I have a site that is hit pretty hard by a 'bot script that thinks it is possible to brute-force the
Admin password by "trying" out different passwords with the username "Admin". Here is an excerpt from my log:
uname password IP-address -------+--------+------------------- 'Admin' '300283' IP: 22.214.171.124 'Admin' '300284' IP: 126.96.36.199 'Admin' '300281' IP: 188.8.131.52 'Admin' '300191' IP: 184.108.40.206 'Admin' '300280' IP: 220.127.116.11 'Admin' '300193' IP: 18.104.22.168
A typical request from the bot is logged like this in Apache's
access_log and since it is
POST the interesting bit (i.e. that it tries to login on the admin user) is not in the header.
22.214.171.124 - - [08/Sep/2013:17:52:44 +0200] "POST /user HTTP/1.1" 200 20571 "http://example.org/user" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/28.0.1500.72 Safari/537.36"
The 'bot does about 8 login request per second, and it has been doing this for four days so far.
The site attacked is owned by a completely uncontroversial NGO. I run it pro bono on a small shared host. The configuration doesn't really scale well for this sort of thing, so performance suffers. It is obviously a pretty stupid script, because when I set up Apache to reply 403 to every request from everone except from my IP, it just kept going on as nothing had changed. (Doing so restored performance, so if I can get this blocked by Apache, I've won.)
As you can see from the log excerpt, whoever's doing this commands a botnet with a vast number of IP-addresses. Going through the logs, I notice that it very seldom reuses an IP-address, so blocking the IP-adresses, as suggested in the upvoted answer to this question: Tactics for dealing with misbehaving robots is not an option.
Btw: there is no account with username "Admin" on the system, nor is there any sensitive or valuable information on the system, so it puzzles me why anyone is doing this.
One thing I want to try out is to analyzing the incoming requests, I hope I shall be able discover some sort of pattern. And when I've found a pattern, set up some rule in Apache to block requests matching the pattern. But I have no idea how to capture the incoming requests for analysis, so my question is: How do I capture the POST part of incoming HTTP requests for analysis?