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I'm running a website for a while and I'm still learning how to manage it. One thing I've noticed is that some visitors download all zip files in the same order ( there is a pattern of downloads). I've also noticed that the referrers of those visitors are always blank. I think these downloads are done automatically with the help of certain software. My question is: Are those visitors hackers? If they are, why are they doing this when they can download my files legally?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 14 '11 at 23:28

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Can you define "legally"? –  CesarGon Aug 14 '11 at 23:26
What do you mean "when they can download my files legally?" –  iandotkelly Aug 14 '11 at 23:26
Could the be search engine crawlers? What are their user agents? –  beny23 Aug 14 '11 at 23:26
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4 Answers 4

Maybe they are hackers - it is not a bad thing unless they are crackers as well.

Maybe downloading with the help of automated tools is just easier than clicking all files manually - especially when the download tool would be able to put them right where one needs/wants them.

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It's very unlikely they're hacking anything. It's quite likely they're just using a robot/macro to download all the .zip files so that they don't have to manually click each one.

What type of files are in the .zip files?

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The use of tools to download your files does not mean they are doing anything illegal. Infact if your files are made available on your website, I don't see downloading them in any particular way could be construed as illegal.

Perhaps if the resources you make available on the website are useful downloaded en-mass, perhaps you should make a single download for them.

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We can google zip files easily on a site. And for downloading we need not to visit the site. Still if you wanna save them you can control crawlers through robots.txt, you can write some script which generates a temporary download link. It's not hacking...

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