Blocking WeSee Bot

The Problem

Recently I’ve been receiving lots of 404 errors on a site that I work on. All of these errors were caused by one bot; WeSee.

As an example, a valid URL on this site would look like this:

WeSee would try and also access both of the following:

What Is WeSee

From the WeSee website, it looks like they are merely crawling for images so they can sell data to their customers.

“Our software is used so that visual content can be turned into machine-readable data so that the content can for the first time play a significant role in Digital Advertising, Content Verification, Ecommerce and Visual Search. Our software holds the key in turning visual content in to lucrative advertising friendly targetable real estate…”

Blocking WeSee Bot

This isn’t as easy as it should be. Most well behaved bots and crawlers allow you to block them with a robots.txt file. WeSee ignores robots.txt (trust me, I tried).

What I had to do was block the IP addresses on the server manually. While this isn’t the most ideal solution as WeSee could use new IP’s at any time. Below is a list of all IP’s I’ve seen WeSee from:

If I see anymore, I’ll be sure to add them to the list.

Mixed Windows XP and Windows Vista Network

I have had the pleasure of recieving a free copy of Windows Vista Business thanks to my university’s MSDN AA program. Last weekend I thought I would take the plunge and install the thing, alongside XP so I could still dual boot and use XP when needed.

Most things seem to be running quite smoothly in Vista, albeit slightly differently to XP. I have a few shared folders in XP which serve as place for family members to share and swap files over our network. With Windows XP users have never had any trouble connecting to my machine. This has all changed with Windows Vista however. When I first created the same shares in Windows Vista the other XP machines were unable to connect to the Vista shares. Each time it was asking for a user name and password. This was quite frustrating as when you install Vista it never asks you to setup any user accounts with passwords.

The final solution to the problem is to create a new user on the Vista machine. The user does not need to have administrative privileges but must have a password. Once this is done your XP machines should be able to connect to the Vista shares using the user name and password that you just created. This could become frustrating but thankfully you are able to save the user name and password in XP so each time you connect to the share in Vista from then on you no longer need to put in these details.

I hope you find this information useful and that it saves you a few headaches. I know I spent a few hours trying to find away around this problem. I take it the requirements for a password is part of Microsoft’s attempt to up security in Windows Vista.