anything else on this server this afternoon, you may not have had much luck.

A computer in Korea was hammering my server so hard (aka Denial of Service attack) that my hosting provider temporarily disabled Apache so that my instance didn't bog down the whole VPS. I was busy at work when this happened and am not sure exactly how long it was out, but this was one of the most severe outages I've had in the last three and a half years.

I've blocked the offending IP, and made some other tuning adjustments. Up until now I've had the luxury of relatively low and predictable traffic, but this incident has gotten me a bit more interested in learning how to handle high loads with Apache/mod_python without eating all memory in sight.

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

0 comments pending approval
Comment from Cory Wright , later that day

You might also consider using mod_evasive, an apache module for defending against DoS attacks: http://www.zdziarski.com/projects/mod_evasive/

Comment from Paul , later that day

Thanks, Cory -- a couple other people have suggested that as well, so I'm looking into it.

Comment from justice , 5 weeks later

So you have identified the attacking IPs. Is it all? No defense against criminals who try to ruin your business ? The attack originators should be penalized by autohorities, or? I was hardly able to find any information on this so any experience woudl be appreciated.

Comment from Paul , 5 weeks later

I did send a report to the abuse address associated with the netblock of the attacking IP, but didn't get much of a response.

Comments are closed for this post. But I welcome questions/comments via email or Twitter.