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Galumph went the little green frog one day.

8am, 9th June 2007 - Geek, Interesting, Web, Developer, Sysadmin

Little green frog on a tree branch.It's funny what you can discover when you analyse your web server logs properly. There are all sort of things happening out there on the net and some of those things happen may to you, even if you aren't aware of them.

A couple of days ago, someone visited this very site in search of lyrics to a campfire song that I haven't heard anyone sing in nearly twenty years. How do I know this ? Well, if you do a Google search and your browser passes the referer string they way it should then the site you end up on can tell what you searched for. It's not just Google either. Many search engines support the same feature. This guy searched for we all know frog go ladadadada lyrics which returns precisely one page... mine. I'm not really sure why my page is the only result for that particular search but it does have the word frog on it and I appear to use the word we quite a lot. Just because I'm a helpful sorta guy, I would suggest that searching for galumph went the little green frog one day lyrics is probably going to get you much better results than your original search.

The most common search term that people use to find my site is "Ladadadada" but some others include "instant mee goreng", "co_conspirator", "noodly", "JAILBIRD GIFS", "gauma camping", "pizza pictures", "finish the sudoku", "can't get enough of croatia", "nebakanezer", "hippomoo newcastle", "EU PASSPORT lane". Strangely enough, MSN Live search only ever seems to direct people to my site who were searching for drugs. It's most likely that these are actually bots, trying to use the referer field to insert that search somewhere on my page and then hoping that I will do a search for a drug I haven't heard of and then want to buy it. It seems a little subtle for your average spammer. I have also received just the one referral from Ask.com. This person searched for how to open tamper proof tags and once again, there I was on the first page of the search results.

Then there's the guy who keeps trying to add comments to my blog. He loads one of the blog pages and then somewhere between one and ten seconds later he attempts to post a comment. There's more weirdness involved here however; any pair of requests (blog page then comment adding page) seem to come from the same browser but later, often on the same day, he will request the same pair of pages using a different browser and usually a different OS. So far I have seen 43 different user agent strings from the same IP address exhibiting the same behaviour. 13 different operating systems including Windows NT 5.0, Windows NT 5.1, Windows NT 5.2, Windows CE, Windows 95, Windows 98, WinNT4.0, Windows XP, RISC OS, WebTV OS, Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, Ubuntu and some other version of Linux. Some of the operating systems were in Russian and some in German. I have also seen 20 distinct web browsers including IE 3.02, IE 5.0, IE 5.5, IE 6.0, IE 7.0b, Opera 5.0, Opera 7.54, Opera 8.0, Opera 8.5, more versions of Firefox than you can poke a stick at (all counted as Firefox), Sylera, Galeon, K-Meleon, Phoenix, Spacebug, Minefield (all of which are builds of Firefox), Omniweb, Acorn, AOL 9.0, WebTV. After all this monkeying around with user agent strings, whatever script is actually creating all these requests isn't even behaving like a real browser. Firstly, unlike a real browser, it doesn't request the supporting parts of the page such as the stylesheets and images. Secondly, it doesn't resolve the form action base URL properly and hence all these comments end up going to a 404. In other words, whatever stock pumping / drug promoting blog comment spam he's trying to insert into my page, it's not working and he still hasn't noticed.

Like I always say: it takes all sorts to make this crazy world.

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A tale of duelling GRUBs and boots.
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Security implications of data recovery

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