IP Location Block

Description

IP Location Block plugin that allows you to block access to your site based on the visitor location while also keeping your site safe from malicious attacks. The plugin brings a smart and powerful protection methods named as “WP Zero-day Exploit Prevention” and “WP Metadata Exploit Protection“.

Combined with those methods and IP address geolocation, you’ll be surprised to find a bunch of malicious or undesirable access blocked in the logs of this plugin after several days of installation.

Note: This plugin is based on the now abandoned “IP Geo Block” plugin by tokkonopapa. I fixed various issues and improved the overall codebase.

Features

  • Privacy by design:
    IP address is always encrypted on recording in logs/cache. Moreover, it can be anonymized and restricted on sending to the 3rd parties such as geolocation APIs or whois service.

  • Immigration control:
    Access to the basic and important entrances into back-end such as wp-comments-post.php, xmlrpc.php, wp-login.php, wp-signup.php, wp-admin/admin.php, wp-admin/admin-ajax.php, wp-admin/admin-post.php will be validated by means of a country code based on IP address. It allows you to configure either whitelist or blacklist to specify the countires, CIDR notation for a range of IP addresses and AS number for a group of IP networks.

  • Zero-day Exploit Prevention:
    Unlike other security firewalls based on attack patterns (vectors), the original feature “WordPress Zero-day Exploit Prevention” (WP-ZEP) is focused on patterns of vulnerability. It is simple but still smart and strong enough to block any malicious accesses to wp-admin/*.php, plugins/*.php and themes/*.php even from the permitted countries. It will protect your site against certain types of attack such as CSRF, LFI, SQLi, XSS and so on, even if you have some vulnerable plugins and themes in your site.

  • Guard against login attempts:
    In order to prevent hacking through the login form and XML-RPC by brute-force and the reverse-brute-force attacks, the number of login attempts will be limited per IP address even from the permitted countries.

  • Minimize server load against brute-force attacks:
    You can configure this plugin as a Must Use Plugins so that this plugin can be loaded prior to regular plugins. It can massively reduce the load on server.

  • Prevent malicious down/uploading:
    A malicious request such as exposing wp-config.php or uploading malwares via vulnerable plugins/themes can be blocked.

  • Block badly-behaved bots and crawlers:
    A simple logic may help to reduce the number of rogue bots and crawlers scraping your site.

  • Support of BuddyPress and bbPress:
    You can configure this plugin so that a registered user can login as a membership from anywhere, while a request such as a new user registration, lost password, creating a new topic and subscribing comment can be blocked by country. It is suitable for BuddyPress and bbPress to help reducing spams.

  • Referrer suppressor for external links:
    When you click an external hyperlink on admin screens, http referrer will be eliminated to hide a footprint of your site.

  • Multiple source of IP Geolocation databases:
    MaxMind GeoLite2 free databases (it requires PHP 5.4.0+) and IP2Location LITE databases can be installed in this plugin. Also free Geolocation REST APIs and whois information can be available for audit purposes.
    Father more, dedicated API class libraries can be installed for CloudFlare and CloudFront as a reverse proxy service.

  • Customizing response:
    HTTP response code can be selectable as 403 Forbidden to deny access pages, 404 Not Found to hide pages or even 200 OK to redirect to the top page.
    You can also have a human friendly page (like 404.php) in your parent/child theme template directory to fit your site design.

  • Validation logs:
    Validation logs for useful information to audit attack patterns can be manageable.

  • Cooperation with full spec security plugin:
    This plugin is lite enough to be able to cooperate with other full spec security plugin such as Wordfence Security. See this report about page speed performance.

  • Extendability:
    You can customize the behavior of this plugin via add_filter() with pre-defined filter hook. See various use cases in samples.php bundled within this package.
    You can also get the extension IP Geo Allow by Dragan. It makes admin screens strictly private with more flexible way than specifying IP addresses.

  • Self blocking prevention and easy rescue:
    Website owners do not prefer themselves to be blocked. This plugin prevents such a sad thing unless you force it. And futhermore, if such a situation occurs, you can rescue yourself easily.

  • Clean uninstallation:
    Nothing is left in your precious mySQL database after uninstallation. So you can feel free to install and activate to make a trial of this plugin’s functionality.

Attribution

This package includes GeoLite2 library distributed by MaxMind, available from MaxMind (it requires PHP 5.4.0+), and also includes IP2Location open source libraries available from IP2Location.

Also thanks for providing the following great services and REST APIs for free.

Development

Development of this plugin is promoted at WordPress-IP-Geo-Block and class libraries to handle geo-location database are developed separately as “add-in”s at WordPress-IP-Geo-API.

All contributions will always be welcome. Or visit my development blog.

Known issues

  • From WordPress 4.5, rel=nofollow had no longer be attached to the links in comment_content. This change prevents to block “Server Side Request Forgeries” (not Cross Site but a malicious internal link in the comment field).
  • WordPress.com Mobile App can’t execute image uploading because of its own authentication system via XMLRPC.

Screenshots

  • IP Location Plugin - Settings tab
  • IP Location Plugin - Validation rules and behavior
  • IP Location Plugin - Back-end target settings
  • IP Location Plugin - Front-end target settings
  • IP Location Plugin - Geolocation API settings
  • IP Location Plugin - IP address cache settings
  • IP Location Plugin - Statistics tab
  • IP Location Plugin - Logs tab
  • IP Location Plugin - Search tab
  • IP Location Plugin - Attribution tab

Installation

Using The WordPress Dashboard

  1. Navigate to the ‘Add New’ in the plugins dashboard
  2. Search for ‘IP Location Block’
  3. Click ‘Install Now’
  4. Activate the plugin on the Plugin dashboard
  5. Stay cool for a while and go to ‘Settings’ » ‘IP Location Block’
  6. Try ‘Best for Back-end’ button for easy setup at the bottom of this plugin’s setting page.

Please refer to the document for your best setup.

FAQ

Does the site using this plugin comply with GDPR?

This plugin is designed based on the principle of “Privacy by design” so that you can compliantly run it to GDPR. As guarding against personal data breach, IP addresses in this plugin are encrypted and also can be anonymized by default. It also provides some functions not only to manually erase them but also to automatically remove them when those are exceeded a certain amount/time.

However, these are the part of GDPR requirements and do not guarantee that the site is compliant with GDPR. Refer to 3.0.11 release note for details.

Is there a way to migrate from IP Geo Block”

Yes, if “IP Geo Block” settings are detected, you will see migrate option in the Settings last in “Plugin Settings” section. This will copy the settings from “IP Geo Block” only.

Does this plugin support multisite?

Yes. You can synchronize the settings with all the sites on the network when you activate on network and enable “Network wide settings” in “Plugin settings” section.

Does this plugin works well with caching?

The short answer is YES, especially for the purpose of security e.g. blocking malicious access both on the back-end and on the front-end.

You can find the long answer and the compatibility list of cache plugins at “Compatibility with cache plugins“.

I still have access from blacklisted country. Does it work correctly?

Absolutely, YES.

Sometimes, a WordFence Security user would report this type of claim when he/she found some accesses in its Live traffic view. But please don’t worry. Before WordPress runs, WordFence cleverly filters out malicious requests to your site using auto_prepend_file directive to include PHP based Web Application Firewall. Then this plugin validates the rest of the requests that pass over Wordfence because those were not in WAF rules, especially you enables “Prevent Zero-day Exploit“.

It would also possibly be caused by the accuracy of country code in the geolocation databases. Actually, there is a case that a same IP address has different country code.

For more detail, please refer to “I still have access from blacklisted country.“.

How can I test this plugin works?

The easiest way is to use free proxy browser addon.

Another one is to use http header browser addon.

You can add an IP address to the X-Forwarded-For header to emulate the access behind the proxy. In this case, you should add HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR into the “$_SERVER keys for extra IPs” on “Settings” tab.

See more details at “How to test prevention of attacks“.

I’m locked out! What shall I do?

Please find the solution in Quick recovery from blocking on your login page at first.

You can also find another solution by editing “Emergent Functionality” code section near the bottom of ip-location-block.php. This code block can be activated by replacing /* (opening multi-line comment) at the top of the line to // (single line comment), or * at the end of the line to */ (closing multi-line comment).

/**
 * Invalidate blocking behavior in case yourself is locked out.
 *
 * How to use: Activate the following code and upload this file via FTP.
 */
/* -- ADD '/' TO THE TOP OR END OF THIS LINE TO ACTIVATE THE FOLLOWINGS -- */
function ip_location_block_emergency( $validate, $settings ) {
    $validate['result'] = 'passed';
    return $validate;
}
add_filter( 'ip-location-block-login', 'ip_location_block_emergency', 1, 2 );
add_filter( 'ip-location-block-admin', 'ip_location_block_emergency', 1, 2 );
// */

Please not that you have to use an appropriate editor.

After saving and uploading it to /wp-content/plugins/ip-location-block/ on your server via FTP, you become to be able to login again as an admin.

Remember that you should upload the original one after re-configuration to deactivate this feature.

This document can also help you.

Do I have to turn on all the selection to enhance security?

Yes. Roughly speaking, the strategy of this plugin has been constructed as follows:

  • Block by country
    It blocks malicious requests from outside your country.

  • Prevent Zero-day Exploit
    It blocks malicious requests from your country.

  • Force to load WP core
    It blocks the request which has not been covered in the above two.

  • Bad signatures in query
    It blocks the request which has not been covered in the above three.

Please try “Best for Back-end” button at the bottom of this plugin’s setting page for easy setup. And also see more details in “The best practice of target settings“.

Does this plugin validate all the requests?

Unfortunately, no. This plugin can’t handle the requests that are not parsed by WordPress. In other words, a standalone file (PHP, CGI or something executable) that is unrelated to WordPress can’t be validated by this plugin even if it is in the WordPress install directory.

But there’s exceptions: When you enable “Force to load WP core” for Plugins area or Themes area, a standalone PHP file becomes to be able to be blocked. Sometimes this kind of file has some vulnerabilities. This function protects your site against such a case.

How to resolve “Sorry, your request cannot be accepted.”?

If you encounter this message, please refer to this document to resolve your blocking issue.

If you can’t solve your issue, please let me know about it on the support forum. Your logs in this plugin and “Installation information” at “Plugin settings” will be a great help to resolve the issue.

How can I fix “Unable to write” error?

When you enable “Force to load WP core” options, this plugin will try to configure .htaccess in your /wp-content/plugins/ and /wp-content/themes/ directory in order to protect your site against the malicious attacks to the OMG plugins and themes.

But some servers doesn’t give read / write permission against .htaccess to WordPress. In this case, you can configure .htaccess files by your own hand instead of enabling “Force to load WP core” options.

Please refer to “How can I fix permission troubles?” in order to fix this error.

Reviews

ستمبر 10, 2021
Thank you for providing an up to date version of IP Geo Block, and with easy migration of IP Geo Block's settings!
اگست 5, 2021
Fully featured plugin which does everything you need. Plus a developer who is constantly available to provide rapid support & improve things. Probably the best plugin available for IP blocking so far.
جُون 17, 2021
I was procrastinating deleting IP GEO BLOCK from my multisite for years, right up til the day I installed Elementor on the main site, but it wouldn't work right. Once I found out that IP GEO BLOCK was the culprit, I then discovered IP LOCATION BLOCK just in time to replace it. Now all is well! A million thanks
مئی 29, 2021
Not a coder, but others gushed over ver1 of this plugin. If you are new to WP, or have you've used the other (10k+ still do) plugin that is no longer being developed, here's your GEO block plugin. Read up, real deal.
مئی 25, 2021
So good to have someone finally step up and get the old IP Geo Block plugin working with support again - and supported by someone who is accessible and helpful. Thanks!!
مئی 18, 2021
I received an email telling me this had been released and immediately installed it. I've been waiting since the original IP Geo Block was abandoned for something to replace it. Installed just fine and while I had a couple issues with getting the settings transferred from IP Geo Block and properly updated, it was up and working in an hour or so. That said, probably anyone with the first clue about these things might not have had any issues at all. I am the first to admit my total ignorance about the technical details of how all of this works. The supporter of this plugin immediately took care of the problem and it seems to now work just like the original. Hats off to Darko for taking this over.
Read all 6 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“IP Location Block” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.

Contributors

Translate “IP Location Block” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.

Changelog

1.0.4

Bug fix: Fix bugs related to the asn blocking feature
Bug fix: Trigger re-download of the asn database once the ASN feature is enabled via settings
Improvement: Improved migration from legacy process, unset unused settings

1.0.3

Improvement: Add “Migrate from IP Geo Block” option if IP Geo Block settings are detected. This will copy the IP Geo Block settings.
Improvement: Replaced the deprecated jQuery.trim() calls with String.trim()
Bug Fix: Fix error when deleting the Emergency link using the “Delete current link” button.

1.0.2

Bug fix: Fix mu-plugins option

1.0.1

Improvement: Drop ipdata.co API
Bug fix: Fixed the search tool

1.0.0

Improvement: Added PHP8 compatibility
Improvement: Added support for Maxmind GeoLite2 database with api key
Improvement: Replaced Google Maps with OSM/Leaflet
Improvement: Updated DNS2 Library to support PHP8
Bug fix: Fixed IP2Location provider errors. Update to the latest version
Bug fix: Fixed various errors caught in error logs triggered in the newer PHP versions
Bug fix: Fixed the ipinfo.io API
Bug fix: Fixed the ipdata.co API