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Perishable Press

4G Series: The Ultimate User-Agent Blacklist, Featuring Over 1200 Bad Bots

[ Image: Inverted Eclipse ] As discussed in my recent article, Eight Ways to Blacklist with Apache’s mod_rewrite, one method of stopping spammers, scrapers, email harvesters, and malicious bots is to blacklist their associated user agents. Apache enables us to target bad user agents by testing the user-agent string against a predefined blacklist of unwanted visitors. Any bot identifying itself as one of the blacklisted agents is immediately and quietly denied access. While this certainly isn’t the most effective method of securing your site against malicious behavior, it may certainly provide another layer of protection.

With Great Power..

Please be aware that there are several things to consider before choosing to implement an extensive user-agent blacklist on your site. First and most importantly is the transient nature of the user agent itself. On most systems, the user-agent variable is easy to change, making it possible for bot owners to use any user-agent name they wish. Once a bad bot makes the rounds, becomes known, and is blacklisted, the bot owner need only modify or change its declared user agent and they’re back in business. User-agent names are constantly invented, spoofed, or otherwise altered in order to operate beneath — or above — the virtual radar. Thus, a user-agent blacklist is a high-maintenance affair, requiring continuous cultivation in order to maintain relevancy and effectiveness.

Performance is another important issue to consider. While a well-maintained user-agent blacklist may average a reasonable number of user agents, blacklists that are simply appended with new names will eventually grow painfully large and ultimately decrease server performance. Then you’re left with a never-ending blacklist of retired user agents that fails to protect your site while slowing things down to a virtual crawl (no pun intended). And despite your best intentions, we both know that taking time for periodic “blacklist maintenance” is a luxury that simply doesn’t exist, at least for most of us.

As if those reasons weren’t enough to persuade you against using an ultimate user-agent blacklist, here is another: the 4G Blacklist. Put simply, the 4G Blacklist is a more effective way to protect your site against a wide variety of spam, exploits, and malicious attacks. Unlike huge lists of banned user agents, the 4G Blacklist requires zero maintenance, consumes fewer resources, and may retain its effectiveness indefinitely.

But alas, for those of you who are still determined to get your hands on the latest “ultimate” user-agent blacklist, here you go..

The Ultimate User-Agent Blacklist

As you may recall, the original Ultimate HTAccess Blacklist was released here at Perishable Press a couple of years ago. Then, several months later, I added more bad user agents, compressed the list into single-line format, and released the Ultimate HTAccess Blacklist 2. This list contained over 300 bad bots and was generally well-received by the community, protecting many sites against a plethora of site rippers, grabbers, spammers, harvesters, bad bots, and other online scum. When used as a solid foundation on which to build and cultivate your own user-agent blacklist, the Ultimate HTAccess Blacklist can help to improve performance, increase security, and conserve precious resources.

Now, in this new and improved version of the Ultimate User-Agent Blacklist, I have integrated my recent collection1 of actively malicious bad bots to more than quadruple the number of blocked user agents. This new list features a whopping 1211 blacklisted user agents, including three of my own creation2 to be used exclusively for my diabolical and obsessive monitoring purposes (insert maniacal laughter here). Also, as with the second version of the user-agent blacklist, this new version is written in compressed, single-line format to facilitate usability and performance.

So, without further ado, here is the third incarnation of the Ultimate User-Agent Blacklist. Simply copy and paste the following code into the root HTAccess file of your site to enjoy a serious reduction in wasted bandwidth, stolen resources, and comment spam. Remember to backup your stuff before you meddle with things, and always test, test, test whenever implementing HTAccess directives.

# PERISHABLE PRESS ULTIMATE USER-AGENT BLACKLIST

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^$|\<|\>|\'|\%|\_iRc|\_Works|\@\$x|\<\?|\$x0e|\+select\+|\+union\+|1\,\1\,1\,|2icommerce|3GSE|4all|59\.64\.153\.|88\.0\.106\.|98|85\.17\.|A\_Browser|ABAC|Abont|abot|Accept|Access|Accoo|AceFTP|Acme|ActiveTouristBot|Address|Adopt|adress|adressendeutschland|ADSARobot|agent|ah\-ha|Ahead|AESOP\_com\_SpiderMan|aipbot|Alarm|Albert|Alek|Alexibot|Alligator|AllSubmitter|alma|almaden|ALot|Alpha|aktuelles|Akregat|Amfi|amzn\_assoc|Anal|Anarchie|andit|Anon|AnotherBot|Ansearch|AnswerBus|antivirx|Apexoo|appie|Aqua_Products|Arachmo|archive|arian|ASPSe|ASSORT|aster|Atari|ATHENS|AtHome|Atlocal|Atomic_Email_Hunter|Atomz|Atrop|^attach|attrib|autoemailspider|autohttp|axod|batch|b2w|Back|BackDoorBot|BackStreet|BackWeb|Badass|Baid|Bali|Bandit|Baidu|Barry|BasicHTTP|BatchFTP|bdfetch|beat|Become|Beij|BenchMark|berts|bew|big.brother|Bigfoot|Bilgi|Bison|Bitacle|Biz360|Black|Black.Hole|BlackWidow|bladder.fusion|Blaiz|Blog.Checker|Blogl|BlogPeople|Blogshares.Spiders|Bloodhound|Blow|bmclient|Board|BOI|boitho|Bond|Bookmark.search.tool|boris|Bost|Boston.Project|BotRightHere|Bot.mailto:craftbot@yahoo.com|BotALot|botpaidtoclick|botw|brandwatch|BravoBrian|Brok|Bropwers|Broth|browseabit|BrowseX|Browsezilla|Bruin|bsalsa|Buddy|Build|Built|Bulls|bumblebee|Bunny|Busca|Busi|Buy|bwh3|c\-spider|CafeK|Cafi|camel|Cand|captu|Catch|cd34|Ceg|CFNetwork|cgichk|Cha0s|Chang|chaos|Char|char\(32\,35\)|charlotte|CheeseBot|Chek|CherryPicker|chill|ChinaClaw|CICC|Cisco|Cita|Clam|Claw|Click.Bot|clipping|clshttp|Clush|COAST|ColdFusion|Coll|Comb|commentreader|Compan|contact|Control|contype|Conc|Conv|Copernic|Copi|Copy|Coral|Corn|core-project|cosmos|costa|cr4nk|crank|craft|Crap|Crawler0|Crazy|Cres|cs\-CZ|cuill|Curl|Custo|Cute|CSHttp|Cyber|cyberalert|^DA$|daoBot|DARK|Data|Daten|Daum|dcbot|dcs|Deep|DepS|Detect|Deweb|Diam|Digger|Digimarc|digout4uagent|DIIbot|Dillo|Ding|DISC|discobot|Disp|Ditto|DLC|DnloadMage|DotBot|Doubanbot|Download|Download.Demon|Download.Devil|Download.Wonder|Downloader|drag|DreamPassport|Drec|Drip|dsdl|dsok|DSurf|DTAAgent|DTS|Dual|dumb|DynaWeb|e\-collector|eag|earn|EARTHCOM|EasyDL|ebin|EBM-APPLE|EBrowse|eCatch|echo|ecollector|Edco|edgeio|efp\@gmx\.net|EirGrabber|email|Email.Extractor|EmailCollector|EmailSearch|EmailSiphon|EmailWolf|Emer|empas|Enfi|Enhan|Enterprise\_Search|envolk|erck|EroCr|ESurf|Eval|Evil|Evere|EWH|Exabot|Exact|EXPLOITER|Expre|Extra|ExtractorPro|EyeN|FairAd|Fake|FANG|FAST|fastlwspider|FavOrg|Favorites.Sweeper|Faxo|FDM\_1|FDSE|fetch|FEZhead|Filan|FileHound|find|Firebat|Firefox.2\.0|Firs|Flam|Flash|FlickBot|Flip|fluffy|flunky|focus|Foob|Fooky|Forex|Forum|ForV|Fost|Foto|Foun|Franklin.Locator|freefind|FreshDownload|FrontPage|FSurf|Fuck|Fuer|futile|Fyber|Gais|GalaxyBot|Galbot|Gamespy\_Arcade|GbPl|Gener|geni|Geona|Get|gigabaz|Gira|Ginxbot|gluc|glx.?v|gnome|Go.Zilla|Goldfire|Google.Wireless.Transcoder|Googlebot\-Image|Got\-It|GOFORIT|gonzo|GornKer|GoSearch|^gotit$|gozilla|grab|Grabber|GrabNet|Grub|Grup|Graf|Green.Research|grub|grub\-client|gsa\-cra|GSearch|GT\:\:WWW|GuideBot|guruji|gvfs|Gyps|hack|haha|hailo|Harv|Hatena|Hax|Head|Helm|herit|hgre|hhjhj\@yahoo|Hippo|hloader|HMView|holm|holy|HomePageSearch|HooWWWer|HouxouCrawler|HMSE|HPPrint|htdig|HTTPConnect|httpdown|http.generic|HTTPGet|httplib|HTTPRetriever|HTTrack|human|Huron|hverify|Hybrid|Hyper|ia\_archiver|iaskspi|IBM\_Planetwide|iCCra|ichiro|ID\-Search|IDA|IDBot|IEAuto|IEMPT|iexplore\.exe|iGetter|Ilse|Iltrov|Image|Image.Stripper|Image.Sucker|imagefetch|iimds\_monitor|Incutio|IncyWincy|Indexer|Industry.Program|Indy|InetURL|informant|InfoNav|InfoTekies|Ingelin|Innerpr|Inspect|InstallShield.DigitalWizard|Insuran\.|Intellig|Intelliseek|InterGET|Internet.Ninja|Internet.x|Internet\_Explorer|InternetLinkagent|InternetSeer.com|Intraf|IP2|Ipsel|Iria|IRLbot|Iron33|Irvine|ISC\_Sys|iSilo|ISRCCrawler|ISSpi|IUPUI.Research.Bot|Jady|Jaka|Jam|^Java|java\/|Java\(tm\)|JBH.agent|Jenny|JetB|JetC|jeteye|jiro|JoBo|JOC|jupit|Just|Jyx|Kapere|kash|Kazo|KBee|Kenjin|Kernel|Keywo|KFSW|KKma|Know|kosmix|KRAE|KRetrieve|Krug|ksibot|ksoap|Kum|KWebGet|Lachesis|lanshan|Lapo|larbin|leacher|leech|LeechFTP|LeechGet|leipzig\.de|Lets|Lexi|lftp|Libby|libcrawl|libcurl|libfetch|libghttp|libWeb|libwhisker|libwww|libwww\-FM|libwww\-perl|LightningDownload|likse|Linc|Link|Link.Sleuth|LinkextractorPro|Linkie|LINKS.ARoMATIZED|LinkScan|linktiger|LinkWalker|Lint|List|lmcrawler|LMQ|LNSpiderguy|loader|LocalcomBot|Locu|London|lone|looksmart|loop|Lork|LTH\_|lwp\-request|LWP|lwp-request|lwp-trivial|Mac.Finder|Macintosh\;.I\;.PPC|Mac\_F|magi|Mag\-Net|Magnet|Magp|Mail.Sweeper|main|majest|Mam|Mana|MarcoPolo|mark.blonin|MarkWatch|MaSagool|Mass|Mass.Downloader|Mata|mavi|McBot|Mecha|MCspider|mediapartners|^Memo|MEGAUPLOAD|MetaProducts.Download.Express|Metaspin|Mete|Microsoft.Data.Access|Microsoft.URL|Microsoft\_Internet\_Explorer|MIDo|MIIx|miner|Mira|MIRE|Mirror|Miss|Missauga|Missigua.Locator|Missouri.College.Browse|Mist|Mizz|MJ12|mkdb|mlbot|MLM|MMMoCrawl|MnoG|moge|Moje|Monster|Monza.Browser|Mooz|Moreoverbot|MOT\-MPx220|mothra\/netscan|mouse|MovableType|Mozdex|Mozi\!|^Mozilla$|Mozilla\/1\.22|Mozilla\/22|^Mozilla\/3\.0.\(compatible|Mozilla\/3\.Mozilla\/2\.01|Mozilla\/4\.0\(compatible|Mozilla\/4\.08|Mozilla\/4\.61.\(Macintosh|Mozilla\/5\.0|Mozilla\/7\.0|Mozilla\/8|Mozilla\/9|Mozilla\:|Mozilla\/Firefox|^Mozilla.*Indy|^Mozilla.*NEWT|^Mozilla*MSIECrawler|Mp3Bot|MPF|MRA|MS.FrontPage|MS.?Search|MSFrontPage|MSIE\_6\.0|MSIE6|MSIECrawler|msnbot\-media|msnbot\-Products|MSNPTC|MSProxy|MSRBOT|multithreaddb|musc|MVAC|MWM|My\_age|MyApp|MyDog|MyEng|MyFamilyBot|MyGetRight|MyIE2|mysearch|myurl|NAG|NAMEPROTECT|NASA.Search|nationaldirectory|Naver|Navr|Near|NetAnts|netattache|Netcach|NetCarta|Netcraft|NetCrawl|NetMech|netprospector|NetResearchServer|NetSp|Net.Vampire|netX|NetZ|Neut|newLISP|NewsGatorInbox|NEWT|NEWT.ActiveX|Next|^NG|NICE|nikto|Nimb|Ninja|Ninte|NIPGCrawler|Noga|nogo|Noko|Nomad|Norb|noxtrumbot|NPbot|NuSe|Nutch|Nutex|NWSp|Obje|Ocel|Octo|ODI3|oegp|Offline|Offline.Explorer|Offline.Navigator|OK.Mozilla|omg|Omni|Onfo|onyx|OpaL|OpenBot|Openf|OpenTextSiteCrawler|OpenU|Orac|OrangeBot|Orbit|Oreg|osis|Outf|Owl|P3P|PackRat|PageGrabber|PagmIEDownload|pansci|Papa|Pars|Patw|pavu|Pb2Pb|pcBrow|PEAR|PEER|PECL|pepe|Perl|PerMan|PersonaPilot|Persuader|petit|PHP|PHP.vers|PHPot|Phras|PicaLo|Piff|Pige|pigs|^Ping|Pingd|PingALink|Pipe|Plag|Plant|playstarmusic|Pluck|Pockey|POE\-Com|Poirot|Pomp|Port.Huron|Post|powerset|Preload|press|Privoxy|Probe|Program.Shareware|Progressive.Download|ProPowerBot|prospector|Provider.Protocol.Discover|ProWebWalker|Prowl|Proxy|Prozilla|psbot|PSurf|psycheclone|^puf$|Pulse|Pump|PushSite|PussyCat|PuxaRapido|PycURL|Pyth|PyQ|QuepasaCreep|Query|Quest|QRVA|Qweer|radian|Radiation|Rambler|RAMP|RealDownload|Reap|Recorder|RedCarpet|RedKernel|ReGet|relevantnoise|replacer|Repo|requ|Rese|Retrieve|Rip|Rix|RMA|Roboz|Rogue|Rover|RPT\-HTTP|Rsync|RTG30|.ru\)|ruby|Rufus|Salt|Sample|SAPO|Sauger|savvy|SBIder|SBP|SCAgent|scan|SCEJ\_|Sched|Schizo|Schlong|Schmo|Scout|Scooter|Scorp|ScoutOut|SCrawl|screen|script|SearchExpress|searchhippo|Searchme|searchpreview|searchterms|Second.Street.Research|Security.Kol|Seekbot|Seeker|Sega|Sensis|Sept|Serious|Sezn|Shai|Share|Sharp|Shaz|shell|shelo|Sherl|Shim|Shiretoko|ShopWiki|SickleBot|Simple|Siph|sitecheck|SiteCrawler|SiteSnagger|Site.Sniper|SiteSucker|sitevigil|SiteX|Sleip|Slide|Slurpy.Verifier|Sly|Smag|SmartDownload|Smurf|sna\-|snag|Snake|Snapbot|Snip|Snoop|So\-net|SocSci|sogou|Sohu|solr|sootle|Soso|SpaceBison|Spad|Span|spanner|Speed|Spegla|Sphere|Sphider|spider|SpiderBot|SpiderEngine|SpiderView|Spin|sproose|Spurl|Spyder|Squi|SQ.Webscanner|sqwid|Sqworm|SSM\_Ag|Stack|Stamina|stamp|Stanford|Statbot|State|Steel|Strateg|Stress|Strip|studybot|Style|subot|Suck|Sume|sun4m|Sunrise|SuperBot|SuperBro|Supervi|Surf4Me|SuperHTTP|Surfbot|SurfWalker|Susi|suza|suzu|Sweep|sygol|syncrisis|Systems|Szukacz|Tagger|Tagyu|tAke|Talkro|TALWinHttpClient|tamu|Tandem|Tarantula|tarspider|tBot|TCF|Tcs\/1|TeamSoft|Tecomi|Teleport|Telesoft|Templeton|Tencent|Terrawiz|Test|TexNut|trivial|Turnitin|The.Intraformant|TheNomad|Thomas|TightTwatBot|Timely|Titan|TMCrawler|TMhtload|toCrawl|Todobr|Tongco|topic|Torrent|Track|translate|Traveler|TREEVIEW|True|Tunnel|turing|Turnitin|TutorGig|TV33\_Mercator|Twat|Tweak|Twice|Twisted.PageGetter|Tygo|ubee|UCmore|UdmSearch|UIowaCrawler|Ultraseek|UMBC|unf|UniversalFeedParser|unknown|UPG1|UtilMind|URLBase|URL.Control|URL\_Spider\_Pro|urldispatcher|URLGetFile|urllib|URLSpiderPro|URLy|User\-Agent|UserAgent|USyd|Vacuum|vagabo|Valet|Valid|Vamp|vayala|VB\_|VCI|VERI\~LI|verif|versus|via|Viewer|virtual|visibilitygap|Visual|vobsub|Void|VoilaBot|voyager|vspider|VSyn|w\:PACBHO60|w0000t|W3C|w3m|w3search|walhello|Walker|Wand|WAOL|WAPT|Watch|Wavefire|wbdbot|Weather|web.by.mail|Web.Data.Extractor|Web.Downloader|Web.Ima|Web.Mole|Web.Sucker|Web2Mal|Web2WAP|WebaltBot|WebAuto|WebBandit|Webbot|WebCapture|WebCat|webcraft\@bea|Webclip|webcollage|WebCollector|WebCopier|WebCopy|WebCor|webcrawl|WebDat|WebDav|webdevil|webdownloader|Webdup|WebEMail|WebEMailExtrac|WebEnhancer|WebFetch|WebGo|WebHook|Webinator|WebInd|webitpr|WebFilter|WebFountain|WebLea|Webmaster|WebmasterWorldForumBot|WebMin|WebMirror|webmole|webpic|WebPin|WebPix|WebReaper|WebRipper|WebRobot|WebSauger|WebSite|Website.eXtractor|Website.Quester|WebSnake|webspider|Webster|WebStripper|websucker|WebTre|WebVac|webwalk|WebWasher|WebWeasel|WebWhacker|WebZIP|Wells|WEP\_S|WEP.Search.00|WeRelateBot|wget|Whack|Whacker|whiz|WhosTalking|Widow|Win67|window.location|Windows.95\;|Windows.95\)|Windows.98\;|Windows.98\)|Winodws|Wildsoft.Surfer|WinHT|winhttp|WinHttpRequest|WinHTTrack|Winnie.Poh|wire|WISEbot|wisenutbot|wish|Wizz|WordP|Works|world|WUMPUS|Wweb|WWWC|WWWOFFLE|WWW\-Collector|WWW.Mechanize|www.ranks.nl|wwwster|^x$|X12R1|x\-Tractor|Xaldon|Xenu|XGET|xirq|Y\!OASIS|Y\!Tunnel|yacy|YaDirectBot|Yahoo\-MMAudVid|YahooSeeker|YahooYSMcm|Yamm|Yand|yang|Yeti|Yoono|yori|Yotta|YTunnel|Zade|zagre|ZBot|Zeal|ZeBot|zerx|Zeus|ZIPCode|Zixy|zmao|Zyborg [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ - [F,L]
</IfModule>

And, for those of you who enjoy looking at long lists of bad robots, here is the same blacklist of 1211 banned user agents in uncompressed format:

[ Uncompressed view of the Ultimate User-Agent Blacklist (click image for full-size view) ]
Click image for full-size uncompressed view of 1211 blocked user-agents

I love this game :)

Notes

  • 1 Special thanks to “Mr. M” for graciously sharing his extensive user-agent list and granting permission to integrate them into this version of the blacklist. Thanks M! :)
  • 2 Free iPod Nano plus honorable mention in my next article for the first person to identify correctly the three “imaginary” (i.e., fake) user agents. Good luck! ;)

Jeff Starr
About the Author Jeff Starr = Designer. Developer. Producer. Writer. Editor. Etc.
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75 responses
  1. Wow! This is one *huge* list. You could’ve charged people just for viewing this post and I’m sure most of us wouldn’t mind forking out some money just to take a peek at this ;)

    I’ve been getting some CPU Load spikes (no thanks to irresponsible bots & spammers *!%$) on my server for the past 2 weeks…I hope this blacklist can help bring down the load on the server.

    Btw, what do you mean by ‘three “imaginary” user agents’? Googlebot, MSNbot, Yahoo! Slurp?

    Anyways, thanks for this amazing post ! :D

  2. Donace | The Nexus March 30, 2009 @ 6:35 am

    That list is to huge! lol, I tried to find the fake ones but then I looked at the list!

  3. Lol, now I get it. There’s 3 *fake* user-agents in the list. Is it…”dumb”, “fuck” & “human”?

  4. Jeff Starr

    @Lisa: I hope you don’t mean that I could have charged people to view the blacklist in like a “freakshow” kind of way. Like, “step right up and take a peek at the world’s most hideously long HTAccess Blacklist!” Weird carnival music playing in dark tents and that sort of thing..

    And yes, I meant “fake” more than “imaginary”, but sometimes my mind just poops out after too much writing. I have updated the footnote with this term, btw. And, no, the three fake user agents are not as you suggest ;)

    @Donace: I know! There are almost 4 times as many bad bots in this list than in the previous “Ultimate” blacklist. Plus, if you consider the fact that we are dealing with regular-expressions and pattern matching for each of the terms, the number of blocked bots is probably somewhere in the hundreds of thousands or even millions.

  5. Jonathan Ellse March 30, 2009 @ 8:56 am

    @ Lisa
    I get it, but can’t see how you can tell.

    @ Jeff Brilliant list, thanks.

  6. hm…

    “addressendeutschland”, “Alek”, and “black.hole”?

    That’s a huge list, though :D

  7. Jeff Starr

    @Andrew: Nope, those strings address names of “real” user agents, believe it or not.. :)

  8. That list is insane!!!

    But the threats we deal with are just as insane, eye for an eye right!

    Thank you for taking the time to compile & keep your list current.

    mucho gracias!

  9. Donace | The Nexus March 31, 2009 @ 2:25 pm

    I think looking at all of this it harks back to Louis earlier idea of a whitelist;

    i.e. if url is not X then redirect to a 404; lets bring back ye olde simple pages and just integrate .js for ‘fancy’ features.

  10. Hi, I think this is fantastic. I have one issue, my server gives a 500 error and the log shows :

    RewriteCond: cannot compile regular expression '^$|\|\'|\%|\_iRc|\_Works|\@\$x|\&lt;\?|\$x0e|\+select\+|\+union\+|1\,\1\,1\,|2icommerce|3GSE|4all|59\.64\.153\.|88\.0\.106\.| … etc

    Let me know if you need any more info…

  11. Well, I got it working, needed to fix a few things and break it over two lines, here are the results, let me know if this will still work as I dont really know htaccess code that well:

    [ Editor’s note: Click here to see this revised version of the user-agent blacklist ]

  12. Hi,

    I found the issue was 1,1,1,...

    Needed to be 1,1,1, for it to work.

    Plus some bots are blocked:

    • Googlebot-Image/1.0
    • Mediapartners-Google
    • Feedfetcher-Google
    • Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Ask Jeeves/Teoma; +http://about.ask.com/en/docs/about/webmasters.shtml)

    I think these are alright, so I removed:

    aster
    webmaster
    mediapartners
    Googlebot-Image
    image
    fetch

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