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user-agent CFNetwork problems

We are recently seeing a huge increase in traffic from thousands of IPs using the user-agent header containing CFNetwork. Our research suggests this is a some part of an IOS image search bot in mobiles and the calls are always to non-existing image files.

Now this would not normally be a problem, but many sites like those using wordpress interrupt the 404 error of servers to serve there own content, and so for every call the website is often actually accessing the database and loading all the site content and can cause large cpu load.

This user-agent could also be being used as a method of DDOS by pretending to be a legitimate user-agent when in fact it is simply a DDOS attempt. In any case, even if not it is acting as such with the increased traffic we are seeing.

We believe maybe some sort of recent update to IOS has caused this increased unwanted traffic.

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