Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Lame bandwidth theft

Someone on was hotlinking an image on my server. Unfortunately for him, the filename for this file is ‘familyguypoppycock.png’. His host obviously doesn’t like the work ‘cock’, so I’ve had lots of 404 errors for the file ‘familyguypoppy*bleep*.png’.
While you can’t save files with asterisk characters in them, you can create redirects in Apache from an URL with asterisks to another file, so he’s now getting a file called ‘bigbandwidthstealer.png’ instead.
Honestly, if you’re going to steal peoples’ bandwidth, at least do it properly… 😉


  1. I’ve been having the same problem for a while. One of my pages, an explanation of how an actress was digitally… enhanced for a promo poster, seems to be rather popular on StumbleUpon. Eight to ten people keep reposting the images on their own sites, but by linking to the images on my server. I tried slicing the images and reassembling them in a table, but the bandwidth thieves nicked the html, too!
    Now I simply rename the files every month or so, and give the previous filenames to ‘No-one likes a bandwith THIEF’ images.

  2. Probablly a very obvious question how do I find out if someone is hotlinking to an image of mine? My hits on my website have quadrupled and I’ve noticed through Mint that I’m getting a number of queries on a certain photograph.