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I did a web project years ago where if you hit a particular URL on the site an admin action is triggered.

I have a bookmark in Safari even to this day for the url of that action.

Yesterday that action was unexpectedly triggered for the first time in years.

A review of the Apache Server access logs reveals that the action was requested by my IP address.

The user agent string as recorded in the Apache Server logs is:

Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_11_6) AppleWebKit/601.7.7 (KHTML, like Gecko)

This looks a lot like Safari, but when I actually hit the same site with Safari, Apache Server logs a slightly longer user agent string:

Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_11_6) AppleWebKit/601.7.7 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/9.1.2 Safari/601.7.7

I usually use Chrome but I did launch Safari on the day of the incident. A visit to the URL trigger does not appear in my Safari history however.

Could some other webkit process from my Mac have visited this page without my knowledge/intention?

Like, is there any pre-load of bookmarks function? Or hover over a link pre-fetches the contents for later display? (I don't remember hovering over any links)...

I'm on El Capitan and Safari 9.1.2 (but you knew that from the log lines).

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You might have experienced Safari's Top Sites feature. It tries to keep an up-to-date cache of pages in the Top Sites list, which includes a thumbnail rendering of the site.

  • Yes, this looks likely. I do see the bookmark in a folder in the top sites page. I'll wait a a little while to see if anyone has a better theory but this seems to fit. – AllInOne Feb 8 '18 at 23:24

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