| 12:59 am on Dec 4, 2009 (gmt 0)|
It's making the rounds. From earlier today; note change in UA string (...unless your copy-paste stripped out the leading +, Gary?):
AppEngine-Google; (+http://code.google.com/appengine; appid: mapthislink)
(The file requested was a recent Twitter mention. But thus far, "mapthislink" doesn't appear to be Twitter-specific.)
| 7:39 pm on Dec 4, 2009 (gmt 0)|
Two more hits today simultaneous with swarms of Twitter-related UAs confirm mapthislink's connection.
FWIW, I've yet to see any ill effect from blocking pretty much ALL Twitter fellow travelers for one reason or another, e.g., amazonaws.com-hosted; no-robots.txt; HEAD requests; bad or no UAs; ad nauseam hits, etc.
| 9:32 pm on Dec 4, 2009 (gmt 0)|
|unless your copy-paste stripped out the leading + |
I coded my log analysis software to strip-out plus signs. From what I've seen all they do is hard-code spaces into an otherwise space-delimited log file,
| 10:19 pm on Dec 4, 2009 (gmt 0)|
|I've decided to ban anything with AppEngine-Google in it as none of them has ever provided anything useful in exchange for access to my sites. |
I have the same conclusion. This method seems to be faddish at the moment amongst those who enjoy the novelty of masquerading as "Google approved" via a Google IP range.
| 2:26 am on Dec 5, 2009 (gmt 0)|
@GaryK do you use Google's OpenID service or anything like that on your website?
| 7:43 am on Dec 5, 2009 (gmt 0)|
@Gary: When UAs you report are in any way altered by your software, might it be possible for you to please also/instead post the original, actual strings? It's really difficult to confidently block on specifics otherwise.
For example, the UA in the OP would automatically get caught by a no-space-after-left-paren rule. But because a key bit is missing, replaced by a space, the rule wouldn't kick in and absent other rules, the bot would get in. So anyway, TIA if you can include unaltered UAs:)
| 5:18 pm on Dec 5, 2009 (gmt 0)|
Nope none of my sites uses Google OpenID.
Pfui, that's no problem at all. Here's the raw UA for this one: