Berserker Bing bots bring down Perl network
When spiders attack!
Misfiring Microsoft search bots managed to render a site used by Perl Testers almost unusable last week.
A post on the CPAN Testers' blog reports that its servers were being scanned by "20-30 bots every few seconds", resulting in what developers likened to a denial of service attack. The IP addresses of the bots - which failed to follow house rules defined in the site's robots.txt file - were traced back to Microsoft.
The behaviour of the bonkers Bing bots contrasted with the good manners of other search engine agents from the likes of Google, prompting site administrators to post an "msnbot must die" rant on Friday before banning Microsoft's search spiders of doom.
In fairness, it ought to be pointed out that a Bing product manager took time out from the Martin Luther King holiday weekend to respond to these concerns on Saturday, posting a comment on the CPAN Testers' blog offering to help in resolving the problem.
CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network) runs a worldwide archive of Perl scripts, source code and other resources aimed at web developers. ®
That's what it must be like inside MS development offices. The company has a long track record of disorganization with no clear lines of authority, plus it has such a huge staff that (as it turns out, but not unexpectedly) a fair number of them aren't fully competent. They end up with some schmoe way down deep in the bowels of the outfit writing this bot without proper specifications, without proper testing, perhaps even unknown to his/her superiors.
Or to put it slightly differently, no one's in charge. Ballmer runs around frothing at the mouth, but that's not "being in charge".
With a corporate culture like that, with billions of lines of code that they have admitted they don't completely understand, with crap development software that does nothing to auto-block certain fundamental programming errors like array overflows, you can't help but wonder whether MS is really a bloated corpse of a company, gradually swelling in the hot sun from internal decomposition — it just hasn't exploded yet.
Why is there no icon for "dead animal bloating in the sun"?
Failing to obey robots.txt
That's just unprofessional, or have MSFT introduced a their own proprietary bot directive technology that we are unaware of?
Computer mis-use act
Launching a DOS attack, can't these people be banned from the Internet?