Modifying my User Agent to add access log spam!

user-agent-stringAs I was browsing around the interweb’s I stumbled across some website activity logs which showed browser User Agents as well as other non personally identifying information and I looked at it for a few minutes and saw the various web browsers that people are using and also their referring sites. (The site which led them to the site which had the logs I was looking at.) I guess this could be called User Agent spam!

So, it occurred to me that I could modify my web browser User Agent name to include my own website and ‘seed’ the log’s of other websites and thereby possibly generate just a few more visits to my site.

I started with adding to my browser User Agent string and then decided to add the URL of my website in the off chance that the web activity log generating software may possibly generate a clickable link to the link provided in the User Agent string.

So, I haven’t seen any increase in traffic to my site yet but it seems solid in theory.

It’s not that difficult to modify your User Agent string for Internet Explorer. This is what my current browser User Agent string is:

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1)

Here’s how I did it.

First of all it goes without saying…but I’ll say it anyway. Proceed at your own risk. You will be modifying your Windows Registry which could result in your computer becoming a very expensive paper weight.

Open Notepad and paste the following orange text into it.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\User Agent\Post Platform]

Save the file and change the file extension to .reg. This should result in the icon changing to something that resembles a little stack of ice cubes sitting on a paper towel.

Now double click the Registry file and allow the changes to be added to the registry. After you do that your browser User Agent string will report the following:

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1;

You can, of course, add more entries to this list by simply adding more lines to the Registry file.

I have read reports while doing research into this that if your User Agent string get’s too long you may not be able to access some websites or your web browser may be mistaken for a different one resulting in totally different web browsing experience. If that happens you can use ‘regedit’ to browse to the “[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\User Agent\Post Platform]” registry key and remove the entries in there.

Good luck and have fun!



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