Block bad bots in Nginx

It’s simple to drop or block badbots like MJ12bot, AhrefsBot in Nginx without using Modsecurity.

Step 1.) Create a badbot.conf in your Nginx directory.


Step 2.) Edit /etc/nginx/conf.d/badbot.conf and add the following content(modify highlighted part if you want to add or remove bots)

map $http_user_agent $bad_bot {
    default 0;
    ~*^Lynx 0; # Let Lynx go through
    libwww-perl                      1;
    ~*(?i)(AhrefsBot|DotBot|80legs|360Spider|^BackDoorBot|GalaxyBot|MJ12bot|MegaIndex|python-requests|scanbot|ZmEu|SemrushBot|^majestic12|Nimbostratus-Bot|^WallpapersHD) 1;

Step 3.) To enable the badbot block, add one of following to your server block

# Send 403 Forbidden error
if ($bad_bot) { return 403; }


# Drop the connection
if ($bad_bot) { return 444; }

Step 4.) Run the following command to verify your Nginx configuration is valid.

nginx -t

You should get an output that looks something like this:

nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful

Step 5.) Reload Nginx and you’re all set!

service nginx reload