A new feature in Bad Behavior v1.2.2 blocks all requests that carry a blank user-agent string. This is actually a good thing, because blank user-agents appear to have become a popular technique among spammers to avoid basic user-agent blocks. Generally, if you found a legitimate request to have been blocked by the new blank user-agent filtering, you would add the IP of that request to your whitelist in order to allow it to pass by Bad Behavior next time. Unfortunately, this feature also cripples WordPress’ ability to send pingbacks.
WordPress seems to confirm its received pingbacks using a blank user-agent, and any attempt to send a pingback while using Bad Behavior v1.2.2 will fail, because the confirmation request from the pinged blog will be blocked by Bad Behavior for having a blank user-agent. There are currently two ways to prevent this. You could add the IPs for every WordPress blog that you know to your whitelist, or you could disable the blank user-agent block by removing lines 49-52 of bad-behavior-user-agent.php, as detailed in Changeset 3535. Since Michael and I believe that this is actually a WordPress problem, I have submitted Bug #1713, which requests that future versions of WordPress identify themselves with a simple “WordPress” user-agent, rather than a blank user-agent.
What would stop a WordPress spam-blog ? Or would regular checks kick in ?
I’ve added a patch to bug 1713 which will send a proper User-Agent on those outgoing connections. Enjoy!
The blog that sends you a pingback must have this patch applied, in order for Bad Behavior to allow the pingback.
Is this patch safe for use with WP v1.5.x? Or, is it v1.6-only?
The patch was made against 1.5.2. It should apply cleanly to 1.5.2 or current 1.6 SVN code.
I noticed a few days ago that my posts seemed to stop showing up on Technorati and some other services. Pings were not getting through – or something. After much tinkering and researching here today, I finally deactivated Bad Behavior (version 1.2.2) and found that that fixed the problem (at least with Technorati… haven’t tried the others) So it seems to be the result of the bug/Bad Behavior issue mentioned here. Does that actually make sense?
The strange thing is that Technorati was picking up my posts with no problem prior to just a few days ago.
Anyway, as a non-coder, but one who can follow simple instructions (I hope), do I need to write in the changeset #2933 mentioned above (should be able to do that), or would deleting Bad Behavior and upgrading to the new version solve the problem? Do I do one, or both? Thanks.
(BTW, while my blog is only a few months old, I’m happy to say that Bad Behavior has not let one single piece of spam through since the say I launched the site. 🙂 )
Asecondforever, please upgrade to Bad Behavior v1.2.4, and your troubles should be over.
Hmmm, well I’ve upgraded to Bad Behavior v1.2.4, but the problem persists. Posts aren’t being picked up by Technorati. FWIW, it seemed to begin a few days ago when I tried to “claim” my blog on Technorati. The claiming process failed and gave me a message saying my site was “unreachable.” That problem persists as well.
So Technorati (and it seems at least Blogdigger and blo.gs as well… IceRocket seems to pick up the posts, albeit with a delay of about a half hour) is having trouble working with my site’s pings. Now, as mentioned above, it does seem to involve Bad Behavior, as deactivating it seemed to solve the problem. Should I apply the changeset above, or does that not make any sense now that I’ve upgraded to the new version of Bad Behavior? Any other thoughts? Thanks for the help.
Does your Bad Behavior log have any mentions of Technorati in it?
Hmmm, interesting. Yes Technorati is in there over and over — all the times I’ve tried to ping them I guess. Looks like it’s giving Technorati a 412 error code every time.
(Oddly, the date on all those entries is Dec. 11, though It’s still Dec 10 here… well I don’t know where Technorati is located.)
[Edit] Oh, I should add that I even tried applying the changeset above, but that didn’t seem to make a difference. So for now I’m back to the original WP code. I’ve retested with BB deactivated and, again, Technorati did pick up the post after about 10 minutes under those conditions.
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