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Mars Bot – The Internet’s Most Active (and Stupid) Brute Force Robot

Brute force attacks refer to repetitive attempts to guess the login credentials of websites’ user accounts or administrative backends. By gaining access to a hacked account the attacker may be able to hijack the website, steal valuable data, or alter user facing content. As you might expect, guessing a username and password combination can require thousands or millions of attempts before being successful. For this reason it’s not feasible for attackers to execute a brute Read more…

By William Hart, ago
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Access Watch teams up with Sematext!

We’re happy to announce Sematext as a launch partner for Reveal, our embeddable traffic intelligence, initially targeting ELK & other log management platforms. We started discussing the idea of Reveal in our networks and the community. Early on, we got some great feedback from the Sematext team and quickly decided to partner on bringing the Access Watch intelligence to Logagent, a new – cool – open source – Javascript based – log shipper they’ve initiated. Read more…

By William Hart, ago
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Introducing Reveal, our new product to augment web traffic logs

Over the last few months, we received a lot of feedback asking how Access Watch could plug into existing log infrastructures. Many teams have effective strategies in place with tools like ELK (Elasticsearch / Logstash / Kibana) to index their access logs which can be further leveraged for valuable insights. This vast amount of existing log data is an often underutilized source for robot detection and intelligence. A core reason for this- these logs are Read more…

By William Hart, ago
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A world of good and bad robots. Introducing our Robot Database!

A few weeks ago at Access Watch, we quietly launched our Robot Database. This section of our website is an opportunity for us to help you understand how important robot activity has become, what these robots do as well as their effect on websites and web APIs. What are the key insights from our Robot Database?

More than 80% robots

Today, on average, on the 1.000+ websites using Access Watch, 81.95% of the traffic is made by robots. Who thought websites were only meant to be used by humans? (more…)

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Introducing Access Watch!

Since the beginning of the year I have been quietly working on something new and it’s finally time to introducing it. Web traffic data is critical for many businesses, but very few have a clue of what is really happening. When I say things like 80% of the traffic is made by robots and 50% are bad robots, people are surprised. However, this is something we commonly see in the wild. The key problem here is that the people building and operating websites are stuck with tools based on outdated paradigms. That’s a shame, because when you look deeply at your web traffic, you can easily improve things like performance, reliability, security and costs. I founded Access Watch to fix that, analyzing web traffic data from anywhere and allowing our customers to see and touch something that was previously inaccessible. But let’s go back to where it started.

Inception

In my spare time, I’m still operating websites, one of them being the venerable BlogMarks, a social bookmarking application that launched 15 years ago. One day, the performance of BlogMarks started to be problematic. We had a modest user base and were operating from a single server, but somehow we had enough traffic to bring the site down. How could that be? I dove into the data and this is what I saw:

The current experience for many website administrators: Access logs that are hard to read and impossible to decipher. (more…)

By François Hodierne, ago