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Protecting Web Site Content

Posted on 2007-12-06
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Any suggestions on how to protect a web site from scrapers and other site capturing tools. I have reviewed a few products and methods, but wanted to get other thoughts.
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Question by:tarrigo
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killbrad earned 250 total points
ID: 20421311
Nothing is really gonna work.  At best you will find a program that can rewrite your html into something that looks absolutely terrible, but the site will still look fine to 'scrapers'.  
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by:mcse2007
ID: 20426495
If you referring to encrypting the traffic when the data travels from the public network to the web server, SSL certificate will do this for you. Also to protect your server from scrapers block all ports in the firewall and only port 80 for http and port 443 for ssl that you need to open, if you are hosting your server.
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by:Hube02
ID: 20435864
check out this site: http://browsers.garykeith.com/

We have plans to put something similar in place. It requires adding a script to the beginning of every page (more likely an included file) that will check the data file from the above site against the browser that is requesting the page and not not send any content to the browsers listed as blocked in that file.

However, we are planning on doing this in PHP, and not ASP. There are several other tools available there.
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by:killbrad
ID: 20457822
mcse2007:  Blocking other ports is not gonna stop someone from leeching his website with spider software.  
Hube:  It's a nice idea, but not realistic.  Many webleech programs give you the specific option to spoof the headers sent.  Also, trying to access the page you referenced above in Linux gives me this:

ACCESS DENIED
You do not appear to be using this form in accordance with my Terms of Use.
Continued abuse will eventually result in you losing access to this server!
It's also possible you are using security software that modifies the HTTP_REFERER header.
If I can't confirm the referrer is valid then you can't have access to my forms.

hmmm  :-/
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by:Hube02
ID: 20462435
killbrad:  In your case I would say that you have a firewall or are going through a proxy server that blocks or modifies the HTTP_REFERER header. (that isn't my site) but it is a security measure that I also implement on forms on sites I build. All forms submit to themselves and if the form gets a post request from somewhere other than itself it will not process the request. This effectively stops 90% of spam bots submitting forms. But it also blocks those that have firewall or proxy servers set up like yours.
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by:killbrad
ID: 20609078
nope, it just won't let me use elinks to access it.. tried it from several places.
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by:Computer101
ID: 21447597
Forced accept.

Computer101
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