18.104.22.168 - - [23/Oct/2020:00:57:19 +0000] "HEAD /comment/topic_metacomment.html HTTP/1.1" 200 - "http://academia.prosperitygroup.cl/blog/" "Wget/1.19.5 (linux-gnu)"
This is a primitive bot, using the wget command-line tool. Normally, my site gets several thousand hits per day. Yesterday and today, it's been getting a few thousand extra hits from this bot. It keeps fetching the same page: a page of messages from folks who read this site. Each time, it gives a different referer [sic]; so that "academia.prosperitygroup.cl/blog/" differs from hit to hit. Back in the olden days of the web, many blogs automatically linked back to web sites that referred to them. Thus, some unscrupulous folks set up primitive bots like this to trick blogs like mine into linking back to sketchy sites like academia.prosperitygroup.cl. (I guess it's sketchy. Since it's in the payload of a spammy pingback bot, I'm not inclined to go visit it just to confirm that sketchiness. (If you want to go exploring, be aware that I inserted a zero-width space into the domain name so that folks searching for it won't land here. Because as I kept researching, the sketchier these sites seemed.)) This bot appears to run on a machine in a server farm on the Isle of Man.
Hmm, when I look at more hits from this bot, I think it's linking to many many Wordpress blogs. I'm guessing that mean hackers have taken over these blogs and turned them into spammy sites. Wordpress is a very popular system. Thus, when mean hackers find a way to hack into Wordpress sites, they can take over many many sites. The sites mentioned by the bot have a wide variety of names; thus I guess that hackers took over a variety of existing sites; I guess they didn't set up new set-purpose sites of their own. When I look at this list of sites, I think: Here are blogs written by bloggers like me; alas, now fallen into disrepair and turned to fell purposes.
Well, gee whiz, this millionth-hit report took an uncharacteristically dark turn. Here's a picture of penguins playing soccer: