Vulnerability Analysis

Web-Traffic-Generator – A Quick And Dirty HTTP/S "Organic" Traffic Generator

Just a simple (poorly written) Python script that aimlessly “browses” the internet by starting at pre-defined rootURLs and randomly “clicking” links on pages until the pre-defined clickDepth is met.

I created this as a noise generator to use for an Incident Response / Network Defense simulation. The only issue is that my simulation environment uses multiple IDS/IPS/NGFW devices that will not pass and log simple TCPreplays of canned traffic. I needed the traffic to be as organic as possible, essentially mimicking real users browsing the web.
Tested on Ubuntu 14.04 & 16.04 minimal, but should work on any system with Python installed.

How it works
About as simple as it gets…
First, specify a few settings at the top of the script…

  • clickDepth = 5 Starting from each root URL (ie:, our generator will click 5 links deep before moving to the next root URL.

The interval between every HTTP GET requests is chosen at random between the following two variables…

  • minWait = 5 Wait a minimum of 5 seconds between requests… Be careful with making requests to quickly as that tends to piss off web servers.
  • maxWait = 10 I think you get the point.
  • debug = False A poor mans logger. Set to True for verbose realtime logging to console for debugging or development. I’ll incorporate proper logging later on (maybe).
  • rootURLs = [url1,url2,url3] The list of root URLs to start from when browsing. When we hit the end, we simply start back from the beginning.
  • blacklist = [".gif", "intent/tweet", "badlink", etc...] A blacklist of strings that we check every link against. If the link contains any of the strings in this list, it’s discarded. Useful to avoid things that are not traffic-generator friendly like “Tweet this!” links or links to image files.
  • userAgent = 'Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_12_3).......' You guessed it, the user-agent our headless browser hands over to the web server. You can probably leave it set to the default, but feel free to change it. I would strongly suggest using a common/valid one or else you’ll likely get rate-limited quick.

Only thing you need and might not have is requests. Grab it with

sudo pip install requests

Create your config file first:


Run the generator:


Troubleshooting and debugging
To get more deets on what is happening under the hood, change the Debug variable in from False to True. This provides the following output…

Traffic generator started...

Clcking 5 links deep into 7 different root URLs,
waiting between 5 and 10 seconds between requests.

This script will run indefinitely. Ctrl+C to stop.
Page size: 388840
Data meter: 388840 bytes
Good requests: 1
Bad reqeusts: 0
Sleeping for 6 seconds...
config.blacklist: ['', '', '', '', '', '', 'mediawiki', '.css', '.ico', '.xml', 'intent/tweet', '', 'signup', 'login', 'dialog/feed?', '.png', '.jpg', '.json', '.svg', '.gif', 'zendesk', 'clickserve'] URL: 1 / 7 -- Depth: 0 / 5
Choosing random link from total: 221
Link chosen: 64 of 221
Page size: 85012
Data meter: 473852 bytes
Good requests: 2
Bad reqeusts: 0
Sleeping for 7 seconds...
config.blacklist: ['', '', '', '', '', '', 'mediawiki', '.css', '.ico', '.xml', 'intent/tweet', '', 'signup', 'login', 'dialog/feed?', '.png', '.jpg', '.json', '.svg', '.gif', 'zendesk', 'clickserve'] URL: 1 / 7 -- Depth: 1 / 5
Choosing random link from total: 16
Link chosen: 0 of 16
Page size: 58467
Data meter: 532319 bytes
Good requests: 3
Bad reqeusts: 0
Sleeping for 5 seconds...
config.blacklist: ['', '', '', '', '', '', 'mediawiki', '.css', '.ico', '.xml', 'intent/tweet', '', 'signup', 'login', 'dialog/feed?', '.png', '.jpg', '.json', '.svg', '.gif', 'zendesk', 'clickserve'] URL: 1 / 7 -- Depth: 2 / 5
Choosing random link from total: 93
Link chosen: 88 of 93
Page size: 25106
Data meter: 557425 bytes
Good requests: 4
Bad reqeusts: 0
Sleeping for 6 seconds...
config.blacklist: ['', '', '', '', '', '', 'mediawiki', '.css', '.ico', '.xml', 'intent/tweet', '', 'signup', 'login', 'dialog/feed?', '.png', '.jpg', '.json', '.svg', '.gif', 'zendesk', 'clickserve'] URL: 1 / 7 -- Depth: 3 / 5
Choosing random link from total: 18
Link chosen: 15 of 18
Page size: 62543
Data meter: 619968 bytes
Good requests: 5
Bad reqeusts: 0
Sleeping for 9 seconds...
config.blacklist: ['', '', '', '', '', '', 'mediawiki', '.css', '.ico', '.xml', 'intent/tweet', '', 'signup', 'login', 'dialog/feed?', '.png', '.jpg', '.json', '.svg', '.gif', 'zendesk', 'clickserve'] URL: 1 / 7 -- Depth: 4 / 5
Choosing random link from total: 70
Link chosen: 16 of 70
Page size: 206
Data meter: 620174 bytes
Good requests: 6
Bad reqeusts: 0
Sleeping for 7 seconds...
^CException on URL: -- removing from list and trying again!

The last URL attempted provides a good example of when a particular URL throws an error. We simply add it to our config.blacklist array in memory, and continue browsing. This prevents a known bad URL from returning to the queue.


About the author

Mazen Elzanaty

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