in Technology

Prevent HotLinking with .htaccess

It is fine for people to take images, css, js and other medias from your site as long as they re-host it on their own server after making a copy. Also, known as HotLinking, stealing people’s bandwidth by linking directly to other site’s images, js, css files is a bad thing. If you are a site owner and want to prevent hotlinking or serve an alternate content, here is an easy solution using .htaccess.

Create a .htaccess file and place it on the root of the domain where you want to prevent hotlinking. In my case, it was http://www.brajeshwar.com/. Add or append, the following codes between the Rewrite Rule else create the same.

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?brajeshwar.com/.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg|js|css)$ - [F]
</IfModule>

This will prevent hotlinking to my gif, jpg, js and css files.
Note: mod_rewrite should be enabled for this to work.

In an event where you want to replace a hotlinked media with an alternate media, here is the change for the .htaccess file.

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?brajeshwar.com/.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg)$ http://media.brajeshwar.com/i/brajeshwar.jpg [R,L]
</IfModule>

So, they will see me instead of the hot linked image. ;-) This came to light after Jason Scott’s article on Freedom, Justice and a Disturbingly Gaping Ass (via : Digg).

Google Defines Hotlinking as the intentional usage of someone’s bandwidth without that person’s authorization. It is also known as Bandwidth Theft.

ELSEWHERE

  1. Great post!
    stealing your web content(css, images, etc.) is bad enough, but they actually have the nerve to steal it using your bandwidth? Yikes!

    I am new at this, but I never thought that this was an issue.

  2. Great post!
    stealing your web content(css, images, etc.) is bad enough, but they actually have the nerve to steal it using your bandwidth? Yikes!

    I am new at this, but I never thought that this was an issue.

  3. mod_perl's PerlTransHandler provides a much nicer way to do url rewriting without the security problems that have plagued mod_rewrite.

  4. mod_perl's PerlTransHandler provides a much nicer way to do url rewriting without the security problems that have plagued mod_rewrite.

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