Hack 45. Process Web Server Logs

You can pull your web log into the database. Once it's in the database, you can investigate who is looking at what and when they did so.

If you use Apache on a Linux system, your web log is likely to be in a location such as /var/log/httpd/access_log. The format of the logfile is determined by entries in the Apache configuration file.

On a Windows system, you will find Apache logs in C:Program FilesApache GroupApachelogsaccess.log. The IIS logs are likely to be in C:WINDOWSSystem32LogFilesW3SVC1ex yymmdd .log, where yymmdd represents the date.

The two lines that control the format for the logs on a typical Linux/Apache server are in /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf (/etc/httpd/httpd.conf on Mac OS X):

LogFormat "%h %l %u %t "%r" %>s %b "%{Referer}i" "%{User-Agent}i"" 
 combined
CustomLog logs/access_log combined

For IIS, you can control the format of the web log using the Microsoft Management Console IIS snap-in. On the properties page of the Web Server choose the Web Site tab; select Enable Logging, set the Active log format to W3C Extended Log File Format, and then click on Properties to choose the fields, as shown in Figure 6-8.

Figure 6-8. Determining the format of the logfile

Here is a sample line from the logfile:

192.116.140.62 - - [09/Jul/2006:13:00:37 +0100] "GET /xml.css HTTP/1.1"
200 1619 "http://xmlzoo.net/sax/?xml=01.xml" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible;
MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; InfoPath.1)"

The logfile includes the fields shown in Table 6-2.

Table 6-2. Fields in the logfile

Field Sample Meaning
IP address 192.116.140.62 The address of the visitor.
Identity - Ignored.
User - User ID: when HTTP authentication is enabled.
Date and Time 09/Jul/2006:13:00:37 +0100 Date and time, with time zone of the server.
HTTP Request GET /xml.css HTTP/1.1 The method, page, and protocol.
Response Code 200 200 means request was successful.
Bytes Served 1619 Volume of data sent.
Referrer http://xmlzoo.net/sax/?xml=01.xml Visitor's previous web page.
User Agent Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; InfoPath.1) Browser being used.

You can create a table suitable for holding the log entries. It helps to have some indexes as well:

CREATE TABLE access_log
(ip VARCHAR(15)
,skp VARCHAR(15)
,usr VARCHAR(15)
,whn TIMESTAMP
,mthd VARCHAR(5)
,page VARCHAR(255)
,ver VARCHAR(10)
,resp INTEGER
,bytes INTEGER
,refr VARCHAR(255)
,agnt VARCHAR(255)
);
CREATE INDEX pageidx ON access_log(page);
CREATE INDEX ipidx ON access_log(ip);
CREATE INDEX whnidx ON access_log(whn);
CREATE INDEX refridx ON access_log(refr);

You can convert each line from the logfile into an SQL INSERT statement with a Perl program:

use strict;
my %month=(Jan=>'01',Feb=>'02',Mar=>'03',Apr=>'04',May=>'05',Jun=>'06',
 Jul=>'07',Aug=>'08',Sep=>'09',Oct=>'10',Nov=>'11',Dec=>'12');
while (<>){
 my $pattern =
 '^(S*) (S*) (S*) '. #Fields ip, - , username
 '[(..)/(...)/(....):(..):(..):(..) .....]'.#Date and time
 ' "(S*) (S*) (S*)" '. #Request: GET or POST
 '(d*) (-|d*) "([^"]*)" "([^"]*)"'; #resp, bytes, refr, agnt
 if (m/$pattern/){
 my ($tgt,$ref,$agt) = (esc($11),esc($15),esc($16));
 my $byt = $14 eq '-'?'NULL':$14;
 print "INSERT INTO access_log VALUES ('$1','$2','$3',".
 " TIMESTAMP '$6/$month{$5}/$4 $7:$8:$9','$10','$tgt',".
 "'$12',$13,$byt,'$ref','$agt');
";
 }else{
 print "--Skipped line $.
";
 }
}

sub esc{
 my ($p) = @_;
 $p =~ s/'/''/g;
 return $p;
}

Once the table has been created, pipe in a logfile from the Linux prompt:

perl access_log2sql.pl /var/log/httpd/access_log | 
 mysql u scott ptiger -f dbname

If you're using IIS in Windows, select the following fields for your log format:

#Fields: date time c-ip cs-username cs-method cs-uri-stem sc-status sc-bytes cs-version cs(User-Agent) cs(Referer)

Use this modified version of the Perl script (saved as log2sql):

use strict;
while (<>){
 my $pattern =
 '^(....)-(..)-(..) (..):(..):(..) '. #Date and time
 '(S*) (S*) '. #ip, username
 '(S*) (S*) (d*) '. #GET/POST page resp
 '(-|d*) (S+) (S+) (S+)'; #bytes, ,version, agnt, refr
 if (m/$pattern/){
 my ($tgt,$ref,$agt) = (esc($10),esc($15),esc($14));
 my $byt = $12 eq '-'?'NULL':$12;
 print "INSERT INTO access_log VALUES ('$7','','$8',".
 " TIMESTAMP '$1/$2/$3 $4:$5:$6','$9','$tgt',".
 "'$13',$11,$byt,'$ref','$agt')
GO
";
 }else{
 print "--Skipped line $.
";
 }
}

sub esc{
 my ($p) = @_;
 $p =~ s/'/''/g;
 return $p;
}

At the Windows prompt, enter the following:

C:>perl log2sql.pl C:Windowssystem32LogfilesW3SVC1ex060911.log >l.sql
C:>sqlcmd U scott d dbname i l.sql

 

6.5.1. Queries

First, check how many rows you have, and check the range of times:

mysql> SELECT COUNT(*), MIN(whn), MAX(whn)
 -> FROM access_log;
+----------+---------------------+---------------------+
| COUNT(*) | MIN(whn) | MAX(whn) |
+----------+---------------------+---------------------+
| 319300 | 2006-07-02 04:03:53 | 2006-07-09 04:03:21 |
+----------+---------------------+---------------------+

You can filter out the robot spiders. Well-behaved robots always visit the page /robots.txt, so you can find out how many robot visits you've had. This query shows the most active robot visitors:

mysql> SELECT LEFT(agnt,50), COUNT(*)
 -> FROM access_log
 -> WHERE page='/robots.txt'
 -> GROUP BY agnt
 -> ORDER BY 2 DESC;
+----------------------------------------------------+----------+
| LEFT(agnt,50) | COUNT(*) |
+----------------------------------------------------+----------+
| Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Yahoo! Slurp; http://help | 871 |
| msnbot/1.0 (+http://search.msn.com/msnbot.htm) | 169 |
| Krugle/Krugle,Nutch/0.8+ (Krugle web crawler; http | 63 |
| Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv | 62 |
| Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; | 50 |
| NaverBot-1.0 (NHN Corp. / +82-31-784-1989 / nhnbot | 46 |
| Mozilla/2.0 (compatible; Ask Jeeves/Teoma; +http:/ | 32 |
| - | 25 |
| Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Charlotte/1.0b; charlotte | 25 |
| Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://ww | 21 |
...

Of course, each robot makes many requests in addition to the /robots.txt request, and you need to delete all of them if you are interested only in human visitors. To get rid of all rows associated with the robots you might try to DELETE with a subquery. Most engines will accept this, but MySQL will not:

mysql> DELETE FROM access_log
 -> WHERE ip IN (SELECT ip
 -> FROM access_log
 -> WHERE page='/robots.txt');
ERROR 1093 (HY000): You can't specify target table 'access_log' for update in FROM clause

For MySQL, you can first mark the robots by setting the agnt field to robot, and then in a separate statement you can delete them:

mysql> UPDATE access_log x JOIN access_log y ON x.ip=y.ip
 -> SET x.agnt = 'robot'
 -> WHERE y.page='/robots.txt';
Query OK, 44039 rows affected (8.99 sec)
Rows matched: 670233 Changed: 44039 Warnings: 0
mysql> DELETE FROM access_log WHERE agnt='robot';
Query OK, 44039 rows affected (36.31 sec)

 

6.5.1.1. Check for broken links

You can look through the error numbers for "404" errors. These indicate pages which were requested but could not be found. If the cause is a link from an internal page, you can fix it. If it is an external link pointing to a page you have moved, you can redirect the traffic:

mysql> SELECT LEFT(page,20), refr, COUNT(*)
 -> FROM access_log
 -> WHERE resp BETWEEN 400 AND 499
 -> GROUP BY page
 -> ORDER BY 3 DESC
 -> LIMIT 5;
+----------------------+---------------------------------------+----------+
| LEFT(page,20) | refr | COUNT(*) |
+----------------------+---------------------------------------+----------+
| /_vti_bin/owssvr.dll | - | 70 |
| /MSOffice/cltreq.asp | - | 70 |
| /MSOffice/cltreq.asp | - | 36 |
| /_vti_bin/owssvr.dll | - | 36 |
| /favicon.ico | http://coredump.biz/~mnowak/education | 27 |
+----------------------+---------------------------------------+----------+
5 rows in set (0.78 sec)

Most of these missing pages are attempts by crackers to exploit a Windows server weakness.

The missing /favicon.ico is a request for a small icon which, if available, is displayed in a browser's bookmark or address line. The error is harmless, but it's nice to put a tiny bitmap in that location if only to clean up your web logs.

LIMIT the Number of Rows Returned

Because these tables are large, you probably don't want to see all of them.

You can use the phrase LIMIT 5 to restrict the output to the first five rows. This works in MySQL and PostgreSQL. In SQL Server and Access, you use the phrase TOP 5 just after the word SELECT:

SELECT TOP 5 page,refr, COUNT(*)
 FROM access_log
 WHERE refr LIKE 'http://sqlzoo.net%'
 GROUP BY page,refr
 ORDER BY 3 DESC
 

In Oracle, it is a little more complicated, but you can do it with a derived table:

SELECT * FROM
( SELECT page,refr, COUNT(*)
 FROM access_log
 WHERE refr LIKE 'http://sqlzoo.net%'
 GROUP BY page,refr
 ORDER BY 3 DESC
) WHERE ROWNUM < 3 
 

The phrase ORDER BY 3 DESC is used to return the rows in descending order based on the values in column 3.

 

6.5.1.2. Investigate users' actions

If you remove the nonpage files from the log, it is easier to analyze people's actions on the web site. You can delete all of the image files, JavaScript, and stylesheet references:

mysql> DELETE FROM access_log
 -> WHERE page LIKE '%.css'
 -> OR page LIKE '%.png'
 -> OR page LIKE '%.js'
 -> OR page LIKE '%.ico';
Query OK, 119566 rows affected (31.65 sec)

You can now see your most popular pages:

mysql> SELECT page, COUNT(*) FROM access_log
 -> GROUP BY page
 -> ORDER BY 2 DESC
 -> LIMIT 6;
+--------------------------------+----------+
| page | COUNT(*) |
+--------------------------------+----------+
| / | 19248 |
| /ernest/gisq.htm | 17904 |
| /1.htm | 2362 |
| /~scott/cgi-bin/wendy/gisq.htm | 1894 |
| /priya/gisq.htm | 1282 |
| /1a.htm | 1148 |
+--------------------------------+----------+
6 rows in set (0.57 sec)

You can see how users move from page to page within your site:

mysql> SELECT page,refr, COUNT(*)
 -> FROM access_log
 -> WHERE refr LIKE 'http://sqlzoo.net%'
 -> GROUP BY page,refr
 -> ORDER BY 3 DESC
 -> LIMIT 10;
+----------------------------------+---------------------------+----------+
| page | refr | COUNT(*) |
+----------------------------------+---------------------------+----------+
| /ernest/gisq.htm | http://sqlzoo.net/1.htm | 4509 |
| /ernest/gisq.htm | http://sqlzoo.net/1a.htm | 2214 |
| /1.htm | http://sqlzoo.net/ | 1633 |
| /ernest/gisq.htm | http://sqlzoo.net/1b.htm | 1556 |
| /ernest/gisq.htm | http://sqlzoo.net/2.htm | 1157 |
| /ernest/gisq.htm | http://sqlzoo.net/3.htm | 1104 |
| /howto/source/z.dir/i01select.xml| http://sqlzoo.net/ | 663 |
| /3a.htm | http://sqlzoo.net/ | 557 |
| /ernest/gisq.htm | http://sqlzoo.net/3a.htm | 512 |
| /ernest/gisq.htm | http://sqlzoo.net/de/1.htm| 409 |
+----------------------------------+---------------------------+----------+
10 rows in set (6.84 sec)

Each row shows the number of people who followed a link from refr to page.

Suppose you want to know whether the links from page 1.htm to 1a.htm and 1b.htm are being used. The following answers the question "How do most people get to page 1a.htm and 1b.htm from another page on this site?"

mysql> SELECT page,refr, COUNT(*)
 -> FROM access_log
 -> WHERE refr LIKE 'http://sqlzoo.net%'
 -> AND page LIKE '/1_.htm'
 -> GROUP BY page,refr
 -> ORDER BY 3 DESC
 -> LIMIT 10;
+---------+----------------------------------+----------+
| page | refr | COUNT(*) |
+---------+----------------------------------+----------+
| /1a.htm | http://sqlzoo.net/ | 402 |
| /1b.htm | http://sqlzoo.net/ | 366 |
| /1a.htm | http://sqlzoo.net/1.htm | 165 |
| /1b.htm | http://sqlzoo.net/1.htm | 93 |
| /1b.htm | http://sqlzoo.net/1.htm?answer=1 | 16 |
| /1a.htm | http://sqlzoo.net/1.htm?answer=1 | 14 |
| /1a.htm | http://sqlzoo.net | 11 |
| /1b.htm | http://sqlzoo.net | 6 |
+---------+----------------------------------+----------+
8 rows in set (0.16 sec)

 

6.5.2. Hacking the Hack

The Webalizer tool, available from http://www.mrunix.net/webalizer, provides useful reports on web usage. If you use Webalizer, you can use the DNS cache that it builds. That means you can translate IP addresses such as 65.54.188.29 into more meaningful hostnames such as msnbot.msn.com.

The DNS cache Webalizer uses is called dns_cache.db, and you can access it from Perl if you install the DB_File Perl module. Here is the Perl program to convert the web log to SQL again. It puts the hostname into the ip column. You will need to make that column rather large because the hostname may be a longer string. Also, be sure that you run Webalizer on the logfile before you try to process it with this Perl program; otherwise, the DNS cache will not have translated any new visitors:

use strict;
use DB_File;
my %dns_cache;
dbmopen(%dns_cache,'dns_cache.db',undef);
my %month=(Jan=>'01',Feb=>'02',Mar=>'03',Apr=>'04',May=>'05',Jun=>'06',
 Jul=>'07',Aug=>'08',Sep=>'09',Oct=>'10',Nov=>'11',Dec=>'12');
while (<>){
 my $pattern =
 '^(S*) (S*) (S*) '. #Fields ip, - , username
 '[(..)/(...)/(....):(..):(..):(..) .....]'.#Date and time
 ' "(S*) (S*) (S*)" '. #Request: GET or POST...
 '(d*) (-|d*) "([^"]*)" "([^"]*)"'; #resp, bytes, refr, agnt
 if (m/$pattern/){
 my ($tgt,$ref,$agt) = (esc($11),esc($15),esc($16));
 my $byt = $14 eq '-'?'NULL':$14;
 my $ip = $1;
 my $host = substr($dns_cache{$ip},8)||$ip;
 print "INSERT INTO access_log VALUES ('$host','$2','$3',".
 " TIMESTAMP '$6/$month{$5}/$4 $7:$8:$9','$10','$tgt',".
 "'$12',$13,$byt,'$ref','$hst');
";
 }else{
 print "--Skipped line $.
";
 }
}

sub esc{
 my ($p) = @_;
 $p =~ s/'/''/g;
 return $p;
}


SQL Fundamentals

Joins, Unions, and Views

Text Handling

Date Handling

Number Crunching

Online Applications

Organizing Data

Storing Small Amounts of Data

Locking and Performance

Reporting

Users and Administration

Wider Access

Index



SQL Hacks
SQL Hacks
ISBN: 0596527993
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 147

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