Forum problems - Access Denied

Started by reck, April 10, 2013, 05:59:02 am

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reck

Apologies this is about an issue with the forum and not Terragen related. I always thought there used to be a forum support forum but I must have imagined it.

Anyway i've started to get an Access Denied message when I come to the forums (see image). I've now seen it on 3 separate computers so i'm not entirely sure what's causing it. I tend to use the forum via the RSS feed so i'm guessing it's related to that, either way there's a problem somewhere as i'm certainly not a robot trying to spam the forums  :)

jaf

Actually, I seen sort of a reverse of your problem.... I have been having connection problems with several other sites lately that I regularly visit, but when I check this site, it almost always seems to work fine.  I've gotten in the habit of coming here when I get a 503 or other "could not connect" error.
(19oct19) Ryzen 1800x, 970 EVO 1TB NVME-M.2 SSD, Corsair Vengeance 64GB DDR4 3200 Mem,  EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Graphics 436.48 (02oct19), Win 10 Pro x64, Terragen Frontier 4.4.39 BMark 0:10:18

Oshyan

Well, the page pretty much tells you the likely reason for it: someone in your IP range or who has recently used your IP (if you're on a dynamic connection) has been sending spam/spamming forums. We have a plugin that communicates with a central reputation server to help forum admins handle spam, and one of the pieces of reference info it uses is the IP. It's usually very helpful but it can of course have false positives. If you have a dynamic IP, what is likely happening is you're being randomly assigned a "bad" IP sometimes, and at other times you've got a good one.

Unfortunately there's not a lot we can do on our end. If you follow the instructions at the bottom of that page, it says to visit projecthoneypot.org and check against your IP to see what behavior has been reported for it. It's even possible your computer has an infection or, if not, as I say it could be someone else who recently used your IP. You could also try complaining to your ISP and seeing if they can either A: take the bad IP out of rotation for automatic assignment and/or B: contact users who have been assigned it recently about possible virus infections.

- Oshyan

reck

Quote from: Oshyan on April 11, 2013, 01:21:10 am
Well, the page pretty much tells you the likely reason for it: someone in your IP range or who has recently used your IP (if you're on a dynamic connection) has been sending spam/spamming forums.


There's a few reasons why I don't think this is the case. The first is that i've tried this on my home computer with a static IP that i've had for years and also my work computer which also has a static ip and is pretty tightly locked down. The fact that this has just started happening recently on both systems (and my laptop as well) makes me think it's not ip related. Also i'm not sure how your system works but if I google planetside forum and come in that way I don't get the problem, only when coming in through rss (feedly).

Quote from: Oshyan on April 11, 2013, 01:21:10 am
We have a plugin that communicates with a central reputation server to help forum admins handle spam, and one of the pieces of reference info it uses is the IP. It's usually very helpful but it can of course have false positives. If you have a dynamic IP, what is likely happening is you're being randomly assigned a "bad" IP sometimes, and at other times you've got a good one.


Like I said we're dealing with multiple static IP's here that have been assigned for a number of years in two different locations.

Quote from: Oshyan on April 11, 2013, 01:21:10 am
Unfortunately there's not a lot we can do on our end. If you follow the instructions at the bottom of that page, it says to visit projecthoneypot.org and check against your IP to see what behaviour has been reported for it.


I've just entered my work IP address into projecthoneypot.org and it came back with "We don't have data on this IP currently." so it doesn't look like my ip has been blocked.


Quote from: Oshyan on April 11, 2013, 01:21:10 am
It's even possible your computer has an infection or, if not, as I say it could be someone else who recently used your IP. You could also try complaining to your ISP and seeing if they can either A: take the bad IP out of rotation for automatic assignment and/or B: contact users who have been assigned it recently about possible virus infections.

- Oshyan


As we're dealing with multiple systems with static IP addresses and the problem started around the same time on all of the them, I don't believe this is the case.

The only thing I think of at the moment is that there's some issue with RSS. Coming in to the forum via another route (as I did to make this post), doesn't give me the error.

reck

Quote from: jaf on April 10, 2013, 02:26:22 pm
Actually, I seen sort of a reverse of your problem.... I have been having connection problems with several other sites lately that I regularly visit, but when I check this site, it almost always seems to work fine.  I've gotten in the habit of coming here when I get a 503 or other "could not connect" error.


That just sounds bizarre   ;D

Oshyan

April 11, 2013, 04:14:45 am #5 Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 04:20:24 am by Oshyan
Then I'd guess it was another aspect of the detection system being a bit overzealous. Again I'm not really sure what we could do about it. We've tried having the systems disabled and the amount of spam that comes in is just insane. I'll check for updates and see if there are any settings we can tune to be a bit less sensitive, too.


Edit: I don't see any settings we can really change to fix this. It would be helpful if you could post one of the URLs that gives you this error, both so we can test it ourselves, and also in case there is anything in it that stands out as potentially being responsible. I've seen on other forums that URLs with something like %27 in it can cause problems, for example. It's possible that the RSS URLs are just problematic for some reason.

- Oshyan

reck

Oshyan i've attached a couple of images showing the Planetside RSS feed. I've discovered that some links actually work fine, if you look at the first image, rss good.jpg, you can that when I over the mouse over the link for "Re: Arid Red Cliffs" I get the proper URL at the bottom (highlighted). If I go ahead and click this is takes me straight to the correct thread on the forum, no problem.

Now if you take a look at rss bad.jpg you can see that when I mouse over the "Re: Transparency in textures?" thread it's actually pointing straight to www.planetside.co.uk/forums/warning.php. I'm not sure why some threads are ok and some threads just take me to the warning page.  ???

Oshyan

Odd indeed. I wonder if it's something in how the RSS client is retrieving the listing, i.e. it's not your IP but the RSS agent (looks like Feedly?) that is showing "bad behavior". If Feedly is trying to retrieve page contents (for e.g. previews/read in-line) on multiple threads, it could easily be seen as 'hammering'-type activity. I looked in the RSS feed itself and didn't see the warning URLs so it does not appear to be something the forum is actually generating...

- Oshyan

reck

Yes a problem with Feedly could be the issue. I've used Google Reader in the past and never saw this issue but of course Google Reader is closing down shortly so going back to that isn't an option.

Google Reader and Feedly are the two big RSS readers I believe, if Feedly isn't fully compatible with the Planetside forum I could move over to something new I suppose. Anyone got any suggestions?

Oshyan

Feedly is what I'm using now (was a huge GReader fan), but I'm not totally happy with it yet. Need to give The Old Reader a better try now that it has properly imported my feeds. That reminds me, I'll start that tomorrow I guess. But here's my Google+ post with my thoughts as I was reviewing various options:
https://plus.google.com/104300081531529253719/posts/MtSqsBaivDx (should be public)

- Oshyan

reck

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Oshayn. I'm in the same boat as you in that I've been using greader for years and years and I'm now having to find a replacement. My criteria is the same as your as well, desktop rss with cross platform syncing while also available on mobile. I also use the compacted, non-newspaper type view, which is how greader works.

The one thing that annoys me about Feedly, apart from the fact it's not working with Planetside forums, is that it requires a plugin. Why? I've managed fine using greader for years with no plugins, why does feedly need a plugin to do the same job? Even more of a pain if you want to use someone else's computer and you have to install a plugin before you can even see your rss feeds.

Oshyan

Yes, I have the same concern with Feedly, it really bugs me actually. Same problem with Spotify, heh.

I tried The Old Reader and I like its simplicity, but even though it's more GReader-like than Feedly out of the box, it feels a bit clunkier nonetheless, and it also didn't import all my feeds quite correctly I think, some are in the wrong folders, etc. Worse though, unless it just missed importing some of my feeds (which is a problem in itself, and a bit of a pain to verify with nearly 100 feeds), it seems to not be pulling in feeds nearly as reliably as Feedly, much less GReader. Also Feedly has the advantage of syncing straight to GReader, so I can continue to use it if I want, until it goes away, at which point the switch to Feedly is seamless, any unread items are still there, etc.

I'm curious to see what Digg comes up with, and if it goes beta before GReader goes away, I'll definitely try it. Feedly is adequate for now, but not the total replacement I would want, that's for sure. Fortunately the data seems portable-ish, so I won't feel married to it.

- Oshyan