Site shut down from DoSS attack ...

by Raydal
52 replies
My host shut down my website because they said I had
over 100 concurrent connection on a shared server.

Is this typical?

They applied a "throttle" feature to limit me to 30 but
now I cannot access the website.

Any help appreciated.

-Ray Edwards
#experts #gor #host #hosting #question #shut
  • Profile picture of the author Sam Rodrigo
    HI Ray,

    Have you tried server level access --into the hosting admin?

    How about SSH to it using a client like Putty to 'get your files'? or even FTP?

    I am sure your hosting TOS covered what you can and cannot do... I suggest looking for a host with a lot more bandwidth or a dedicated server.

    Success,
    Sam
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  • Profile picture of the author TheCren
    It is typical for a host to shut you down when you use too many of their resources, but I'm not sure if it's typical that 100 concurrent connections is deemed "too many."

    I agree with Sam, you should look for dedicated hosting.
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  • Profile picture of the author Taylor French
    I'm a bit surprised that someone of your reputation would still be on shared hosting. I would move to dedicated as soon as possible. Shared hosting is beginner hosting.
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by Taylor French View Post

      I'm a bit surprised that someone of your reputation would still be on shared hosting. I would move to dedicated as soon as possible. Shared hosting is beginner hosting.

      Copywriters don't do launches. It has nothing to do with reputation.
      Why buy a Porsche when your city speed limit is 25 MPH?

      -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Yes I have access to the files. They just shut down my main URL
    because they say there was a spike in traffic. I have no idea where
    it is coming from. My stats show 10X increase in direct hits (to the
    home page) but I have no way of tracking where those hits are coming
    from.

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
    Ray,

    Not only does it happen, but I would say it happens quite frequently.

    You'll be doing fine, traffic is fairly constant, then a marketer with a big list promotes your product to their list of 30K followers BOOM you're shut off.

    Time to read the fine print on the hosting agreement. some shared hosting companies are better than others.

    But a dedicated server is really the only solution.

    Mark Riddle
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin AKA Hubcap
      Just wondering,

      Would something like this happen with a host that offers unlimited bandwidth/storage such as host gator?

      If yes, what is the "real" definition of unlimited?:confused:

      Kevin
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by netmalls View Post

      Ray,

      Not only does it happen, but I would say it happens quite frequently.

      You'll be doing fine, traffic is fairly constant, then a marketer with a big list promotes your product to their list of 30K followers BOOM you're shut off.

      Time to read the fine print on the hosting agreement. some shared hosting companies are better than others.

      But a dedicated server is really the only solution.

      Mark Riddle
      Hi Mark,

      The interesting thing is that this never happened to me before
      and I have no promotions going on. I have no way of knowing
      where the hits are coming from. See why I'm so confused?

      I just think that the website is queried from some automatic
      script/robot, wish I knew what.

      -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
    Ray...

    You have a WSO live at the moment...

    Your bonus is pretty heavy on video.

    Make sure it's not being 'shared' somewhere, if you can. Check your referral stats, etc.

    Steve
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    Not promoting right now

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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by Steven Fullman View Post

      Ray...

      You have a WSO live at the moment...

      Your bonus is pretty heavy on video.

      Make sure it's not being 'shared' somewhere, if you can. Check your referral stats, etc.

      Steve
      Thanks Steve,

      Good idea but it's my main copywriting site that's the problem.
      No evidence of sharing from the WSO files stats.

      -Ray Edwards
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      • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
        Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

        Thanks Steve,

        Good idea but it's my main copywriting site that's the problem.
        No evidence of sharing from the WSO files stats.

        -Ray Edwards
        Good to hear, Ray.

        As netmalls suggests, could be a DDOS attack.

        In that case, you wouldn't see referrals...since the hits are coming direct from infected 'zombie' pc's...

        It might not be targeting your site, either, if it's a shared server...they might be hitting an ip address (or range of ip's)

        Either way, it's bad news.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
    Ray,

    It could have been a denial of service attack on the server you are sitting on.

    Perhaps another account was the target, but hackers find all the sites on the same box and attack them all to make the server croak, especially when the server has set up protections from service attacks.

    Mark Riddle
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by netmalls View Post

      Ray,

      It could have been a denial of service attack on the server you are sitting on.

      Perhaps another account was the target, but hackers find all the sites on the same box and attack them all to make the server croak, especially when the server has set up protections from service attacks.

      Mark Riddle

      That's what I'm thinking but they are not telling me this.
      Over 90% of the traffic is "direct" to the home page so
      no referrer URL shows up.

      -Ray Edwards
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      • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
        Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

        Over 90% of the traffic is "direct" to the home page so
        no referrer URL shows up.
        At least with Google Analytics the index page referrals will show up.

        The best host for traffic spike policy is uberhost.net. (note the .net. The .com site is a hosting affiliate site that is enough to baffle a person permanently.) They have it right in their TOS (link at the bottom of the page) that they will not shut a site down for a traffic spike. You do have a few options including upgrading your plan, paying for the extra traffic at a really reasonable rate (50 cents a GB) or shutting down the site at the limit of your plan. I haven't actually used them yet but will be switching over the first time I need a change in my account.

        Actually nearlyfreespeach.net also has an equally good traffic spike policy but they are quirky enough that I don't think most people here would use them, and no cpanel.

        HG will shut you down for a traffic spike, at least according to a couple of threads in this forum.

        best wishes, lloyd
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  • Profile picture of the author Adaptive
    Ray, Joyent Accelerators looks promising to me.

    Joyent: Accelerator

    I don't have any association with them.

    I worked on similar technologies for in-house use at major corporations, and Joyent sure looks to me to be the real thing.

    (I was thinking of writing a business plan to offer a service like this, but theirs looks good enough that there's no point in trying to compete.)

    The advantage is that you have a moderate fee unless there is a surge of activity. If there is, they automatically create additional capacity and bill you for it. Then they shut down the extra capacity and stop billing you for it when the extra activity is over.

    Regards,
    Allen
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    Ray,

    The raw logs should show the IPs the "direct hits" are coming from. AWstats might too. Can't remember.

    Do you have a dedicated IP? Some shared accounts do, some don't.

    Oh as far as the porche when you can only go 25... you cant pickup girls in a pinto.

    Garrie
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    • Profile picture of the author Dellco
      Hi Ray,

      Sorry to hear about your hosting problem. Is your shared hosting on a plain basic or reseller account?

      100 sites may seem quite a lot if they all use databases (like most CMS systems).

      You can get a pretty good VPS for $30+/month these days. The cheapest VPS run for $20+/month but you don't get too many resources for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author RichardBravo
    Hi Ray...
    First and foremost I'm curious who your hosting provider is?
    I've been online 10+ years with a portfolio of over 400 domains, and that has never happened to me. If it had I would have raised some serious he!!

    The apparent lack of customer service and support you are receiving with this issue would be enough for me to tell them to shove it and take your business elsewhere.

    HostGator, which I am extremely happy with, is a great provider. The Planet is their parent company. If you need stellar service above and beyond that of the norm, then Rackspace is the way to go; but at a premium of course.

    I have had pipelines full from email spam attacks (on a different hosting provider) and so forth, generating from my server, but it never took more than a 10-15 minute phone call to get it straightened out.

    Again what jumps out to me is that the HOST provider has not fixed this for you.

    I'd go shopping if I were you.
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  • Profile picture of the author freudianslip27
    You are going to have headaches like this when you are dealing with shared hosting. I would definitely suggest at the very least a Virtual Private Server VPS. Then you will have more control over things.

    This could have just as easily happened right in the middle of your biggest payday...you don't want that!

    Matt
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Alexander
    name and shame the host!
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    PS my PM system is broken. Sorry I can't help anymore.
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnathan
    Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

    My host shut down my website because they said I had
    over 100 concurrent connection on a shared server.

    Is this typical?

    They applied a "throttle" feature to limit me to 30 but
    now I cannot access the website.

    Any help appreciated.

    -Ray Edwards
    Hi, what is your website?

    Yes -- I would go to dedicated hosting if you are on a shared host. (I'm assuming you are only paying like $10/month?) Dedicated hosting (especially if you are getting that type of traffic, which I am assuming is converting as well), is not that much more expensive, you can get a good, dedicated host for only about $50/month, with a lot more bandwidth as well.

    As for bots/etc, it could be a bot. (There are some 'annoying' search bots that don't respect proper 'crawl' etiquette). Look at your logs, run a log analzyer, find out which IP is accessing your website the most. Do a reverse lookup, if it looks like it is from a new "search" engine, or somewhere say in India/etc (i.e., not north american or european), then ban it, and it should solve your problems.
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  • Profile picture of the author SeanIM
    Wow, just wow....man what host is that? I've never heard of someone getting a site shut down for a few hundred connections, that's reeeeediculous...

    Checkout ezprovider.net if you want a well priced VPS account and a support team that is very personal and responsive.

    - Sean
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    Online Marketing & Tech Consultant Since 1999
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    UPDATE: At last I got a sensible tech on the phone
    and he said he would look deeper into it. He claims
    it can be a bot hitting the site or maybe my blog
    was hacked.


    Thanks for all the help and suggestions guys.

    I looked at my Google analytics and there is no spike
    in traffic, yet the site is still down.

    BTW it's http://www.webcopy-writing.com

    So I guess the hits are coming from some artificial source.

    I don't know if you can see this data:

    webcopy-writing.com - Throttle Status

    It shows the hits and how they are all refused???

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Phew still unresolved. Finally got access ti my logs and they
    show a ton of hits from an agent "AutoIt", example ..

    88.107.7.47 - - [17/Apr/2009:09:44:05 -0500] "GET /x1.txt HTTP/1.1" 404 40 "-" "AutoIt"
    The problem is that they come from different IP addresses so I cannot
    just ban one. I googled "AutoIt" and see that it is an automated program
    but why it's targeting my domain I have no idea. Even if I changed hosts
    it will still find me.

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Bruno
    A good host would handle this for you and stop the bot.

    Frank Bruno
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael D Price
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by Michael D Price View Post

      More AutoIt information for you.

      Script Site:
      AutoIt Script Home Page

      Tutorial on Its Use:
      AdSense Hacking Tutorial V4 | AdSense tricks
      Whoa! While people are working their tails off to make a honest
      bucks others are trying to beat the system.

      I see how the program can be used to mess with any domain
      by hiding the IP address. So maybe those IP addresses are
      also fake. Somebody just messing with my website.

      But who and why? I've been a very good boy.

      -Ray Edwards
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      • Profile picture of the author Johnathan
        Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

        Whoa! While people are working their tails off to make a honest
        bucks others are trying to beat the system.

        I see how the program can be used to mess with any domain
        by hiding the IP address. So maybe those IP addresses are
        also fake. Somebody just messing with my website.

        But who and why? I've been a very good boy.

        -Ray Edwards
        Lol, actually -- that's funny, but nothing new. And actually my understanding is google now bans those types of clicks (very easy to figure out what is going on), so that technique does not really work any more. (There are other ways of circumventing that, but that is always done). "Auto-it" is a lazy way of doing what 'black' hat guys do from scratch

        From one log line you posted, it doesn't look like they are trying to click on adsense ads, but might actually be trying to find an exploit (pretty much automated). I'd recommend you start looking for a new host (because there is no reason a host should be taking this long to resolve this issue )

        Cheers!
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  • Profile picture of the author Darth Executor
    Competition. Some blackhatters target their competition for destruction.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Well, yes I'm in the process of transferring to another host now.

    "Hostgator, a prodigal has returned!"

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Finally realized that the website was HACKED. There was a folder
    ".KD3" and inside an"Autostart" folder running the program that
    jammed my domain name with constant request. Aslo a "SCRIPT"
    folder place in side the domain folder itself. Even after deleting
    all those files the attack still continued. (Changes passwords etc.)

    I don't know what door they came through. Maybe the wordpress
    blog. The last time they came through my amember script.

    I'm still moving the domain because the host is not very helpful
    or too knowledgeable it seems. But perhaps another Warrior
    can learn something from this experience.

    -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author superstylefactor
      hmm... good read, gonna bookmark this thread for all the advice rendered!
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  • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
    Sounds like you became part of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. Or perhaps an illegal FTPD.

    Basically hackers ninja'ing your bandwidth or purposefully knock you offline. Any spotty teenager with a bot net can knock your website offline if you are on shared hosting and your host doesn't have adequate DoS filtering.
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by GuerrillaIM View Post

      Sounds like you became part of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. Or perhaps an illegal FTPD.

      Basically hackers ninja'ing your bandwidth or purposefully knock you offline. Any spotty teenager with a bot net can knock your website offline if you are on shared hosting and your host doesn't have adequate DoS filtering.
      The sad thing about it is that the host had no clue what was going on.
      I went through 5 techs and all said that they would get back to me after
      talking to the headtech and NONE returned.

      I kept calling repeatedly then decided to do my own investigation.
      Then I found the strange folders and deleted them. Activity is
      down somewhat but not completely yet. And of all my sites on
      that account they hit my main one like it was quite intentional.

      -Ray Edwards
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      • Profile picture of the author Johnathan
        PS, BTW, I take it you are running a windows host? Why would that be? (Are you using FP extensions, or something along those lines?)

        If you want much better security, I would strongly recommend going with linux... Of course they have their security holes as well, but generally speaking a lot easier & faster to fix...!

        Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

        The sad thing about it is that the host had no clue what was going on.
        I went through 5 techs and all said that they would get back to me after
        talking to the headtech and NONE returned.

        I kept calling repeatedly then decided to do my own investigation.
        Then I found the strange folders and deleted them. Activity is
        down somewhat but not completely yet. And of all my sites on
        that account they hit my main one like it was quite intentional.

        -Ray Edwards
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        • Profile picture of the author Michael D Price
          [DELETED]
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          • Profile picture of the author Johnathan
            Originally Posted by Michael D Price View Post

            Why would you think it was windows????

            IX doesnt even offer windows hosting, hence the name IX (unIX)
            lol, sorry, I think I am sleepy I thought I read something where he said he was doing something windows related, or that autoit was a windows based utilitity...
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Killian
    I think it sounds odd. I use to do over 25k hits a day on shared hosting with no problems. I don't know what hosting you have, but maybe it's one of those deals that seem to good?

    I see so many people trying to get the cheapest hosting around (not saying that is the case here) and it doesn't make sense to me. Hosting is the one thing I won't skimp on, it's too important. Here is a perfect example.

    Not directed at you Ray
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
    Ray,

    I've had my share of hosting company headaches over the last 3 years, some of which I've previously shared with you.

    About 2 months ago, I switched to LiquidWeb for the majority of my sites (a few are still on accounts that are pre-paid a year or more of hosting). And now I sleep like a baby.

    Not the cheapest, although I found a coupon via webhostingtalk.com which let me grab a VPS for $50/month with double the memory and storage.

    The customer and tech support has been phenonimal... they even moved 16 sites for me for free when I signed up and made sure everything worked correctly before I switched the nameservers. The longest time it's taken me to get an answer from tech support is an hour... frequently it's within 10 minutes!

    re: Michael Price. Definitely talk to him. Michael has helped me with various tech support and script installation issues plenty of times and I'd definitely recommend him.

    Hope that helps,

    Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael D Price
      [DELETED]
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      • Profile picture of the author thriftgirl62
        Andre V.

        Up to you. Keep ignoring me, don't refund and get your sites DOSSED for the rest of your life.

        OR

        Reply to me (via this PM) for my PayPal email. Refund my US$3000. And I stop the attacks. And we forget about this issue.
        WHAT? No ending to this story? What happened? Wow! I guess
        all you Programmers out there are as dangerous as you want to
        be. In a few more ways than one....I've seen some questionable
        code lately too. (LOL) If you don't know what I'm talking about,
        then it's not you.

        Tip: Get 1 GOOD Programmer and 1 GOOD Lawyer and make them
        your 2 Best Friends for LIfe and enjoy less strife and more money
        in the bank too!!

        What happend to the Courts and the Cops? Not
        here in the WWW....scary to think about...




        .
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        I retired in 2005 at 43 and now I give away websites like these for FREE [hosting excluded]

        When you make at least $100+ per month, we split the profit 80/20 and YOU get the 80% Until then, you keep 100% and I'll help you drive traffic, get backlinks and put the domain in your name too!
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Well the person responsible just sent me an email of "confession".
    And it's a fellow Warrior ....

    Hello Ray,

    I know your site is down. Started +-3 days ago.

    Believe it or not, I'm the attacker.

    And **will** continue taking down your sites for the rest of my life via DOSS attacks. It's all automated. So requires no human intervention.

    You obviously know why it's from me.

    I never forget when someone hurts me like you did.

    And will gladly keep taking down your sites until I get my promised refund of US3000 back. Because it's fair. You had your rest while I suffered. And no more!

    You can change hosts all you want, I'll just attack the new IP address(s). So it won't help you.

    As you find yourself naturally not believing it's me, you will, when you feel inclined to change hosts, thinking it'll "fix" the problem. Then that one will suspend you too. Same goes for dedicated server.

    Up to you. Keep ignoring me, don't refund and get your sites DOSSED for the rest of your life.

    OR

    Reply to me (via this PM) for my PayPal email. Refund my US$3000. And I stop the attacks. And we forget about this issue.



    Andre V.

    P.S. I see you changed hosts, your site is on a new IP. I'll now start attacking that one. Taking down your site again.
    Go figure!

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
    OK, you have this guy by the balls. Since the russian mafia used botnets to extort banks the punishment for bot nets is extreme. I'm talking Interpol (FBI for you yanks) kicking down your front door stylee. The punishment is time behind bars.

    The truth is that there are ways to filter against DDoS attacks and unless this guy has a very large botnet then you can find hosting that won't go down.

    The way a DDoS attack works is that the hacker uses either a scanning program to find vulnerable boxes or distributes files over irc, torrent and p2p networks that contains a virus to exploit your machine. Or alternatively they can hack websites to gain root access and install the DoS scripts there.

    The attacker then sets these exploited machines to attack your websites IP address to overload the server and stop valid customers seeing it.

    For the layman they are not easy to track but I know for sure here in europe there is a specialist task force dedicated to tracking them down and stopping them.

    My advice is to get a host that knows about DoS filtering and find the proper authorites to report this to.

    PS is this the same guy who optimized websites on the keyword of your name?
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  • Profile picture of the author mmurtha
    Hey Ray,

    The PM states that you owe him monwy. If this is the case, just pay him, and get it over with. If you don't, keep a copy of that PM - save it on your HD, and then make a hard copy of it, and any other stuff he sends you.

    If he is/was a customer of yours, you can ptobably get his information. Once you do that, I'd contact the authorities and give it to them.

    Whatever you end up doing, I hope it works out for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Giuliopepe.it
    Have you the access to the control panel?
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
      Ray, that's a serious threat and one that I would not take lightly.

      Even if you did owe him money, by going after your copywriting site, it severely limits your ability to pay him. At least if you are like most copywriters I know and earn the majority of your income through copywriting.

      Regardless of whether you owe him money or not, I would contact the authorities. Like GuerillaIM said, this is the type of actions that is usually punished with jail time.

      I'd suggest even contacting his hosting company and internet service provider if you can get that info (usually found through tools like registrar.com). I'm sure they would want to know that someone is using some of their resources to commit a crime.

      Good luck,

      Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author Raydal
        Originally Posted by MikeHumphreys View Post

        Ray, that's a serious threat and one that I would not take lightly.

        Even if you did owe him money, by going after your copywriting site, it severely limits your ability to pay him. At least if you are like most copywriters I know and earn the majority of your income through copywriting.

        Regardless of whether you owe him money or not, I would contact the authorities. Like GuerillaIM said, this is the type of actions that is usually punished with jail time.

        I'd suggest even contacting his hosting company and internet service provider if you can get that info (usually found through tools like registrar.com). I'm sure they would want to know that someone is using some of their resources to commit a crime.

        Good luck,

        Mike
        Hey Mike,

        This is a sad situation no matter how you look at it. Andre has been
        after me for 4 years now. He made ...

        -BB complaints
        -Automated phone calls to my home
        -SCAM forum posts
        -email threats to show up at my door and kill my whole family
        -Now this is his latest 'attack'

        Hard to think that I started out by offering a free critique for
        his sales letter and then he paid me the $3K to rewrite the
        sales letter which he said that he loved. About 3 weeks after
        posting the letter he said that his sales had gone down instead.

        When I asked to look at the traffic sources, they were mainly
        "start page' program hits--i.e. low quality traffic. Before I
        could respond to this information there was a refund request.

        I indicated that I would grant the refund even though it was
        against the contract agreement. Refund would only be granted
        after I had a chance to review the copy etc.

        At that time I needed to fund my paypal account before sending
        the money. Within a few days I got accused of stone-walling
        and then the threats started.

        Now let me see ... I promised a refund against the agreement
        and you can't wait a few days to get this--so much so that
        you threaten to slaughter my family and bring down my business
        by any means possible.

        I mean if I'm such an unethical business man then you should at
        least find another person willing to come forward and say that
        I robbed them or did low quality work, etc ...

        I've refunded $10K to a client who was disrespectful to me.
        He didn't ask for his money, but I dismissed him as a client.

        It's not the amount, but the principle of the matter. You
        can't FORCE from me what's not your due, but a little
        finesse and honey can go a long way.

        -Ray Edwards
        Signature
        The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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        • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
          Ray,

          If someone threaten to *harm* my family in any fashion, I'd immediately contact the authorities and press charges. There are some email threats and jabs that I'll let pass but never anything threatening my family's health or safety. That $hit ain't cool under any circumstance, especially if the person is threatening your spouse and kids.

          If you have a track record of his prior and current actions, then I'd definitely turn it over to the authorities.

          Good luck,

          Mike
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          • Profile picture of the author Raydal
            Originally Posted by MikeHumphreys View Post

            Ray,

            If someone threaten to *harm* my family in any fashion, I'd immediately contact the authorities and press charges. There are some email threats and jabs that I'll let pass but never anything threatening my family's health or safety. That ain't cool under any circumstance, especially if the person is threatening your spouse and kids.

            If you have a track record of his prior and current actions, then I'd definitely turn it over to the authorities.

            Good luck,

            Mike
            Well, I thought he was smart enough to back off but he
            has started the attacks again so I've reported this to
            the FBI.

            -Ray Edwards
            Signature
            The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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  • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
    Personally I wouldn't bend to this sort of pressure, I didn't give my lunch money to the school bully either.

    What this guy is doing is illegal. If he had a valid claim then he could persue it through the courts.
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