I noticed something strange in my server logs today. Several visitors were accessing the same pages with the same parameters at (basically) the same time.
I looked into it and found one that opened 29 different pages which was more than the 3-5 of everyone else. But they were too on an old version of Chrome, and most importantly none of the page hits indicated from what page they were navigating from (referer).
I left it at that, until I found another visitor accessing these same pages with even more of a history. I'll call them Visitor A. They first came to my website in August via a search engine and returned occassionally. Every single interaction they had with the site looked perfectly normal, actually entering some text into search boxes, following existing links, and the HTTP referer was always set. That includes today. Visitor A accessed the web site and interacted with it normally.
Time Visitor Page Referer 03:03:00 Visitor A index 03:07:10 Visitor A view?id=2115 index 03:25:15 Visitor A search view?id=2115
Soon, 3-5 bots started accessing some of the pages that Visitor A was on ~5 minutes earlier.
03:31:54 Visitor A list?page=1582 list?page=1581 03:36:26 Bot A list?page=1582 03:36:29 Bot B list?page=1582 03:36:33 Bot C list?page=1582 03:36:39 Bot D list?page=1582 03:38:55 Bot E list?page=1582 03:31:55 Visitor A list?page=1583 list?page=1582 03:43:48 Visitor A view?id=9825 list?page=1585 03:48:37 Bot B view?id=9825 03:48:40 Bot F view?id=9825 03:48:45 Bot G view?id=9825 03:48:45 Bot D view?id=9825
This pattern repeats many times, but only for Visitor A. Their latest page hit:
10:23:28 Visitor A list?page=1770 view?id=4758 10:27:48 Bot B list?page=1770 10:27:52 Bot H list?page=1770 10:27:53 Bot D list?page=1770 10:27:58 Bot I list?page=1770
Bot activity continued for ~20 more minutes and then ceased as well.
Has anyone seen this before? What am I looking at here?