Friday, September 08, 2006

What's That User-Agent

I found an odd User Agent in my site stats and attempted to look it up. It was EchO! and it was eating up a lot of bandwidth for a bot. It doesn't seem to be a very common bot so Google wasn't a lot of help, but a few results down I found a List of User-Agents. They didn't really have much info on EchO! so I kept looking and found User Agent Database, The Web Robots Database and finally Bots vs Browsers. None of which even listed it, but do look like useful repositories.

I found it odd that I could not find the User-Agent in my log file, but assumed I must be doing something wrong. The only "echo" I found in my logs was BonEcho, the development code name for Firefox 2.0, which are mostly my own hits. A bit more investigation lead me to realize the bot AWStats was reporting as EchO! was me. No wonder it was taking up so much bandwidth and not accessing robots.txt. My server is using an older version of AWStats which was released before Mozilla started using the BonEcho name, I presume that is not a problem in newer releases.

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