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How To Filter Ips With Emule Using ipfilter.dat

#1 User is offline   Trypsin 

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Post icon  Posted 25 February 2003 - 04:07 AM

How to filter IPs in eMule
with ipfilter.dat


Update: I've revamped this old guide as of Feb 6, 2004, almost a year later. Yow!

This is a guide for those people wanting to use the built-in IP filtering feature of eMule. I've written it with the lowest common denominator of readers in mind that have a fairly low level of knowledge about these things. Advanced users could probably just check out the URLs and code examples and figure things out for themselves, but they'd be missing out my terrible grammar and voracious wit.

If you wish to get right to the action, then you will definitely need to use Bluetack's blocklist manager (Instructions found here) and Bluetack's blocklist converter. These programs make very light work of using and merging public block lists. The Blocklist Manager pretty much does automatically everything we'll be doing by hand in this guide. I also suggest just hitting all of bluetack.co.uk for related tools and public blocklists (Props to seraphielx for all this information, folks).

Before you start, be aware that using a firewall, Peerguardian, or Protowall might suit your blocking requirements a bit better than using eMule's built-in filter. The main reasons for not using such programs are concern over resources/ram, compatability with eMule or other programs, stability, being a minimalist, and handling larger blocklists. That said, Protowall is striving to allow much larger blocklists with less resources used, so you might want to check it out.

Preliminary:

Quote

I don't like the idea to make filtering too easy (@ runtime). This function should require some knowledge & attention, otherwise people will filter IPs/Ranges easily and cry about less sources later.
-- Ornis+


Keep this in mind. If it happens that you have problems later, try editing your ipfilter.dat and restarting eMule before complaining.

--What an IP is-- First of all, if you don't know what an IP is, read this from howstuffworks.com. One way to find your own IP is to go to whatismyip.com. You can also convert your eMule ID to your IP, or just read it in the 'My Info' window on eMule's server tab. Basically, IPs are used to identify computers, and IP ranges are used to identify networks or subnets of computers. Now, logically, you might want to restrict some of these IPs from accessing your precious eMule.

--Client Version Notes-- Filtering in eMule was supported in official clients 26b and later, and certain earlier mods. When I think of "the golden era of emule", I think of 26b. I couldn't imagine anyone still using it, but if you are, and you want to filter IPs, please get a newer version. Even if you do use a version later than 26b, you might want to get a newer version as they allow refreshing the ipfilter.dat without restarting eMule, changing the filter level, and filtering servers.

--Filtering Types-- EMule uses a two-way ban for IPs on its filter list. That means there is no uploading OR downloading from banned IPs. Generally, you will probably want to filter uploaders of corrupt data, invalid sources, enemies of p2p programs, and other agencies involved in p2p surveillance. Some people also take an active role in filtering out leechers. Information on how to obtain these IPs can be found later in this guide. Also, eMule uses a default 'allow' for connections, meaning that everything is allowed communication unless it's on the blocklist. This is opposed to the generally safer method of rejecting everything by default except what is marked as "allowed", but eMule doesn't allow the use of this method at present. And, besides, you would probably lose a ton of sources this way.

Keep in mind that blocking IPs through a firewall is probably better than using ipfilter.dat, which only functions for eMule. Firewalls are much more comprehensive, and don't have some of the limitations of ipfilter.dat. They display filtered activity a bit better and have more filtering options. However, using ipfilter.dat with eMule has advantages in that using a single program instead of two more might save your computer some resources, and some firewalls have negative interactions with eMule.

Where is the IP filter located?
EMule's blocklist takes the form of ipfilter.dat, which resides in your main emule directory. You can get to ipfilter.dat through eMule's Preferences>Security tab and clicking on 'edit'. Or, you can open up the file from your eMule directory. For more information on filter settings in the Security tab, read the eMule FAQ page.

If you haven't done any filtering yet, then you might need to create the file yourself by making a blank .txt file in notepad and saving it as ipfilter.dat

Resources:
We'll need these URLs for composing the blocklist.
-eMule ipfilter FAQ page
-Bluetack's blocklist converter
-Bluetack's blocklist manager (Instructions found here)
-Peerguardian's blocklist (click on ipdatabase and download guarding.p2p)
-public.lamerfree.net/ipfilter.htm
-cDonkey's Blocklist
-P2P Bad IP List
-Internet Number Registries:
ARIN.net(USA, Canada, Central and South America)
RIPE.net(Europe)
APNIC.net(Asia, New Zealand and Austraila)

Setting Up The Filter:
Open up ipfilter.dat, as stated previously. At the head of the file, you can use hashes to mark off notes, as I've done here:
# ipfilter.dat
# 
# All entered IP ranges will be blocked 
# in eMule for both Up- and Downloading.
# Be extremely careful what you enter here. 
# Wrong entries may totally block eMule from accessing the network.
#
# Format:
# IP-Range , Access Level , Description
# Ip-Ranges of different entries cannot overlap.
#
# Access Levels:
# 0-126 blocked 
# 127-255 permitted
# 
# Put versions, dates, and URLs from the most-recent update here

064.094.089.000 - 064.094.089.255 , 100 , Gator.com
066.035.250.203 - 066.035.250.203 , 200 , SourceForge.net
013.020.222.112 - 013.020.222.112 , 230 , Somethingawful.com


You can just cut and paste my header, but hold off on the two entries below it. You can only use hashed comments in the header, and not between filter entries or anything like that.

--Entry Format-- Notice the format of the entries for Gator and SourceForge. The format is "IP-Range , Access Level , Description". The IP range should follow the format in the example. Even though an IP might be 64.94.1.89, it should be entered with leading zeros as 064.094.001.089. If you wish to block only a single IP, just enter it as a range as in the SourceForge example.

--Filter and Access levels-- The filter level and access levels might be a bit confusing, so I'll illustrate it by example. For the above entries, and using the default filter level of 127 (from the Security tab), IP ranges with access levels below 127 will be blocked, and ones 128 and higher will be allowed, thus Gator will be blocked and the rest will not be blocked, as it should be. :D If I change the filter level to 220, I will be blocking Gator and Sourceforge, but allowing Somethingawful.com. You can assign different access levels to IP ranges of various risk and then activate or deactivate them depending on your filter level. Another benefit is that you can keep entries in your blocklist with a high access level just for future reference. Several public blocklists have ISPs that are set to high access levels. They aren't blocked, but are there just so that, when you do need to block them, all you need to do is change their access levels rather than look up their IPs and crap.

I generally like to keep everything to 4 access levels with a default filter level of 127:
-001 for evil, evil IPs that I always want blocked.
-100 for generally blocked IPs.
-110 for individual's IPs that I only want to temporarily block, such as until I'm done with a file or some retarded source.
-120 for ISPs Ips that I only want to temporarily block, such as until I'm done with a file or some retarded source.
-210 for individual source's IPs that I currently don't want to block, but might need to in the future.
-220 for ISPs that I currently don't want to block, but might need to in the future.

If I'm having trouble with some jerk who keeps using different IPs within his ISP, I'll look up his ISP and change it from 220 to 120 to block it. If I only need to block him, I'll use 110. By keeping entry types divided, I can use search and replace in a text editor to change access levels of several entries at once. If you do use search and replace, make sure you include some qualifiers. For instance, replace ", 111 , " with " , 100 , " and include the commas. Otherwise, we'll end up replacing all IPs that have a 111 somewhere in them.

--Entry Descriptions-- The description of each entry will be displayed in your debug log entries when an IP is filtered, so be sure to include one when you add your IPs. If you can't see your debug log in eMule, you need to set preferences>extended settings>verbose mode on and look on the server screen. Groovy.

Preliminary Test of The Filter
Now, check and see if you filter is working for you. eMule loads ipfilter.dat on start, or when you click 'Refresh' in Preferences>Security. One way to see if it is working is to block the whole damn scary outside world. Add this entry to the filter (make sure it's the only entry):
000.000.000.000 - 255.255.255.255 , 100 , The world


After you restart eMule, you shouldn't get any connections. Left-over activity from before your restart will show up in your debug log like this
02/24/03 18:36:44: Filtered IP: 10.0.0.1 ( The world)

You can then sit and look at statistics>clients>filtered rack up some numbers, and laugh evily at your newfound impenetrability.

Limitations
The filter has problems when IP ranges overlap. So if you are filtering "the world", you can't put any other entries in there or they will overlap. Apparently, the filter will only use the first of overlapping ranges. So you'll probably want to manually look for overlapping ranges and delete undesired ones or at least arrange them so that the desired one comes first. The easiest way to look for overlaps is to keep the list in numerical order and check each new entry as you add it.

If you wanted to run eMule only on your little LAN, you'd only have these entries:
000.000.000.000 - 009.255.255.255 , 100 , The world part 1
010.000.000.000 - 010.000.000.025 , 200 , My little LAN
010.000.000.026 - 255.255.255.255 , 100 , The world part 2

Of course you'd need a local server in this case... I think.

Creating yer blocklist
A good blocklist should contain IPs of known offenders from a public blocklist. A good one to start with is the peerguardian blocklist. Of course, you could always just use peerguardian instead of eMule for filtering, but that's beside the point. At Peerguardian, click on the IP database and download the GUARDING.P2P. If you open the file, you'll notice that it's a similar but different format than ipfilter.dat. So what you need to do is head on over to bluetack.co.uk, which has Bluetack's blocklist converter.

--Using Bluetack's blocklist converter--
The official instructions can be found here. If you use a local proxy filter, like proxomitron, bypass it beforehand. Also, you might have problems with less than Internet Explorer 5.5. Now, you need to open your guarding.p2p file, select all of it, and copy and paste it into the 'Source File' box of the converter. Under 'Options', change the source format to Peerguardian plain text and change the output format to eMule. You should also sort by IP and merge overlapping ranges. Now, convert, copy the output, and paste it in your ipfilter.dat below the header.

If you have several different blocklists that you want to merge together, convert them one at a time from their respective formats to eMule format, then paste them all together in the 'Source File' box and choose IP sorting and merge overlapping ranges.

URLs of some other blocklist sources can be found in the Resources section, above. I suggest keeping an eye on access levels of new entries, however, and editing them to your liking before using them. Even if you don't think you'll ever need to block a particular range, it doesn't hurt to keep it in the list with a high access level for future reference. Remember that an access level of less than 127, by default, is blocked and higher is allowed. So don't come post here whining about your ISP being on public blocklists when it's set to an allowed level by default.

Beware of blocklists that have a default low access level of large ranges. It's fun to have a little power complex as you block off the entire western hemisphere, but not if you only meant to cover a tiny subnet with 20 computers. ARIN or RIPE can be used to look for fun new offenders for your blocklist or to check the veracity of existing ranges. This is all up to you. But you better know who you are blocking, or you'll end up losing a ton of sources. Not only that, but some people have found some very fat-piped, well-intentioned uploaders blocked because their IP fell too close to that of an offending company. You don't need to check every blocklist entry, but keep an eye on ones that oftentimes show up in your debug log.

As said in the IMPORTANT NOTE, above, sorting lists and removing the overlapping ranges is important. If you can't use bluetack's converter, paste it in a spreadsheet and autosort. Or if you live in the dark ages, sort it by hand. Or, hell, don't sort it. Go watch the TV while the rest of us sort our lists.

I should also mention that you should backup ipfilter.dat before screwing with it or adding new entries.


Monitoring
When done editing, be sure to refresh the filter, and keep an eye on your debug log. You can have the log automatically save to a local file in Extended Settings. I suggest occasionally searching for filtered entries and clearing the log. You then may wanna tweak some things, or go and post about how scary it is to see the MPAA being filtered from your mule. :ph34r:

When you do use notepad or whatever and search using the word 'filtered', you might be annoyed at a lot of unimportant entries, so I suggest putting some keyword in the descriptions of all your really important IP ranges, like "066.035.250.203 - 066.035.250.203 , 200 , TrypsinSucks Evil corp". Then you can just search for TrypsinSucks and you'll only find your important entries.

If you frequently merge blocklists, it might be a good idea to note the URLs and date modified in the header of ipfilter.dat. Just another reminder to watch those overlapping ranges.

If someone is being an ass to you in the future, take their ID and convert it to their IP and block it! An ID to IP converter is found at http://ocbmaurice.dy...rg/code/id.html I suggest saving this page locally as it's hard to access. Alternatively, if you're an elitist or Rain Man, calculate it manually. I doubt that such a person would have read this far unless it was some sort of torture, though.

Possibilities:
-It would be nice to be able to see usernames and userhashes of banned IPs, if possible.
-Filtering by userhashes and other identifying info
-Allowing the use of a filter that rejects all except those "allowed".

Note: The cheesy way of doing the latter is as the following:
000.000.000.000 - 009.255.255.255 , 100 , The world part 1
010.000.000.000 - 010.000.000.025 , 200 , Only trusted ISP
010.000.000.026 - 255.255.255.255 , 100 , The world part 2


Several months ago, some eMule forum goers and I tried creating a comprehensive list like this, only allowing trusted ISPs. It was a pain in the butt and we gave up with a gigantic allow list and 2/3rds of sources being rejected. But it might be worth a shot to the ultra paranoid person. There's a lot of ISPs in the world.

Comments? Suggestions?

--Trypsin
"You evil bastard! This is your work! You'd better take care of me, Lord... because if you don't you're going to have me on your hands." - Raul Duke, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
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#2 User is offline   Puhh 

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 04:43 AM

Just one comment. Thanks man. B) Easy as ABC, even i understood. :lol:
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#3 User is offline   Ixion2003 

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 07:54 AM

Thank you very much for this helpful bit of information. I have been having quite a few problems downloading ****************** (with all the corrupt files being there) and I needed to better understand the funtioning of ipfilter.dat and the faq although informative, didn't quite help but your explanation certainly did. Thanks again.

***** Please read the Forum Rules. Edit -VQB *****

This post has been edited by VQB: 25 February 2003 - 09:45 AM

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#4 User is offline   frozen 

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 08:47 AM

WOW!


but then if u filter ips, ... you will have less source:(
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#5 User is offline   Trypsin 

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 10:14 AM

Quote

but then if u filter ips, ... you will have less source:(

That would be true if you ban a lot of IPs of ISPs and such, but the main purpose seems to be to ban those IPs where no good source would come from, anyways. I don't think many people would care about losing a source or two that they knew came from a p2p monitoring facility. :D

So you won't lose any sources that matter unless you start banning various internet providers and countries in large sweeps. I had to ban a large range of a fairly large french ISP, for instance, because some jackass kept coming at me from different IPs within the ISP. But I'd rather lose a few sources than have him back. Maybe I shouldn't say "jackass" because that's too close to our beloved mule. :P

This post has been edited by Trypsin: 25 February 2003 - 10:21 AM

"You evil bastard! This is your work! You'd better take care of me, Lord... because if you don't you're going to have me on your hands." - Raul Duke, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
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#6 User is offline   rwolf969 

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 10:23 AM

W00t, Trypsin. Now, that's a guide.

As soon as I have time I'll translate it into Italian, a lot of my country fellows could make use of it :D
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#7 User is offline   zcx 

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 10:49 AM

Yep, very nice job. Maybe it could be incorporated into the FAQ?

*zcx*
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#8 User is offline   nicotineman 

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 11:47 AM

Just out of interest, where are we getting the information on IP addresses used by RIAA, overpeer etc? Because I did a few reverse DNS lookups and IPWHOIS lookups of some addresses in the list, and none of them seemed to be anything to do with what they are purported to be. Try it yourself and try to prove me wrong.

Now I think filtering IPs is a great idea and will quickly become necessary, but we'd better make sure we're filtering the right IPs.
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#9 User is offline   mehrber 

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 01:01 PM

This IPFILTER.DAT is not the solution we all searching for! These lists are blocking many "normal" uploaders. For example my actual IP is blocked. Many broadband users in europe are blocked as well (T-Online, 1&1, Hansenet, Wanadoo...)! The creators of such lists don't know what they are doing. Don't support them.
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#10 User is offline   Kblood 

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 01:10 PM

@mehrber: Can you provide a sample of that? Have you tested it?

Not all the IPs in the list are blocked, only the ones that have an access level higher than 127... Itīs mentioned in the first message of this thread, so you have probably read it, but Iīd like to double check that.
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#11 User is offline   Ornis+ 

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 01:25 PM

mehrber, on Feb 25 2003, 02:01 PM, said:

This IPFILTER.DAT is not the solution we all searching for! These lists are blocking many "normal" uploaders. For example my actual IP is blocked. Many broadband users in europe are blocked as well (T-Online, 1&1, Hansenet, Wanadoo...)! The creators of such lists don't know what they are doing. Don't support them.

Well, users should not take ip-filterlists which they dont know, checked or trust.
Thats why a suggest(ed) not to use this function without knowledge what it does and which effect it can have when used incorrect.

#12 User is offline   mehrber 

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 01:37 PM

Ok. All ips with access level < 128 are blocked. But whats the reason to put ip-ranges into this list, if you don't block them?
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#13 User is offline   Trypsin 

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 03:38 PM

@nicotineman The big hitters from cDonkey's list are in common with Zerodata's list. On Zerodata's list, a bit more than half of the ip ranges are "verified". IP to hostname converters seem work for all the ISPs and government organizations listed on cDonkey's list. Hitting up www.arin.net (USA, Canada, Central and South America), www.ripe.net (Europe), and www.apnic.net (Asia, New Zealand and Austraila) for the rest will get you nearly everything else on the list by from the domain, company, or organization names and such. Arin.net is powerful!

Note that I'm sure the eMule staff does not officially endorse anyone in particular.

I am planning on verifying a lot of the IPs this weekend, and hopefully adding a few more. :D

@mehrber I don't exactly know why so many ISPs are on these lists. But it was said that these ISPs are "known for hackers and spammers." Remember, these were taken from lists used for firewalls in general, not just eMule. However, I can see the convenience in having all the known IPs in an ISP. For instance, I've blocked someone before, but he kept coming at me from different IPs. So instead of blocking each IP as it comes up (or his userhash... but that's not possible yet) all I have to do is look his IP up in the list and block off all of his ISP... at least until he quits bugging me.

Hey. It'sa sticky thread! :D

This post has been edited by Trypsin: 26 February 2003 - 07:37 AM

"You evil bastard! This is your work! You'd better take care of me, Lord... because if you don't you're going to have me on your hands." - Raul Duke, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
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#14 User is offline   Ornis+ 

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Posted 26 February 2003 - 09:49 PM

IP ranges are not supposed to have overlapping ranges. So if you use bad made lists, eMule uses the first filter found match (not sequential) - for efficiency.

#15 User is offline   Boulder 

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Posted 27 February 2003 - 07:09 AM

This address has caused some confusion: 208.192.4.49. It's blocked in ZeroData's list and in cDonkey too. It appears to be a server, but in RIAA's address space? Could you confirm this? I was unable to find any evidence that it is owned by RIAA.
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#16 User is offline   Trypsin 

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Posted 27 February 2003 - 10:05 AM

Although I'm not sure if it's okay to talk about specific IPs, the one you indicated is from within a cDonkey range, if you convert it to hostname, you get a boston-based ISP. So, either what happened is that the range from cDonkey is "too broad" covering both the bad and some some good, or our boston-based ISP is up to no good.

God, I'm trying to not be too specific. I've found confirmation that *some* of the IPs within that range are as indicated and should be blocked. But I don't know where cDonkey's information came from. It looks like someone found the subnets of the "badboys", and then chose to block off a much larger range.

Here's another blocklist
http://www.unixhub.com/block.html

If you look up the badboys there, you'll find more specific ranges where your mysterious IP is not blocked. This also agrees with ARIN.net. Therefore, cDonkey's source is probably just overpresumptuous.
"You evil bastard! This is your work! You'd better take care of me, Lord... because if you don't you're going to have me on your hands." - Raul Duke, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
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#17 User is offline   CryptokiD 

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Posted 28 February 2003 - 05:54 AM

what we really honestly need is one huge ass list. it would be great of all these list makers pool together for the good of p2p and just make one big list for the cause.

this is one of those things where compatition is not good. we dont need compatition here, all we need is accurite information put into a master list. most of us here dont have the time or paitence to go around checking the ip's for validation purposes, most of us here will end up just taking whatever list is out there and incorportaing it into our emule without checking it. this is why accurite information is paramount, the network is slow as it is, we cant afford to cut off blocks of legit ip's.

thanks u emule for making this ipfilter thingy, for the first time sence napster, i feel safe getting my freak on.
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#18 User is offline   CryptokiD 

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Posted 28 February 2003 - 08:08 PM

damn the iana keeps crawling up my ass.

i keep getting this in the log.
2:54:28 PM: Filtered: 1.30.203.74 Internet Assigned Numbers Authority
2/28/2003 2:54:28 PM: Filtered: 1.30.203.74 Internet Assigned Numbers Authority
2/28/2003 2:54:28 PM: Filtered: 1.30.203.74 Internet Assigned Numbers Authority

i did a whois and this is what i came up with


OrgName: Internet Assigned Numbers Authority
OrgID: IANA
Address: 4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330
City: Marina del Rey
StateProv: CA
PostalCode: 90292-6695
Country: US

NetRange: 1.0.0.0 - 1.255.255.255
CIDR: 1.0.0.0/8
NetName: RESERVED-9
NetHandle: NET-1-0-0-0-1
Parent:
NetType: IANA Reserved
Comment:
RegDate:
Updated: 2002-09-12

OrgTechHandle: IANA-ARIN
OrgTechName: Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number
OrgTechPhone: +1-310-823-9358
OrgTechEmail: res-ip@iana.org


so the ipfilter really works! the problem is, whats the iana got to do with emule? and why they crawl up my ass when i only download freely distrobuted things that arnt copywrighted and are legal to download.
everyonce in a while it tell me they are blocked, prolly 8 times now. it awaly appear in packs of 3.
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#19 User is offline   zcx 

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 09:35 PM

Am seeing one of the copyright cops' spiders ip addr multiple times in my logs as of today. IPfilter appears to work. WooHoo!

Kinda creepy *seeing* it, though. :ph34r:

*zcx*
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#20 User is offline   ShiksaGrrrl 

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 02:16 AM

Great Instructions. :D


If only everyone were so informative in their "tutorials"

People often forget that what may come easy for them, may go completely in one ear and out the other for new users..........unless they have the easy set of directions.


Thanks
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