Support » Plugins » bad behavior and 403 error

  • I saw the other posts about the 403 error and bb blocking you because someone complained about you spamming them. And I saw the solutions others had. This happened all of a sudden today when I wanted to create a post.

    I apologize to the plugin author as I emailed him after I thought I followed all the steps to resolve. After scanning my computer for viruses using 3 or 4 programs, I choose another that did detect some infected files. I cleaned them up but still could not login. So, my solution was to delete the bad behavior plugin. That solved both of my blog problems as well as another person who uses the same host.

    I would really like to know what caused this problem being a technical support person by trade. Since my blog is not frequented by a lot of people and since practically no one comments, I now made my blog a private one. Hopefully now it won’t generate any email spam to anyone.

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  • Moderator James Huff


    Volunteer Moderator 🚀

    First, use phpmyadmin (or any other graphical MySQL browser) to search through Bad Behavior’s log for your IP address. If you find any entries with your IP, delete them immediately. This will clear you of any “previous spam-like activity”. If you are still blocked when you return to your blog’s homepage, your IP is probably listed on one or more real-time blacklists (RBLs).

    In theory, RBLs were great, as they were designed to provide an up-to-the-minute way identify all known spammers, but in practice there are just terrible. The problem is that if your ISP assigns a dynamic IP (a new IP every time you connect to the internet), you may wind up with an IP that some malicious individual just used to send tons of spam emails, comments, etc, and you’ll be stuck unknowingly using a blacklisted IP until the next time you connect. Even if your ISP assigns a static IP, you may be left with the IP of former spamming customer. And, best of all, if your ISP uses a proxy server to send email (hint: AOL), one user could cause hundreds of others to be blacklisted.

    Because of this, Michael Hampton (Bad Behavior’s developer) decided to scale back the use of RBLs in the latest version, using only RBLs which you can easily remove yourself from.

    To do this, first install the latest version of Bad Behavior (currently v2.0.10) from and access your blog’s homepage. The 403 page should now include instructions on how to remove yourself from the offending RBL.

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