Find out how to offer protection to your website online from dangerous bots whilst permitting visits from protected person brokers with our all-in-one WordPress safety plugin Defender.

Your web site’s safety is underneath danger 24/7, whether or not it’s from a major DDoS assault,  XSS assault, SQL injections, or simply tense unsolicited mail. Defender’s Consumer Agent Banning now not simplest gives your WordPress website online powerful coverage in opposition to requests from dangerous person brokers on the server stage, it additionally is helping to liberate server sources for your entire just right visitors.

And it’s all to be had for free of charge (get it for free at

Cartoon of Defender banning bad user agents
Defender involves the birthday party with Consumer Agent Banning.

On this article, we’ll quilt:

Let’s dive in…

What Is a Consumer Agent?

Let’s get started with this definition from Wikipedia…

A person agent is any device, performing on behalf of a person, which retrieves, renders and facilitates end-user interplay with Internet content material.

Community servers, e mail shoppers, serps, and internet browsers are all examples of person brokers.

Necessarily, a person agent is a “string” (i.e. a line of textual content) that identifies a consumer to a server. In different phrases, it’s some way of claiming “Hi! That is who I’m” to a internet server.

A internet browser, for instance, features a Consumer-Agent box in its HTTP header figuring out the browser and working gadget to the internet server (e.g. Chrome Browser Model 94.0.4606.61 on Home windows 10).

The person agent string layout for internet browsers reads as follows:

Mozilla/[version] ([system and browser information]) [platform] ([platform details]) [extensions]

This permits every internet browser to have its personal, unique person agent and the contents of the person agent box can range from browser to browser.

Once I regarded up my internet browser’s person agent, for instance, I were given the next:

User Agent Web Browser
My internet browser’s person agent. (Supply:

This data comes in handy to a internet server, as it lets in the internet server to serve other internet pages to other internet browsers and other working techniques (e.g. ship cell pages to cell internet browsers, display other pages to other platforms or working techniques, or even show “please improve your browser” messages to older internet browsers).

Just right Bots vs Unhealthy Bots

Maximum web site house owners need their content material to be discovered on the internet, particularly via serps like Google.

Google mechanically discovers and scans web sites via following hyperlinks from one webpage to every other using user agents called “crawlers”. Google’s major crawler, for instance, is named Googlebot.

Maximum web site house owners, subsequently, would imagine Googlebot to be a “just right bot” and welcome having this person agent discuss with their web site by means of their internet server.

Now not all person brokers, then again, are just right guys.

Undesirable guests like spammers, scrapers, e mail harvesters, and malicious bots too can employ person brokers to threaten the safety of your knowledge and your web site.

For instance…

Instance of Pass Website online Scripting (XSS) assault

A person agent title will also be changed, via having a hyperlink with a malicious JS code in it:


This is the issue:

  1. A server will accept as true with the person agent title and retailer the above string (e.g. in a Internet Analytical instrument).
  2. An actual person (e.g. an admin) then accesses the instrument storing the string.
  3. When the web page with the logs containing the string is opened, the browser will then parse all indexed person brokers and execute the script. This script could be a easy redirect, or a spammy pop-up.

Defender’s Consumer Agent Banning protects in opposition to the XSS assault from safety headers via preventing the web page from loading when this kind of Consumer Agent title is detected.

Instance of SQL injections

That is very similar to the above. A Consumer Agent title can comprise an SQL question, for instance, a unmarried quote '.

If the server doesn’t have a top stage of coverage, it may well purpose an error, the place an attacker can then get started experimenting and executing SQL queries.

So, how are you able to let the nice bots in and save you the dangerous bots from visiting your website online?

That is the place Defender involves the rescue.

How To Set Up Defender’s Consumer Agent Banning

Defender’s Consumer Agent Banning function permits you to specify which person brokers you're going to and won't permit to discuss with your website online.

To get entry to and permit this option, log into your website online and move to Defender > Firewall

Defender - Firewall - User Agent Banning
Get admission to Defender’s Consumer Agent Banning from the Firewall menu.

Click on the button to turn on the function…

Activate Defender User Agent Banning
Turn on Defender’s Consumer Agent Banning function.

You'll completely ban malicious bots and dangerous person brokers from gaining access to your website online via getting into those into the Blocklist box (one consistent with line). Defender contains some commonplace dangerous bots within the Blocklist via default. You'll upload extra dangerous bots to the record via looking on-line for “dangerous person agent block lists”.

Defender User Agent Banning - Blocklist.
Ban person brokers via including them to the Blocklist.

Conversely, you'll be able to upload just right bots and person brokers to the Allowlist box to permit them everlasting get entry to on your website online. Defender contains quite a lot of respectable bots and person brokers to this record via default.

Defender User Agent Banning - Allowlist
Permit just right bots everlasting get entry to on your website online the use of the Allowlist.

Word: For those who upload the similar person agent or bot to each fields, the Allowlist will override the Blocklist.

The Message phase permits you to customise and preview the message that can show to your website online to blocked customers right through the lockout length.

Defender User Agent Banning - Custom Message
Upload a customized message to blocked customers.

Bots are known via their IP deal with and HTTP Header Consumer-Agent. If the HTTP Header Consumer-Agent is lacking, this must be thought to be an atypical and suspicious crimson flag.  Steadily, those include an SQL injection. On this case, the most suitable choice is to dam their IP deal with.

You'll block any IP addresses that ship Publish requests with empty referer and person agent headers within the Empty Headers phase. (Word: the phrase referer is not misspelled.)

Defender User Agent Banning - Empty Headers
Turn on this serve as to dam IP addresses with empty headers.

Word: Junk mail bots infrequently should not have a referer or HTTP header, so activating this feature may also assist save you spammy shape submissions and feedback.

In spite of everything, you'll be able to simply deactivate the function at any time for those who not need to use it.

Defender User Agent Banning - Deactivate
Deactivate Defender’s Consumer Agent Banning function with only one click on.

Take note to click on the Save button when performed to replace your plugin settings.

To view a log of Defender’s process and ensure that the function is energetic and dealing, make a selection Firewalls > Logs within the plugin’s menu.

Defender User Agent Banning - Logs
Defender begins banning dangerous person brokers in an instant!

No Whiffs or Bots

With Defender’s Consumer Agent Banning function activated, dangerous bots received’t even get a sniff in and malicious person brokers will strike out each and every time they discuss with your website online. Defender is going directly to paintings banning and locking out person brokers as consistent with your configured lockout settings.

Moreover, Defender’s steady tracking protects your website online whilst saving server sources for respectable visitors, thus serving to to additional fortify your website online’s efficiency.

For more info or assist the use of this option, take a look at our documentation section or touch our 24/7 fortify crew.

WordPress Developers

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