Skip to content

Cloudflare Errors 1006, 1007, 1008: How to Avoid Them When Web Scraping

As an experienced web scraping professional leveraging proxies and rotation services to access all kinds of sites, I‘ve had to grapple with Cloudflare protection many times. In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll explain what causes those Cryptic Cloudflare errors 1006, 1007, and 1008, and – more importantly – how to avoid triggering the blocks in the first place.

What Is Cloudflare and Why Does It Block Scrapers?

Cloudflare is one of the world‘s largest content delivery networks (CDN), serving and protecting websites and internet properties from all kinds of cyberthreats – including malicious bots and scrapers. They now safeguard over 25 million internet properties worldwide!

The scope of Cloudflare‘s network has grown tremendously over the past decade. Early on they were mainly shielding sites from DDoS attacks by absorbing and dispersing network traffic.

But in recent years, their focus has expanded to include protection against automated scraping bots. This is achieved through sophisticated JavaScript challenges, visitor behavior analysis, and adaptive machine learning algorithms.

According to Cloudflare‘s own stats, their systems block around 87 billion cyber threats each day globally. Many of those are scrapers!

So if you want to systematically scrape or crawl a site protected by Cloudflare, you better come prepared. Their system actively analyzes all visitor traffic for any signs of automation.

Once detected, they promptly block further access and return those "1007 Access Denied" type error messages – usually after you‘ve wasted hours crawling the target site. Let‘s take a closer look at why that happens.

What Exactly Triggers Cloudflare to Block Web Scrapers?

In my experience specializing in smart proxy rotation services, these are the primary signals and behaviors that Cloudflare seems to flag as malicious scraping activity:

Rate of Requests

This is one of the biggest giveaways. Cloudflare expects visitors to browse sites at a human pace. If you bombard the site with a high volume of rapid automated requests from a single IP, their systems will quickly block you as a harmful bot.

I‘d estimate at least 60% of novice scrapers get blocked simply because of excessive request rates that far exceed normal human browsing behavior. You need to take care to maintain plausible intervals between each request.

User Agent Patterns

Another easy way to get flagged is using suspicious or repetitive User-Agent strings that don‘t mimic real desktop or mobile browser values. For example, a common user agent like "Python urllib" or cycling between the same few generic ones will attract scrutiny.

Modern browsers have very specific user agent strings. You should randomize yours in each request to appear human.

Failed JavaScript Challenges

Many sites protected by Cloudflare will proactively throw JavaScript challenges at visitors to assess if they are real humans or not.

These can include puzzles, CAPTCHAs, mouse movement tracking – anything a bot would fail at but a real user could pass. I‘ve seen scrapers blocked after just 2-3 failed JS challenges.

Unusual HTTP Headers

Bots that don‘t send properly formatted HTTP headers, or omit certain typical browser headers like accept-language, are prone to get blocked. Suspiciously outdated headers are also a giveaway.

For example, claiming to be Chrome version 30 when the current release is version 109 is clearly the sign of a sloppy bot!

Known Bad IP Reputations

This one is simple – if Cloudflare has previously detected and blocked scraping activity from your source IP, they will immediately block any further requests as well. This can happen very swiftly, within the first few requests made.

Using proxies and IP rotation is the only way around this. Sticking to clean residential IPs helps maximizes your chances of staying under the radar.

Lack of JavaScript Support

Nowadays, not rendering JS is an instant red flag. Scrapers that don‘t process JavaScript will get flagged very quickly as bots, especially if they are requesting pages aggressively.

You need scrapers with JS capabilities to have any chance of evading Cloudflare protections for more than a few minutes.

Those are the major signals Cloudflare seems to use for identifying and blocking scrapers according to my experience. Now let‘s talk about some proven strategies to avoid detection.

Smart Tactics to Minimize Detection and Avoid Access Denied Errors

The key is understanding how normal human visitors browse and interact with websites, and then carefully mimicking those behaviors with your scraper to avoid raising red flags.

Here are the most effective tactics I recommend based on my years as a lead proxy engineer developing anti-detection protections:

Use Proxy Rotation Services

The single best tool for scraper evasion are premium proxy services like BrightData, Smartproxy, and ScraperAPI. By rotating proxy IPs with each new request, you effectively hide repetitive usage patterns from Cloudflare.

I‘d highly advise using residential proxies with IPs stemming from real desktop computers in home networks, rather than datacenters. They are more expensive but far stealthier.

Here‘s a quick comparison of the leading rotating proxy services for scraping:

ProviderPricingKey FeaturesNotes
BrightData$500+/mo40M+ residential IPs, highperformance, geotargetingTop tier service but expensive
Smartproxy$75+/mo10M+ mixed IPs, unlimited threads, dashboardReliable network, some datacenter IPs
ScraperAPI$129+/mo2M+ residential IPs, customizabilityFocus on residential IPs

Introduce Random Delays Between Requests

No human manually browsing a site fires off requests rapidly one after another. Introducing random delays of 5-15+ seconds between requests can go a long way towards looking like a real visitor.

Configure your scraper‘s crawl delays on the upper end of 15 seconds to stay extra safe. You can sample from a normal distribution around 10 seconds for the most natural behavior. Just don‘t blast requests nonstop or Cloudflare will notice immediately.

Frequently Rotate Randomized User Agents

Having a new randomized user agent in each request makes it considerably harder for Cloudflare to identify repeating patterns. There are many free user agent generator tools online that can automatically create randomized and up-to-date lists of strings mimicking modern browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.

I recommend generating a fresh list of at least 100+ browser user agents and continuously rotating through them for each new request. Avoid repeating the same one twice in a row. The more randomized the better.

Render and Execute JavaScript

As I emphasized earlier, it‘s absolutely mandatory nowadays for scrapers to fully process and execute JavaScript just as a real browser would. Leverage headless browser automation frameworks like Puppeteer, Playwright, or Selenium to achieve this.

Without robust JS capabilities, Cloudflare will quickly block you once they start presenting JavaScript challenges that headless browsers can solve but script-less crawlers cannot.

Solve CAPTCHAs and Other Challenges

When Cloudflare serves up a CAPTCHA or other human verification challenge, you need to put in the manual effort to solve it and provide the correct response. This proves to their system that a real human is present.

While solving CAPTCHAs manually does not scale well, several anti-CAPTCHA services like 2Captcha and Anticaptcha can automate the process for a fee, which may be necessary if challenges are frequent.

Check Site‘s Robots.txt and TOS

Before embarking on scraping any site protected by Cloudflare, I advise first checking their robots.txt file and terms of service for any anti-scraping policies.

If they have restrictive clauses prohibiting all scraping, consider contacting the company to request explicit permission first before crawling. This lowers the chances they will manually blacklist you.

Try Mobile IPs and User Agents

In some cases, scraping through clean IPs on cellular networks (3G/4G etc) while mimicking mobile browser user agents can successfully bypass blocks intended for desktop browsers.

Your mileage may vary based on their specific protection policies. But it‘s worth trying mobile scraping if desktop efforts are getting continually thwarted.

Research Site-Specific Workarounds

Dedicated researchers have documented site-specific quirks that may temporarily bypass Cloudflare protections, though most get patched quickly. These include special headers, cookie values, or ways to solve JS challenges.

For example, adding a ‘__cfduid‘ cookie or ‘CF-Visitor‘ header may in rare cases allow proceeding further before blocking. I do not recommend relying solely on tricks like these, but they are worth experimenting with.

Leverage Site APIs When Available

I always advise checking whether a site offers official APIs before attempting to scrape or crawl it directly. APIs provide structured data access without the headaches of circumventing anti-bot systems.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of sites do not have APIs available. But when they do, you should absolutely leverage them instead as a more sustainable and simpler option compared to scraping.

Advanced Tactics for Stubborn Cloudflare Blocks

On very rare occasions when basic scraping avoidance techniques fail, you may need to consider some advanced workarounds:

IP Spoofing – Masking your scraper‘s real IP behind spoofed IPs can potentially avoid blocks tied to your IP reputation. But it requires technical know-how.

VPN Tunneling – Scrape through VPN tunnels to acquire fresh IPs. But VPN IPs often have suspicious datacenter fingerprints.

Custom Browser Engines – Building your own modified Chromium or Firefox scraping browsers allows bypassing common headless browser tells. Extremely challenging.

Residential Proxies – Utilizing proxies from real residential ISP networks provides the most human-like IPs. But they are expensive and limited in scale.

Generally speaking however, a combination of robust proxy rotation, realistic crawl delays, randomized user agents, and full JavaScript rendering should allow you to scrape most sites shielded by Cloudflare without triggering blocks for the vast majority of use cases.

Key Takeaways – Scraping Safely and Avoiding Access Denied

Here are the core techniques I recommend based on my extensive experience as a lead proxy engineer to minimize detection and safely scrape sites protected by Cloudflare:

  • Use reliable proxy rotation services to hide repetitive IP usage
  • Limit request rates and introduce random delays between requests
  • Frequently rotate randomized user agent strings
  • Render JavaScript fully like a real browser would
  • Solve CAPTCHAs and challenges manually to prove human presence
  • Check for anti-scraping policies and leverage site APIs if feasible
  • Try mobile scraping or site-specific workarounds as a last resort

No scraper evasion method is 100% bulletproof against Cloudflare‘s sophisticated bot detection capabilities. But judiciously combining techniques like residential proxies, headless browsers, crawl delays, and randomized settings will go a very long way towards scraping under the radar and avoiding those "Access Denied" errors.

Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to share more insights from my years of experience in this field. Stay safe out there and happy scraping!

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *