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Apache Log files, what is happening here

Posted on 2010-11-10
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Last Modified: 2013-11-05
I'm doing a study of log-files from an Apache server.  Here is one of the lines out of the logfiles i have.

87.118.96.104 - - [16/Jul/2008:06:28:08 +0800] "GET http://scissec.scis.ecu.edu.au/educom/themes/Prairie/images/.tmp/index.php?p=cheap-zyrtec HTTP/1.0" 400 226 "http://scissec.scis.ecu.edu.au/educom/themes/Prairie/images/.tmp/index.php?p=cheap-zyrtec" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.7.6) Gecko/20050224 Firefox/1.0.2"

I would like to know why this request looks like it comes from http://scissec.scis.ecu.edu.au/educom/themes/Prairie/images/.tmp/index.php?p=cheap-zyrtec" when that has nothing to do with the site.

I can see the status code returned was 400, so the request was invalid, but i'm curious to know how the p=cheap-zyrtec got there?  It is probably possible for someone to type it, but is there another way it can appear automatically?

Also what does the Gecko/20050224 Firefox/1.0.2 mean?
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Question by:madstylex
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Expert Comment

by:small_student
ID: 34102993
what does the Gecko/20050224 Firefox/1.0.2 mean?

It means that the request came from someone using Mozilla FireFox browser version 1.0.2

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LVL 13

Assisted Solution

by:LinuxGuru
LinuxGuru earned 200 total points
ID: 34105214
Hi,

I'm giving an example below.

Suppose you are getting an information like this : Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv:1.9.2.12) Gecko/20101026 Firefox/3.6.12

Here the details are listed below:

Browser branch name:      Firefox 3.6
Browser name:      Firefox
Browser version:      3.6
Operation System:      Windows NT 6.1 (Windows 7)
Browser full name:      Mozilla/Firefox 3.6.12
ProductSub:      20101026
Engine:      Gecko RV: 1.9.2.12
U:      Security type - strong security
en-US:      Language Tag, indicates the language for which the client had been localized (e.g. menus and buttons in the user interface) :
rv:1.9.2.12: CVS Branch Tag
The version of Gecko being used in the browser
Gecko:      Gecko engine inside

Hope this helps.
 
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Author Comment

by:madstylex
ID: 34107586
Thank you testez,

That was helpful.

And what about for the first part of the question?

How could the <b>p=cheap-zyrtec</b>  getting into the referrer link?  Can anyone help me with that?
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 34108866
The site/page "http://scissec.scis.ecu.edu.au/educom/themes/Prairie/images/.tmp/index.php?p=cheap-zyrtec" is presented in the HTTP/1.0 request as the Referrer site.
NT 5.0 I think is windows 2000.
i.e. you can connect to any web server make the request and then Add the Referrer: whatever_you_want
and whatever_you_want will appear in the log.

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Author Comment

by:madstylex
ID: 34108954
@ arnold

Any idea why someone would do this?
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 34109000
You need to see who had the IP: 87.118.96.104 on  [16/Jul/2008:06:28:08 +0800] and ask them.

Do you have a specific question where one can answer based on know how/knowledge versus trying to read mines/ determine motives?

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Author Comment

by:madstylex
ID: 34109017
@ arnold I don't know the person on 87.118.96.104

I just wanted to know if anyone had seen something like this before.  Maybe from referrer spam or some other common issue / exploit like that.  Was just curious why someone would type something so random on a site that had nothing to do with what they were looking for.

But thank you very much for your answer!
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LVL 77

Accepted Solution

by:
arnold earned 300 total points
ID: 34109049
You seem to have answered your own question this could have a been a malicious attack DDoS attack or ....  There really is no way to explain the motives behind this.  The possibility that the owners of the site http://scissec.scis.ecu.edu.au/ have/use internal IPs that are public versus private.
The visitor to the site was not local/internal and the request leaked out.

i.e. site A has the public IPs a.b.c.d Site B does not use the private IP blocks when setting up their LAN but is using the a.b.c.0/24 as one of their internal LANs.
User a connects via VPN to Site B and the a.b.c.0/24 block is for one reason or another is not part of their VPN client setting.  the user access the url http://scissec.scis.ecu.edu.au/ the IP of which is returned as a.b.c.d and instead of that request going through the VPN it is sent out and hits your server.


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Author Comment

by:madstylex
ID: 34109092
Thank you!

I think it was a DDoS becuase there was tons of activity at this time and the server went down shortly after.  Also it was being hit by the same ip hundreds of time per minute, using different keywords, different, browsers, OS and languages.
Thanks again for your help, It took a little bit of discussion to get the answer :)


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Author Closing Comment

by:madstylex
ID: 34109100
Thorough explanations
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