For several months now, I've been noticing several IPs randomly hitting our server without providing any virtual host.

These hits are all 404 errors and repeat every second for a period of time.

Here are the latest hits shown in logs:

 x.x.x.x - - [30/Sep/2014:09:02:53 -0400] "POST /error/list/socks5.php HTTP/1.1" 404 286 "-" "-"
 x.x.x.x - - [30/Sep/2014:09:02:54 -0400] "POST /error/list/socks5.php HTTP/1.1" 404 286 "-" "-"
 x.x.x.x - - [30/Sep/2014:09:02:54 -0400] "POST /error/list/socks5.php HTTP/1.1" 404 286 "-" "-"
 x.x.x.x - - [30/Sep/2014:09:02:54 -0400] "POST /error/list/socks5.php HTTP/1.1" 404 286 "-" "-"
 x.x.x.x - - [30/Sep/2014:09:02:55 -0400] "POST /error/list/socks5.php HTTP/1.1" 404 286 "-" "-"
 x.x.x.x - - [30/Sep/2014:09:02:55 -0400] "POST /error/list/socks5.php HTTP/1.1" 404 286 "-" "-"
 x.x.x.x - - [30/Sep/2014:09:02:56 -0400] "POST /error/list/socks5.php HTTP/1.1" 404 286 "-" "-"
 x.x.x.x - - [30/Sep/2014:09:02:56 -0400] "POST /error/list/socks5.php HTTP/1.1" 404 286 "-" "-"

What would cause this?

How should I deal with the issue?

Thank you for your answers.

1 Answer 1


Simply put, these are hackers trying to exploit a specific PHP application install which you do not have. Which application? I would have to research this and it would take too much time to figure it out. But does it really matter which application? No. This is quite common and you should keep an eye on your access logs to controls these behaviors. You will see a lot of this activity along with content scrapers, data miners, and so on.

You can block them from existence one of a few ways.

The most obvious ways is to block them using a firewall if you have one.

You can use one of several applications such as ModSecurity, SELinux, AppArmor, and others found on these links:

I have only checked out ModSecurity which is integrated/tightly tied to your web server. AppArmor and SELinux are Linux system protection applications where ModSecurity protects the web server. AppArmor and SELinux both come recommended to me and seem to be popular though I have yet to check them out. These seem to be popular recommendations on forums. ModSecurity is well respected and something to look at. There are other options that would require research.

You can also use .htaccess in Apache to block access with something like this:

RewriteCond %{REMOTE_HOST} ^example\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]


RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} ^10\.100\.101\.102$ [NC]
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]

Of course, if you need to block several domain names and IP addresses, you would just need to add a new RewriteCond and you can of course combine domain and IP blocking if you want.

RewriteCond %{REMOTE_HOST} ^example\.com$ [OR, NC]
RewriteCond %{REMOTE_HOST} ^another-example\.com$ [OR, NC]
RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} ^10\.100\.101\.102$ [OR, NC]
RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} ^10\.100\.101\.103$ [NC]
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]
  • Thank you for your answer! I have root access to the server and block the IPs that are at fault (usually the full block if it's from a Datacenter). I will check Mod_Security but not sure it will complete what I would like it to. SELinux not a possibility for me as it correlates with OpenSSL and AppArmor wouldn't work either as we are using BetterLinux which requires their Kernel. Oct 1, 2014 at 23:50
  • ModSecurity closely matches what .htaccess can do only earlier on and with more options. A lot of people like it. But it is always better to block accesses further away from the server where possible. I generally prefer using a firewall especially with HTTP filters. Let us know if there is anything you need. We are here for you.
    – closetnoc
    Oct 2, 2014 at 0:16

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