Please Hold for Technical Difficulties

Daylight Atheism was down most of today due to technical problems with my host. Sorry about that. All should be back to working order now. Since I couldn’t log on to the site during the day, I wasn’t able to put up a new post. The one I had written for today will be up tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’m wondering if any technically savvy readers could help me untangle a mystery. In the first three days of December, I’ve gotten a huge amount of traffic – about one-third of what I normally get in an entire month. From looking through my traffic logs, the overwhelming majority of these new hits look the same: they have an empty referrer string, they visit the index page of my site (and no other page), and the IP addresses are from all over the world – doing reverse DNS lookups, I’ve found Sweden, Russia, India, Australia, the U.S., Israel, Estonia, Canada, and more. Also, they all have user-agent strings like this:

Reeder/1000.02.02 CFNetwork/454.11.5 Darwin/10.5.0 (i386) (MacBookPro5%2C1)

Reeder/1.2 CFNetwork/485.12.7 Darwin/10.4.0

Reeder/2.2 CFNetwork/485.12.7 Darwin/10.4.0

Reeder/1000.02.01 CFNetwork/454.11.5 Darwin/10.5.0 (i386) (iMac8%2C1)

Reeder/1000.02.01 CFNetwork/454.11.5 Darwin/10.5.0 (i386) (Macmini2%2C1)

Reeder/1000.02.01 CFNetwork/454.11.5 Darwin/10.5.0 (x86_64) (MacPro5%2C1)

Does anyone know what’s going on here? Reeder is the RSS feed reader for Apple’s iOS, I think, but an RSS reader should be fetching my site’s feed URL, not the front page. On the other hand, if these are live users, I don’t understand why some of them aren’t downloading archives or individual posts. It’s not enough traffic to be a distributed denial-of-service attack, but then where did all these hits come from, and why did they start arriving in this volume so suddenly and with no referring URL? Can anyone explain this?

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About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Arc of Fire, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.


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