When I checked my Awstats I noticed that I am getting a lot of hits from certain countries (I am sure you can guess which they are) and there is no doubt that those hits are coming from low webmasters who are on the dark side of the Internet. I have no idea what their goal is but they surely are keeping my server busy for nothing.

So, without blocking a whole country on an IP level, what are my options to discourage such people from visiting my website, sending excessive requests, sending spam sites to my Awstats logs?