I recently noticed the following messages in Apache's access log:

"GET http://api.ipify.org/ HTTP/1.1" 200 251
"GET http://boxun.com/ HTTP/1.1" 200 251
"GET http://www.epochtimes.com/ HTTP/1.1" 200 251
"GET http://www.123cha.com/ HTTP/1.1" 200 251

These requests look innocuous enough, but it's concerning to me that Apache responded with a 200. Does this mean that it's happily acting as a proxy server for requests to other domains? Am I right in being concerned by this, and is there a setting I can configure to prevent it from doing so?

Also, how do these requests even reach my server? Is there a way to craft a cURL command to issue a GET request for a particular URL to an unrelated domain?

Here's the result of apachectl -S with my domain replaced with example.com:

VirtualHost configuration:
*:443                  is a NameVirtualHost
         default server example.com (/etc/httpd/conf/extra/httpd-ssl.conf:121)
         port 443 namevhost example.com (/etc/httpd/conf/extra/httpd-ssl.conf:121)
                 wild alias *.example.com
         port 443 namevhost sample.example.com (/etc/httpd/conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf:72)
                 alias www.sample.example.com
                 alias example.com/sample
         port 443 namevhost test.example.com (/etc/httpd/conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf:101)
                 alias example.com/test
         port 443 namevhost comp.example.com (/etc/httpd/conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf:113)
                 alias example.com/comp
         port 443 namevhost less.example.com (/etc/httpd/conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf:125)
         port 443 namevhost nothing.example.com (/etc/httpd/conf/extra/nothing.conf:13)
*:80                   is a NameVirtualHost
         default server example.com (/etc/httpd/conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf:66)
         port 80 namevhost example.com (/etc/httpd/conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf:66)
         port 80 namevhost sample.example.com (/etc/httpd/conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf:72)
                 alias www.sample.example.com
                 alias example.com/sample
         port 80 namevhost test.example.com (/etc/httpd/conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf:101)
                 alias example.com/test
         port 80 namevhost comp.example.com (/etc/httpd/conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf:113)
                 alias example.com/comp
         port 80 namevhost less.example.com (/etc/httpd/conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf:125)
         port 80 namevhost nothing.example.com (/etc/httpd/conf/extra/nothing.conf:13)
ServerRoot: "/etc/httpd"
Main DocumentRoot: "/srv/http"
Main ErrorLog: "/var/log/httpd/error_log"
Mutex proxy-balancer-shm: using_defaults
Mutex ssl-stapling-refresh: using_defaults
Mutex rewrite-map: using_defaults
Mutex ssl-stapling: using_defaults
Mutex proxy: using_defaults
Mutex ssl-cache: using_defaults
Mutex default: dir="/run/httpd/" mechanism=default 
PidFile: "/run/httpd/httpd.pid"
User: name="http" id=33
Group: name="http" id=33

Here's the result of sending such a request with curl:

$ curl -vs -o /dev/null -H 'Host: api.ipify.org' http://example.com/
*   Trying
* Connected to example.com ( port 80 (#0)
> GET / HTTP/1.1
> Host: api.ipify.org
> User-Agent: curl/7.61.1
> Accept: */*
< HTTP/1.1 200 OK
< Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2018 20:28:12 GMT
< Server: Apache/2.4.35 (Unix) OpenSSL/1.1.1
< Upgrade: h2
< Connection: Upgrade
< Last-Modified: Tue, 03 Jul 2018 14:20:39 GMT
< ETag: "fb-5701904b6ba1c"
< Accept-Ranges: bytes
< Content-Length: 251
< Content-Type: text/html
{ [251 bytes data]
* Connection #0 to host example.com left intact

$ tail -n 1 /var/log/httpd/access_log
"GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 251
  • 2
    It might be that your apache configuration has a "catchall" virtual host (i.e. ServerAlias * or similar). Can you edit your question and post your apache virtual host configuration?
    – Mr Shunz
    Oct 19 '18 at 15:27
  • Not likely, with a 251 byte response for every single one of them. Try it yourself and see what comes back. Oct 19 '18 at 16:10
  • How do I try it myself? I can use curl to send a GET request, but if I issue it to http://api.ipify.org/ it won't go to my server, and if I issue it to my server it will start with /.
    – Altay_H
    Oct 19 '18 at 16:18
  • 1
    curl -vs -o /dev/null -H 'Host: api.ipify.org' http://your.server.address/
    – guzzijason
    Oct 19 '18 at 20:26
  • That does return a 251-byte HTTP 200 response, but oddly it shows up in the access logs at a GET request for /.
    – Altay_H
    Oct 19 '18 at 20:41

Your server does not decide with which domain a client contacts it, that's the DNS server prerogative.

You surely have a "catch-all" virtualhost, according to Apache manual, the first virtualhost loaded is the one that will answer to all requests that do not match any other virtualhost requirements.

A way you can try this, is simply by having an entry in your hosts file (/etc/hosts for linux clients, c:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts for windows clients) that binds your server IP with any domain, example.com being a nice example.

Now if you try to open http://example.com, you'll see the DirectoryIndex for your server's first configured virtualhost, and you'll have a nice row in your log stating that someone (you) requested http://example.com from your server, and it got a 200 OK as response.

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