Tag Archives: bot

Request Header-Based Logging for Apache

When someone, such as a person or a bot, the requester, requests a resource from your server, this request, for Apache, is logged in the raw access log. The requester also leaves some information about itself called http request headers. While not standard to log on Apache, with a little bit of php added to the html, this extra information can be logged and examined to help determine if the requester is a bot or human.

As an additional file will be created daily, I opted to put these files into a subdirectory. The headers, one per line, are being logged into a headers-yyyymmdd.log file, which seems free form. Different requesters leave different sets of headers.

Content Spam: Human or Not? jijikserver Pinsupport

I received this message on my site which on the surface looked like a human. Though they had grammar errors there was enough there to pass. With further analysis I believe this to be a bot.

hey hai this is ashok , i have lg optimusp768 with rooted, unlocked bootloader and also cwm , but i cant find custom roms any wheere please prepare one custom rom , or atleast one stock rom with more features

Human Characteristics:
The comment was on topic. The English, which had grammar and spelling mistakes, was passable.

Bot Characteristics:

Feedly: Somewhat Schizophrenic so Please Settle Down

A dear friend uses Feedly to monitor my site. He complained that he was getting 403s Banned, and asked why. Well, I have found that Feedly usually only takes my RSS feed, but sometimes, not often, it scrapes me mercilessly. Once I see a bot start scraping, I ban it. I moved him over to the more well behaved Feedburner by Google.

Here are the Feedly user agents:

Feedly/1.0 (+http://www.feedly.com/fetcher.html; like FeedFetcher-Google)
FeedlyBot/1.0 (http://feedly.com)

The latter, FeedlyBot, runs off WZComm, and had previously scraped me, so I banned it. WZComm also runs the surdotly bot, which is also banned. The former, Feedly/1.0, runs off Level 3, and seems well behaved.

Nikto Web Server Scan: View from the Access Log

Playing, I am, with the Nikto web server scanning package. I scanned my own site, just for fun. While it does take some time, it did finish. I wondered how it would look from my site’s raw access log viewpoint. In summary, Nikto is not stealthy at all. It is also easily detected and banned mid-scan, as it takes a long time to complete.

Essentially you start a Terminal, and type “nikto -h “. There are lots of options, such as output to a log. The Nikto output highlights web site vulnerabilities and cross references these with a database of known hacks. Using this tool you can highlight the site’s weaknesses and then strengthen your site from hackers.

strider.delmarvagroup.com 173.49.213.106 really wants to contact me

173.49.213.106 strider.delmarvagroup.com, from the MCI Communications block, you really need to put some smarts into your bot. What are you thinking?

173.48.0.0 – 173.63.255.255 MCI Communications

I’m not sure why you are doing this, but please stop. I don’t have a contact form at that location.

City of Toronto Internet Scraper Bot

City of Toronto internet scraper bot scrapes my site a couple of times per month. Why? Toronto, Canada

City of Toronto internet scraper bot scrapes my site a couple of times per month. Why? Toronto, Canada

I live in the City of Toronto, and write about Toronto-related subjects. What is surprising is that the City of Toronto has an internet bot that randomly scrapes content from my site a couple of times each month. The bot started scraping me near the end of January 2017.

What is interesting was that I, concerned citizen, actually emailed them because I thought they had a Zombie PC taken over by a bot, or some other security issue. I sent the City a log of the relevant entries related to their IP address. Was I naive. Here is their reply (isg@toronto.ca):

Bot Strategy: Fetch, Scrape, Change IP, repeat

Four IPs scraped my site in identical ways: Fetch the most recent document, then scrape parts of the rest of the site. The IP changes, and they repeat. They fetch the same identical document, but then scrape different parts of my site but only for images.

I’ll keep my eye on such activity and see if I further pin down something more definite.

UA: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0; .NET CLR 2.0.50727), which seems to be not unique

Dual IP Comment Spammers with Canadian Content

We Canadians are always overshadowed by the 10 larger in population US. If at all possible I like to highlight our accomplishments, or in this case, sophisticated comment spamming from Canada. Bad, Canada.

Comment spammers on my site usually use a single IP to first read the post, determine if they can submit spam, then submit the spam comment. This shows up in my Akismet spam comments. They are simple to identify and ban.

Attack from spbot OpenLinkProfiler.org

Today I received a massive 1,000 line scraper attack from spbot, from OpenLinkProfiler.org. The ip address is 138.197.47.148, a Digital Ocean IP, which I have banned. I’ve also added spbot to by robots.txt. Sent a complaint letter to Digital Ocean at abuse@digitalocean.com:

Hi there,
Today I received a 1000 line scrape from one of your IP addresses:
138.197.47.148

The UA is Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; spbot/5.0.3; +http://OpenLinkProfiler.org/bot )

Please have them cease their scraping activity as it unnecessarily uses up my bandwidth and CPU time.

I have included today’s log entry with their activity:

Thanks, Don