Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.144.80.75

Forum Moderators: phranque

Message Too Old, No Replies

Weird 404s in stats

real url with long jumbled strings

     
12:17 pm on Apr 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 23, 2005
posts: 1076
votes: 0


Hope this is the right forum. I noticed an increase in visits and looked at the visit details and found a lot of 404s that showed a real url appended by a long string of uniquely jumbled letters. Each comes from a different visitor, mostly outside of US, all of which are using "Other Agent (unknown platform)" as the type of browser, and each is to the same url except for the appended jumbled string. Is this someone trying to use a comment spambot on a page without comments? It's a static html site.
6:20 pm on Apr 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 9, 2011
posts:12709
votes: 244


File under: botnet run by someone who's not too bright. (Isn't the whole point to keep the original UA so you come in looking like a human?) Personally I'd just block the UA and think no more about it ;)

a real url appended by a long string of uniquely jumbled letters

Do you mean things like
www.example.com/directory/pagename.html?more-garbage-here
or
www.example.com/directory/pagename.html/still-more-stuff

If requests in this form become troublesome, you can also add a line to htaccess that says something like

RewriteRule \.html. - [F]
or, in the alternative,
RewriteRule ^([^.]+\.html). http://www.example.com/$1 [R=301,L]

depending on whether you want to lock them out with no further discussion, or redirect them to the proper URL. With robots it probably makes no difference; when they see a 301 they generally go off sulking and don't come back. A redirect uses fewer server resources as you don't have to go through the motions of offering a 403 page instead.
12:41 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 23, 2005
posts: 1076
votes: 0


I mean things like www.example.com/nameofrealfile.html&sa=U&ei=905lUdSPFqGo4AT1xoBw&ved=0CBgQFjAA&usg=AFQjCNHyUazBsXhWP5Yn5ZIrHEWRkQGbaA

They come from all diffeent ip addresses, so I can't block based on that. They all start with the same real file name but each visit has a different string of random letters and symbols appended to it. These accounted for 20% of individual visits for a few days.
12:49 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 28, 2003
posts:1977
votes: 0


These are technically not 404 errors, as the server would deliver a '200 ok' since they are showing up,as real visits in your stats. Can you see a referrer? Google tends to add something like this when searches are coming from someone logged in.
8:42 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 9, 2011
posts:12709
votes: 244


These are technically not 404 errors, as the server would deliver a '200 ok' since they are showing up,as real visits in your stats.

That's the default behavior. But if you turn off AcceptPathInfo, they will become 404s.

The OP said
all of which are using "Other Agent (unknown platform)" as the type of browser

I assumed you were talking about a literal string here. You can block by User-Agent. The easiest way is to use mod_setenvif in conjunction with mod_authz-whatsit:

BrowserMatch "Other Agent" keep_out
(listing all the browsers you unconditionally dislike, one per line)

and then

Deny from env=keep_out

in the same place you list your IP lockouts.
12:17 pm on Apr 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 23, 2005
posts: 1076
votes: 0


Thanks, lucy24. I will give that a try.
 

Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members