Author Topic: Banned IP  (Read 3370 times)

Offline diplomacy

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Banned IP
« on: August 29, 2018, 09:44:02 PM »
So, this will (likely) be my first and last post on these boards. I created this account solely for the purpose of submitting this bug report. Please update your systems.

Hey guys. I was searching google for some answers to questions I had about starting up a DFRPG campaign with my friends. Google dropped me here. Unfortunately, some overzealous mod somewhere had banned my VPN's IP Address because "porn spammer." I can assure you I have never visited this site before, Have no other accounts, and have not porn-spammed ANY website. Ever. What's worse, is that even after I disabled the VPN, your site had apparently cookie-blocked me, because my computer was still blocked until I put the browser into private mode (private mode locks down cookies).

I understand that spammers are the bane of the existence for forum mods, but this is honestly a terrible policy. 90% of people faced with this situation would simply leave. I WOULD leave the IP address that was blocked, however that would miss the point, which is that IP Bans in general are stupid. They work against loudmouth idiots who want to start a fight, sure. They don't work against people creating accounts with the intention of violating your ToS and getting themselves banned. It's a simple matter to mask one's IP and get around such a ban (as I've proved here) but it's a matter of knowhow and motivation, neither of which you can expect from a first time visitor to your site.

So yeah. I feel for you, but odds are I'm not the first, or even the hundredth person that this has happened to. Just the first one to take the extra effort required to circumvent the (completely undeserved) ban and inform you about it... or not, as the case may be. For all I know you like your forums being sheltered from new members, and you do it on purpose.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2018, 06:29:38 AM by diplomacy »

Offline wardenferry419

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Re: Banned IP
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2018, 10:30:37 PM »
We don't try to keep others out; we welcome the company.
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Wizard Sibelis

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Re: Banned IP
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2018, 11:04:21 PM »
Yep, anyone who goes to my public library reads a message to the original Wizard Nelson about not trolling Mods, permanent ban, yada yada. Funnily enough we still got new fake accounts, possibly based on older accounts, trolling older active members and just getting the generic 'warning' without looking into it's frequency or effect, the point of Kahnnoone(the name explains the joke and sarcasm I intended to use) was to point out how easy it is if nobody is going to check IP's... but I digress. I'm sure such obvious attempts to point out a genuine problem deserved a lifetime ban. Challenging status quo gets books thrown at you, ask Dresden.

Offline Griffyn612

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Re: Banned IP
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2018, 02:59:30 AM »
So, this will (likely) be my first and last post on these boards. I created this account solely for the purpose of submitting this bug report. Please update your systems.

Hey guys. I was searching google for some answers to questions I had about starting up a DFRPG campaign with my friends. Google dropped me here. Unfortunately, some overzealous mod somewhere had banned my VPN's IP Address because "porn spammer." I can assure you I have never visited this site before, Have no other accounts, and have not porn-spammed ANY website. Ever. What's worse, is that even after I disabled the VPN, your site had apparently cookie-blocked me, because MY IP ADDRESS was also blocked until I put the browser into private mode (private mode locks down cookies).

I understand that spammers are the bane of the existence for forum mods, but this is honestly a terrible policy. 90% of people faced with this situation would simply leave. I WOULD leave the IP address that was blocked, however that would miss the point, which is that IP Bans in general are stupid. They work against loudmouth idiots who want to start a fight, sure. They don't work against people creating accounts with the intention of violating your ToS and getting themselves banned. It's a simple matter to mask one's IP and get around such a ban (as I've proved here) but it's a matter of knowhow and motivation, neither of which you can expect from a first time visitor to your site.

So yeah. I feel for you, but odds are I'm not the first, or even the hundredth person that this has happened to. Just the first one to take the extra effort required to circumvent the (completely undeserved) ban and inform you about it... or not, as the case may be. For all I know you like your forums being sheltered from new members, and you do it on purpose.
Thanks for sharing your experience.  As the new site admin, there's a lot I'm still learning. And a lot that needs attention.

What I can share is that we have 2,139 bans.  Some are for IP, some are for accounts, some are for emails or domains, and some are all of the above.  Only a handful have been added since I took over, but I've placed bans on IPs as well. We've only had 9 total in the two months since we migrated, but that's mostly because the newer version of SMF supposedly has more success at stopping spam account creation.  For comparison, there were 25 bans the month before we migrated.

In the last six months, we've had 44,952 attempts by banned IPs to access the forum.  That's approximately 250 attempts a day, compared to maybe 50 members visiting a day.  Five times as much traffic trying to spam.

From what I've seen, most banned IPs try for a month or so before stopping.  Perhaps we can revisit the policy of using forever bans and start setting them to expire, at least for the IPs.  But to do that for the existing bans, I'll have to review the attempts manually, and adjust each ban manually.

That's going to take some time.  I'm not inclined to lift all previous bans, because that'd be opening the flood gates.  But what I'll do is work on it.  I'm sorry if it's too late for you, but I'll see what I can do for the next innocent bystander that inherets an IP with a dubious past.

Offline wardenferry419

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Re: Banned IP
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2018, 10:17:53 PM »
You're doing good work, Griffyn.
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