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Amazon AWS Hosts Bad Bots

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12:45 am on Sep 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

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1.) Back in 2008, I noticed a lot of bad bots hailing from amazonaws.com and by January, 2009, I started a thread about what hid behind that early cloud:

amazonaws.com plays host to wide variety of bad bots [webmasterworld.com...]

Since that time, 270-plus reports/messages further document that the Amazon AWS Host name and Amazon AWS's countless IPs continue to be what forum mod IncrediBILL aptly termed:

"Cesspool."

This thread continues the saga of amazonaws.com and its spawn.

2.) The AWS cesspool is home to countless hundreds of bots, the vast majority of which ignore robots.txt. Home to hundreds more bots cloaked as regular UAs. Home to infected machines and bad programming, and all the ills to others that cloud anonymity affords.

And in recent weeks, home to bots with no UA at all... [webmasterworld.com...] Note the double-quotes at the end where a UA, or at least a hyphen, should be:

ec2-50-17-87-218.compute-1.amazonaws.com - - [00/Sep/2011:00:00:00] "GET /dir/filename.html HTTP/1.1" 403 1471 "-" ""

Today, the 'blank bot' -- what I've started thinking of as the AWSbot -- was the most frequent AWS 'visitor' to my main site. Four Hosts, four hits to different files, four 403s. robots.txt? NO
10:57 pm on Nov 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Note AWS-related prefix below --

ec2-50-17-110-45.compute-1.amazonaws.com
Stellar/0.1 stellar.io

robots.txt? NO

Stellar.io
= 107.20.176.132
= ec2-107-20-176-132.compute-1.amazonaws.com
= "Stellar.io is a domain controlled by four domain name servers at awsdns-22.org, awsdns-63.net, awsdns-09.com and awsdns-40.co.uk." [robtex.com...]

Noteworthy: awsdns- (Includes employee pet sites/projects?)
Blockworthy? [robtex.com...]
Beats me.
10:57 pm on Nov 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Got hits from shopwiki bot today, looking genuine but from an AWS range.

IP: 107.20.38.235
UA: ShopWiki/1.0 ( +http://www.shopwiki.com/wiki/Help:Bot)

If this is genuine then goodbye shopwiki.
12:36 am on Nov 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I allowed them for a while since I do sell products, but they were crawling the entire site every day of the week, so I now stop them at robots.txt.

So far Shopwiki has always obeyed the deny in robots.txt.

dstiles - one of the (many) irritating dynamics of AWS is the unaccountability. I'm interested in how you would confirm this is a valid Shopwiki bot if coming from an AWS range?
10:40 pm on Nov 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

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You're right, but I did say "looking genuine" and "if this is genuine". Without a proper rDNS I cannot be sure it's valid except for the crawl pattern, which looks as extensive as others.

My own findings are that shopwiki does not always give a proper rDNS. Of three ranges I get bots from, only one seems to resolve and that is their acknowledged IP range. Two that do not are in Hurricane and XO ranges; they seem to work as expected and not as forgeries.

Yes, the bot crawls every day, as do other SEs that have the capacity (G, B etc). The proper way is to change the cache header times (expire and cachecontrol) from (eg) 24 hours to 240 hours. That should fix the problem. If not, ask the SE why not (NB: it may still crawl to check the timing but should be happy with the header and not reload the complete page.

The above is partly conjectural for SEs as my sites all ask for 24 hour refresh periods. Does anyone have further onfo on this?
9:46 pm on Dec 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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FWIW... Baby-botnet bedfellows:

115.94.114.219 <= S. Korea: Threat 22: [projecthoneypot.org...]
12/01 11:09:02

115.85.145.69 <= Taiwan: Threat 21 [projecthoneypot.org...]
12/01 11:09:10

85.248.69.124 <= Slovakia: Threat 27 [projecthoneypot.org...]
12/01 11:09:16

ec2-50-19-13-173.compute-1.amazonaws.com <= Threat 26 [projecthoneypot.org...]
12/01 11:09:35

Faked UA of choice today:

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; FunWebProducts; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; PeoplePal 6.2)
7:37 pm on Dec 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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This just in... Kindle Fire's Silk hit html files, graphics, and favicon from amazonaws.com AND, seconds later, from Comcast: [webmasterworld.com...]
1:34 pm on Dec 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I reckon this is G spoofery:

ec2-50-17-222-103.compute-1.amazonaws.com
GoogleHttpClient

0n:11:38 (403)
0n:11:38 (403)
0n:11:39 /robots.txt
0n:11:40 (403)
8:39 pm on Dec 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I don't understand the connections, but thought I'd report in because of the surprise tie-in(s) I found after noting a hit from a .zae.cc domain:

184.73.230.215
= zae.cc
= publisher.smowtion.com
= ec2-184-73-230-215.compute-1.amazonaws.com
= 184.73.0.0/16 Amazon IAD prefix

You'll see that IP and many, many, many more via this extensive (albeit based in Turkey) eye-opener --

Sites published on ISP: Amazon.com, Inc. (598) [livepageranks.com...]
(imagine the data Amazon AWS gets a crack at from hosting all those!)

-- including aggressive Twitter-swarmer bot-runner "paper.li", as in:

ec2-50-19-13-169.compute-1.amazonaws.com
Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; PaperLiBot/2.1; httpt://support.paper.li/entries/20023257-what-is-paper-li)
robots.txt? NO
7:33 pm on Jan 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Same-second hits from:

ec2-75-101-246-218.compute-1.amazonaws.com
ec2-107-20-68-30.compute-1.amazonaws.com

Quora Link Preview/1.0 (http://www.quora.com)

robots.txt? NO

More details in the just-posted "Quora Link Preview" [webmasterworld.com...]
6:40 pm on Jan 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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UA: SkimBot/1.0 (www.skimlinks.com <dev@skimlinks.com>)
robots.txt: yes

Coming from these AWS ranges:

ec2-176-34-203-24.eu-west-1.compute.amazonaws.com
ec2-50-16-90-19.compute-1.amazonaws.com
5:01 pm on Jan 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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New (to me) Amazon range, registered September 2011...

NetRange: 23.20.0.0 - 23.23.255.255
CIDR: 23.20.0.0/14
OriginAS: AS16509
NetName: AMAZON-EC2-USEAST-10
Comment: The activity you have detected originates from a dynamic hosting environment.

Single hit today from bot calling itself linkdex.com/v2.0. No idea about robots.txt without delving deeper. Page was an unusual mid-site one.
7:01 pm on Jan 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Thanks dstiles, I didn't have that range.
7:17 am on Jan 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

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1.) Name change. Note space before closing paren:

SkimBot/1.0 (www.skimlinks.com )

That was from AWS CIDRs:

46.137.0.0/17
204.236.128.0/18

2.) 'Nother bot (184.73.0.0/16 again):

ec2-184-73-47-231.compute-1.amazonaws.com
PArchiveCrawler/1.0 (PArchiveCrawler)

robots.txt? Yes
8:30 am on Jan 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

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2.) 'Nother bot (184.73.0.0/16 again):

ec2-184-73-47-231.compute-1.amazonaws.com
PArchiveCrawler/1.0 (PArchiveCrawler)

I use a wider ban:

184.72.0.0 - 184.73.255.255
184.72.0.0/15
9:02 pm on Jan 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Agreed!
9:44 pm on Jan 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Speaking of wider bans... Recently I spent some time tracking (the) Amazon back to its sources. With help from robtex [robtex.com...] --

## u1.amazonaws.com; [robtex.com...]

deny from 156.154.64.0/24

## u2.amazonaws.com; [robtex.com...]

deny from 156.154.65.0/24

## u3.amazonaws.com / u3.amazonaws.info; [robtex.com...]
## u3.amazonaws.info and u3.amazonaws.com point to 156.154.66.10. Amazonaws.info, amazonaws.org, amazonaws.com, geo.amazonaws.com, compute-1.amazonaws.com and at least six other hosts use 156.154.66.10 as a name server

deny from 156.154.66.0/24

## u4.amazonaws.com; [robtex.com...]

deny from 156.154.67.0/24

## u5.amazonaws.com / u5.amazonaws.org; [robtex.com...]

deny from 156.154.68.0/24

## u6.amazonaws.com / u6.amazonaws.org; [robtex.com...]

deny from 156.154.69.0/24

Just more drops in the literally world-wide AWS bucket.
10:11 pm on Jan 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

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156.154.64.0/22
156.154.68.0/23


Interesting Pfui. AWS may be buying up unused D ranges all over.
9:03 am on Feb 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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And they're infected all over. Literally:

IP Location: Singapore Bedok Amazon Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud Ec2 Sg
122.248.192.0/18

ec2-122-248-241-218.ap-southeast-1.compute.amazonaws.com
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; en) Opera 8.00

Project Honey Pot Threat Rating 26 as of this writing:

= 122.248.241.218 [projecthoneypot.org...]
= .mapmyindia.com [robtex.com...]
5:47 pm on Feb 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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ec2-23-20-17-9.compute-1.amazonaws.com
Mozilla/5.0 (TREC-KBA-Bot http://www.mit.edu/~jrf/knowledge-base-acceleration/bot/)

robots.txt? NO

Two hits in one sec. UA info is a dead-end. One dir up has info but not about bot.
9:16 pm on Feb 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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This same Host came through twice, hours apart, so it may be dedicated. Note the exact UA that appears in logs, backslashed/escaped quotes and all:

ec2-107-20-34-210.compute-1.amazonaws.com

\"Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_7_2) AppleWebKit/535.7 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/16.0.912.63 Safari/535.7\"

In a word: Idiotic.
9:24 pm on Feb 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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And now one with no UA and a faked instapaper'esque-service referrer. Hard to say who/what's doing what:

ec2-75-101-136-170.compute-1.amazonaws.com
-

Fake REF: Magazinify - Daemon
5:49 pm on Feb 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Hit from a new (to me) Amazon range today:

176.34.0.0/16
Amazon Ireland (IE)
Various sub-ranges registered to FR and NL.

No indication in DNS records that this is cloud but the hit I received was from 88.208.193.nnn (Fasthosts dedicated servers) using an Amazon IP as a proxy. Amazon range appears to be named servers. No obvious registration dates.

Chacking further: I had the range 176.34.128.0/17 blocked as being Amazon but not the first half.
3:43 am on Mar 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

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cloudacl.com

ec2-72-44-41-63.compute-1.amazonaws.com
CloudACL/Nutch-1.4

robots.txt? Yes
5:43 pm on Apr 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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And another EC2, registered last August, updated four weeks ago, first hit today with the UA:

UnwindFetchor/1.0 (+http://www.gnip.com/)

184.169.128.0 - 184.169.255.255

Are they ever going to stop?
6:24 pm on Apr 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Are they ever going to stop?


perhaps when hell freezes over.
7:48 pm on Apr 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I don't think they issue weather forecasts for that place. :(
9:43 pm on Apr 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Fresh from the press
Today :

GSLFbot - 174.129.106.148

robots.txt : yes

Couldn't find itself (first visit, what did it expect?)

Went on to the home page where it got a 403, all Amazon ranges are blocked
10:06 pm on Apr 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I didn't "heads up", because there was some recent discussion of the IP Range:

107.20.69.233 - - [01/Apr/2012:14:31:35 +0100] "GET /robots.txt HTTP/1.1" 200 2536 "" "GSLFbot"
107.20.69.233 - - [01/Apr/2012:14:31:35 +0100] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 301 234 "" "GSLFbot"
107.20.69.233 - - [01/Apr/2012:14:31:35 +0100] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 403 533 "" "GSLFbot"
7:42 pm on Apr 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I've been getting hammered on several site by this GSLF bot, it has a lot of IP's, they keep changing.

23.20.138.0/24
50.16.28.0/24
184.73.75.0/24
107.20.26.207 (today)

I have been using quick deny on my server to block the IP's individually but this is taking too much of my time.

How can I block the user agent GSLF? I think it ignores robots.

Is this the best way to block, meaning by blocking the user agent?

Thank you
7:59 pm on Apr 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Block every IP range belonging to Amazon. That's what many of us here are doing and it blocks a LOT of bots. You can find all the ranges we know about in this thread.
This 88 message thread spans 3 pages: 88