Recently I found that one of the servers I look after that runs a high profile site was generating semi-high load at traffic peaks. You could generally say that this would be understandable but the server was shooting up to a load of around 10 for a few seconds and with that load jump I was able to graph an increase of Apache processes on top of it. Again though, this would generally be considered normal, but knowing how well the server performs and having nginx sitting on top handling all static content I knew something wasn’t quite right.

Looking through the logs I found quite a lot of requests from a badly written spider which was generating a lot of server load when it hit the server, but after IP banning the culprit I also found several instances of Apache waking it’s child processes.

127.0.0 …