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I am facing a strange issue where one of our servers (used for internal purpose) hosted by Rackspace uses huge amount of bandwidth (but our actual users are using the server rarely).

FYI, the said server was compromised once, serving landing pages for phishing websites. At present we have removed all those landing pages and the server is clean now. But Apache error logs points to those (now non-existing ) landing pages.

My question is does 404 error pages use lot of bandwidth ? How can we avoid this situation ?

Thanks In Advance.

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It uses bandwidth based on how large the page size is. If you are getting a lot of requests then yes it could certainly generate a noticable amount.

Check what your error page looks like - is it a plain and basic error or is it something similar to what a CMS like WordPress may generate where it's got a lot of content on it. Slimming it down is step #1.

Assuming that's all done you are dealing with an issue where traffic is being sent to you somehow and you need to response with the smallest amount of data possible. There are a lot of things you could do here, like trying to tarpit the bad requests, making sure you send back basically nothing, etc, but as long as they are sending a lot of data you will use a lot of data.

I would suggest asking RackSpace for a different IP address rather - so effectively just moving out of the way.

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