Last night, just as always I decided to login into my blog and do some posting, thinking, editing … you know the normal stuff any blogger does just to be greeted by a note:

Error 403

We’re sorry but we could not fulfill your request…

Your Internet Protocol address is listed on a blacklist of addresses involved in malicious or illegal activity. See the listing below for more details on specific blacklists and removal procedures…

Being a “known spamer” who constantly engages in “illegal activities” using my blog I was mildly surprised and decided to investigate…

I have checked every blacklisting service known on the internet and was unable to find either my IP or my website IP listed in any database. Any attempts to login from different computer that was connected through corporate VPN resulted in same 403 Error, which led me to believe that perhaps I’m not as bad as I think of myself …

Since this error only impacted only one blog located on the host I figured it was not a problem introduced by my host and all I have to do is find what is different on this blog from all others and address the issue so I could get on with annoying you by posting.

My blog uses 2 spam fighting plugins: Spam Karma 2 and Bad Behavior. In attempt to resolve the issue I emptied the blacklist tables in database but problem persisted. Being pissed off beyond reasonable at this point I went for drastic measures …

  • I have renamed folders within wp-content/plugins directories for the 2 spam plugins and was instantly able to get into my blog! BTW, this solution – renaming a plugin folder or plugin file is always works as solution when that plugin screws you so badly that you are unable to get into admin area. Simply rename it – and it becomes effectively disabled!

Now I narrowed the problem down to the plugins and I decided to do a research by visiting blogs of the authors. No indication of any solution at that point (do remember it was December 5th night). At this point all I had left with was an attempt to identify which of the two plugins was responsible for the problem. Enabling them one at the time and testing showed that Bad Behavior was responsible for the issue.

As it currently stand this issue wasn’t just my problem. More and more bloggers report this and author was quick to respond and created a new version to fix the issue. Here is his explanation on what happened:

Update: Some people have asked for more details on what exactly happened. In brief, yesterday I moved all of my sites to a new dedicated server. In the process, I decommissioned an old blacklist I was running which I thought wasn’t being used, not realizing that Bad Behavior was still set to use it. Shortly afterward, I found myself locked out of my own blog, just as you all did. So therefore, this release.

If you are using Bad Behavior plugin download the new version and install it ASAP to prevent being locked out and continue with your “illegal activities” such as blogging and thinking and communicating…