Attracta? More like Attacka! Horrible SEO service destroys server

Feb 21st, 2012 | By | Category: Linux / Freebsd

Wow, a 2 day hellish experience has finally come to an end.  My CPU usage spiked up to 100% from 20% 3 days ago for no apparent fault of my own, IE: nothing had been done to or changed on the server at all.  The techs at my hosting company just assumed it was wordpress and drupal causing this havoc pushing me to upgrade to a VPS account but I, the only one who left the rational part of their brain on that day, knew better.  I mean I could literally see the minute when the spike happened and it didnt’ go down since so I knew this wasn’t something that I needed to throw more CPU power at.  The first thing I did was to check awstats and see if I was suddenly blessed with a page 1 ranking on google and was being flooded with traffic but I wasn’t.. So like a zombie I went through all of my sites, updating WordPress, implementing more aggressive caching, going through the nightmare of setting up caching for authenticated users on drupal(try doinig it with ACL installed if you think it’s so easy) and in the end no results.. So I moved my 3 biggest sites off that server onto one of my colo boxes and still nothing.  It took me a full 24 hours before I thought to check the access logs and shit on me, there it was.. I was getting upwards of 5 page requests per second per site(there’s 7 of them) from one IP address:  72.5.66.82.  A quick little bit of geoloco work and what do you know? It’s bloody attracta’s crawler, going balistic on my server.  I block that IP and surprisingly enough the CPU usage dropped like a rock, ram usage went down 10 fold.

Of course the next day it was back up again and of course Attracta’s crawler has more than 1 IP.  So I blocked the whole fucking range and now my CPU usage went from 100% down to 5% and on the plus side I have an even better, more effective caching scheme setup across the board.  Huzzah!

 

Morale of the story, steer cleer of Attracta unless you want to sign your server up to be a banquet.

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8 Comments to “Attracta? More like Attacka! Horrible SEO service destroys server”

  1. Chad says:

    Attracta is horrible. They also rewrite your robots.txt file without telling you and it continues even after you stop the service. You have no choice but to block them. Can you please posts their IP range? Thank you and final two words about ‘detracta’ – STAY AWAY!

  2. Rivet says:

    No trouble with performance, but their technical support is non-existent. Total waste of time and money.

  3. alex barg says:

    guess what ? Attracta SUCKS BIG TIME…
    i am banned from HG for more than 16 hours for their idiotic crawler….
    i am still waiting for resolve……

  4. Chris says:

    Has anyone else been signed up for attracta by hostgator without your knowledge or consent?

    I have been looking into a class action lawsuit against hostgator for allowing attracta webspace and files editing access without consent . I would be willing to cover the legal cost. The law firm i work for said my case would be strengthened with more plantiffs.

  5. admin says:

    I wasn’t with hostgator and I voluntarily signed up with Attracta unfortunately 🙁

  6. Tom says:

    A nightmare of mine has been solved, well it will be on Monday (“Attracta, The World’s Most Popular SEO Service”) has no customer support available on Sundays, that’s right, you can’t even cancel your service on Sunday.
    I am hosted through Hostgator, and my issue is that Attracta is inserting itself on my checkout page, and breaking it, not allowing customers to checkout via PayPal standard. That is a problem. I was banging my head against the wall for a while trying to figure this out, and finally got some help from a great programmer,(I’m not tech savvy) who pointed this out. Once (or IF) I receive an email from them confirming the deactivation of my account, I will try to forget Attacka ever existed!

  7. Kent says:

    I also signed up with Attracta voluntarily thru HostGator. It’s been ysix months now and my Google ranking has tanked ever since. Attracta should be renamed Repelya. Attracta sucks. Avoid it like the plague.

  8. Jared says:

    Thank you for posting this. The EXACT same thing happened to me. It’s been 3 months now that my CPU usage on my sever has been 100%. It has to be Attracta based on this article, my own experience and knowing that I hadn’t touched my website for several weeks. Glad I’m not the only one in this boat.

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