Friday, January 11, 2008

Defective Norton AV Dumped for Avast, PC Runs Better!

Before you start hammering on me about Norton Anti-Virus being crappy bloatware, I already knew that, but it came pre-installed with the machine, never caused a problem other than a little slowness now and then, so just using it was easier that installing something new.

However, a couple of days ago Norton AV puked when I rebooted the machine and all bets were off.

Norton AV claimed that something Norton needed was no longer registered and directed me to some auto-fix located on their website. The auto-fix was a piece of shit, got a couple of web errors trying to use it. Finally, it was downloaded and ran but coughed up an error at the end telling me to run it again. Ran it again and it said it was installed properly and I should reboot. Rebooted the machine and it said the same shit wasn't registered and the same auto-fix said it was fixed.

I hate this fucking shit.

OK, fine, let's just uninstall and re-install Norton, that should fix the problem.

Yup, that error was fixed but I got 2 new ones in it's place.


OK, managed to resolve those errors and now Norton seems to be running fine.

Seems to be running fine is the operative phrase here.

Part of the Live Update won't update, keeps spiking the CPU and memory consumption, it's out of control. Tried to fix it to no avail because it seems that the file it downloaded to update just won't install properly so it's fucked and it locks up the machine trying to install it meaning I'm fucked when it's running.

To be quite blunt, I simply got tired of fucking with it at this point.

Simple solution, BYE BYE NORTON!

I use AVG on another machine and it's OK but I thought I'd give Avast a try this time.

Downloaded Avast and installed without a hitch, smooth sailing, no bullshit.

The best part is, Avast loads and runs faster so now my PC boots quicker and runs faster overall.

No more bloated Norton AV ever again and if Avast keeps working this good they'll keep my business.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Scraping South of the Border

Never really had much of a problem with scrapers from Mexico before but today one came bouncing through Megared's proxy server: [] requested 11 pages as "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)" [] requested 156 pages as "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)" [] requested 31 pages as "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)" [] requested 36 pages as "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)"
They were just speeding through read fast asking just for pages, nothing else, the typical scraper.

Not much you can do about proxy servers and IP pools without punishing the innocent except set it to challenge all future accesses but that's a bit extreme for a single instance.

It's not like the crazy shit that comes from, but that's a different blog post.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Harry Down Under

Something calling itself "Harry" has been hitting one of my sites since June '07 and seems to hit for a couple of days, go away a week or two, come back, repeat and rinse as needed.

Here's what Harry TRIED to do today: - "GET /contact.html" 301 "Harry" - "GET /contact.html" 200 "Harry" - "GET / " 301 "Harry" - "GET / " 200 "Harry" - "GET /robots.txt" 301 "Harry" - "GET /robots.txt" 200 "Harry"
Did you notice Harry stutters?

That's because he keeps asking for my domain without the WWW so he gets a redirect and then hits the bot blocker head on. []
Now that you know Harry is an Aussie the title will make more sense. ;)

Needless to say, I'm NOT just wild about Harry.

Bot Blockers Beware! New UK Threat!

When I saw this in my bot blockers' log today it sent shivers down my spine.

What evil genius came up with this? "fake_user_agent Mozilla/9.0 (compatible; MSIE)"
I'm not sure we can stop this one...

French Speaking Scrapers Needed - Apply Within

This morning I found this little French gem sitting in the bot blockers' Inbox direct from which appears to be a crawler looking for job listings.

First they tried libwww: "GET / " "libwww-perl/5.805" "GET / " "libwww-perl/5.805" "GET / " "libwww-perl/5.805" "GET / " "libwww-perl/5.805"
Sacrebleu! Zee LEEB WWW duz not wurk!

VITE! VITE! Youze zee Mozeeluh! "GET / " "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible)"

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Active Web Reader Causes IEAutoDiscovery Hell

Installed this RSS feed reader called Active Web Reader on the Vista laptop the other day and it went off hammering my server with requests from "IEAutoDiscovery" that resembled a fucking DoS on one of my websites.

At first I thought I'd just been fucked over with malware in the download until I remembered what it said on their web site:

"Active Web Reader has a unique feature, called Auto Discovery, that automatically discovers RSS feeds while you browse the Internet using Internet Explorer."
Auto Discovery my ass, this is Auto Denial of Service attack!
xx.xx.xx - - [17:53:40] "GET /somepage.html" "IEAutoDiscovery"

... shitload of requests sometimes hitting 2 and 3 pages per second

xx.xx.xx - - [18:31:17] "GET /somepage.html" "IEAutoDiscovery"
Maybe it malfunctioned in Vista, who knows, because I've never seen IEAutoDiscovery run amok like this before, but in less than 40 minutes this fucking thing pulled down 647 pages when the site has less than 50. That means this tool kept hammering the same pages over and over and over, ever hear of the word CACHE?

Fuck me.

Uninstalled and I'll never touch anything from them again.