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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Ban notice on Post Preview (Read 1,870 times)
Dandello
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Ban notice on Post Preview
Apr 21st, 2012 at 5:42pm
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This was reported to me by a member and I can't replicate it BUT when this member hit Preview on the message they were working on a 'you are banned' notice came up instead. (They took a frame cap and sent it to me.) Now, I can't see anything in Post.pl that would trigger a banned user check and nobody else has sent me anything to indicate a problem. Needless to say, if any of this member's particulars were in any of the ban lists, they shouldn't have been able to login at all.

I am running the StopForumSpam mod - Love it BTW - but that only comes into play if the poster is a guest and it throws a different error anyway.

Any ideas on what might have happened?

  

Capturebanned.jpg ( 16 KB | 46 Downloads )
Capturebanned.jpg

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Bill Myers
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Re: Ban notice on Post Preview
Reply #1 - Apr 22nd, 2012 at 6:52pm
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Hopefully this isn't because of the StopForumSpam mod that you're running. Or rather, if it is, hopefully it's just a one-time glitch of some kind.

I've only read good things about the StopForumSpam mod, but I'm always nervous about IP addresses that can get banned when they shouldn't be simply because spammers are getting sophisticated enough to use "good" IP addresses. You know; spoofing.

This is one reason that I try not to ban IP addresses. Thankfully, I don't really need to do that anymore since I implemented that anti-spam hack of ggn's. Amazing solution for anyone who doesn't know how to install mods via BoardMod.

Another possibility ... what will happen to me if forget that I've logged out on one screen to check something out while still working on something in another screen, and then I've forgotten to log back in ... I get the following error message:

Code
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System Information

ALERT!! Form Spoofing Detected coming from IP address: 108.70.101.168
 


Yes, I'm in Los Angeles. Wink  And yes, I've spoofed myself. Roll Eyes

But then, that's about spoofing; not banning. Still, maybe this can be a clue as to what may have happened.

Unless that member is now okay in your forum, my gut is telling me that their IP address was put on some kind of a ban list that StopForumSpam uses. Otherwise, it was probably just a glitch of some kind.

Just thinking aloud here.  Undecided

Edited:
Oh, and now when I just looked while working on this screen, that same error message changed to what you see below:

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System Information

To perform this action you must be logged in. If you don't have an account yet, please register.  


I guess I better pop over to the open screen of my forum so that I don't ban myself.  Roll Eyes


Edited:
And now I get this after logging myself back into the forum:

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An Error Has Occurred!

The Subject field was not filled out. It is required.
 


« Last Edit: Apr 22nd, 2012 at 6:56pm by Bill Myers »  

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Bill Myers
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Re: Ban notice on Post Preview
Reply #2 - Apr 22nd, 2012 at 6:59pm
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Yep! I'm pretty sure your member did something on their end that temporarily seemed to have banned them. In other words, they didn't actually get banned.

Does this make sense?  Huh

Edited:
Uh, oh. Now I'm in trouble. I just got the following error message:

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System Information

ALERT!! You've triggered YaBB's "Mr. Know-It-All" alert coming from IP address: 108.70.101.168

You are no longer allowed to use this forum until you apologize to the admin.

Oh, that's right. You ARE the admin!

Well, too bad. What you didn't know is that this version of YaBB was programmed with hidden artificial intelligence, and as such, it's been determined that this forum can operate just fine without you.

But don't worry. Your admin status has automatically changed to a user status so that you can see what it's really like to have a good admin managing the place.

Enjoy your forum. Oh, that's right. It's MY forum now.
 


It should go without saying that I'm just having fun here. Duh!  Roll Eyes

Of course, what I previously described is exactly what happened when I tested this in our forum.

« Last Edit: Apr 22nd, 2012 at 7:12pm by Bill Myers »  

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Dandello
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Re: Ban notice on Post Preview
Reply #3 - Apr 22nd, 2012 at 11:07pm
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I'm actually 99.9% sure this individual accidentally did something - like ran afoul the speed-posting blocker or something like that - even though in theory the error should have said that.

I figure since neither JonB nor Derek have chimed in, it's probably a one-off extraordinary concatenation of events. (I hope  Roll Eyes ) And the member has been on since and posted without any reported problems.
« Last Edit: Apr 22nd, 2012 at 11:09pm by Dandello »  

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Derek Barnstorm
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Re: Ban notice on Post Preview
Reply #4 - Apr 23rd, 2012 at 2:20am
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Any chance you can post up the screenshot please so I can have a look? Seeing as attachments aren't working...
  
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Dandello
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Re: Ban notice on Post Preview
Reply #5 - Apr 23rd, 2012 at 2:58am
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I forgot that attachments weren't working.

The cap indicates the member was logged out (which they didn't seem to realize when they reported it.)

What I figure happened: they were working with two posting windows open, ran afoul of one of the spam-catchers on one, got temporarily banned and logged out, went back to the other post window, hit preview and Voila! - banned from the preview button when the program double checked permissions.

Unless there's another way to get temporarily banned and they tripped that.
  

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Derek Barnstorm
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Re: Ban notice on Post Preview
Reply #6 - Apr 23rd, 2012 at 2:47pm
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Err, not sure, sorry. I was hoping to see a different error to that one. Smiley

You should only ever get that error if a username, email or IP has been banned in 'Ban Members'. Have you checked ban_log.txt in the Variables directory? It isn't all that informative, but it should have picked it up...
  
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Dandello
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Re: Ban notice on Post Preview
Reply #7 - Apr 23rd, 2012 at 3:47pm
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None of the member's current IP addresses are in the ban_log.txt, none of them are in banned members. (And my error log cut off before logging this error so I couldn't catch the errant IP address - you'd think 500 errors on a not very busy board would be enough for 24 hours.)

The forum in question is pretty close to vanilla 2.5 with template changes, bug fixes, and a couple mods. (Anti-spam quiz, StopForumSpam, Avatars in members list, topic preview.)

Nobody else has reported an issue and I can't even begin to figure out how to duplicate it.

I do know they're using an older version of MSIE because all the other major browsers show lovely rounded tabs on the navigation.  But that should be irrelevant.

And since my server error logs turn over at 12 hour intervals, I missed catching any errors there. (Although some odd ones have shown up today that I have to look into - none YaBB related.)

All I can come up with right now deals with their ISP - ISPs do occasionally change IP addresses on customers without telling them. Since this member is utterly non-computer savvy, it's just barely possible they got kicked off without knowing it when their router rebooted to a new (and bad) IP address. Then when they hit Preview the browser's auto-logon kicked in with the banned IP address.

Then, during the ensuing panic,  the ISP changed the IP to a 'good' address. Extraordinarily far-fetched, I know (especially since my banned IP list only has 1100 entries and no wild cards and 1095 of the bans came from StopForumSpam. )
  

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Bill Myers
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Re: Ban notice on Post Preview
Reply #8 - Apr 23rd, 2012 at 4:09pm
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Dandello wrote on Apr 23rd, 2012 at 3:47pm:
...

- you'd think 500 errors on a not very busy board would be enough for 24 hours.)

...

Relatively speaking, our forum isn't particularly busy. Still, in just the last two hours we logged 500 entries in our error logs. Sometimes we get 500 entries every hour depending on how hard our forum is getting hit with spam-bots that try to register.
But then, to my amusement, no spam-bots are ever successful.  Smiley

  

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JonB
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Re: Ban notice on Post Preview
Reply #9 - Apr 23rd, 2012 at 4:24pm
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@ Dandello -

I think you might be on to something with the user possible having a dynamic IP.  BUT I would have expected a spoofing error, not a banning error.

It also might be a javascript call - as 'preview' is driven by unposted data - that whole compose window is javascript. YaBB (itself) really has no idea what the browser is doing until you 'post/submit'.

Wink

  

I find your lack of faith disturbing.
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Bill Myers
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Re: Ban notice on Post Preview
Reply #10 - Apr 23rd, 2012 at 4:30pm
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JonB, thanks for that explanation. I think I understand what might be going on when I'm in the middle of a previewed post, and I inadvertently forget to log back on after logging off in a different window to take a quick peek at something as a guest.

Interesting.
  

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Dandello
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Re: Ban notice on Post Preview
Reply #11 - Apr 23rd, 2012 at 4:37pm
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What it amounts to: It's a mystery.

I wonder which takes precedence: a spoofing error or a banning error if the spoof is from a banned IP?  Huh

(I also have little faith in the member's description of the sequence of events as even I've hit the Post button instead of the Preview button at times.)
« Last Edit: Apr 23rd, 2012 at 4:48pm by Dandello »  

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Dandello
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Re: Ban notice on Post Preview
Reply #12 - Apr 23rd, 2012 at 8:38pm
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More details from the member that they hadn't thought were important at the time - they were on their smart phone and it had logged onto who knows what when it went to roaming.

So I'm going to hazard a guess and say that a banning error notice trumps a spoofing error notice.
  

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Bill Myers
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Re: Ban notice on Post Preview
Reply #13 - Apr 24th, 2012 at 1:01am
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That smart phone ain't so smart!  Smiley
  

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Dandello
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Re: Ban notice on Post Preview
Reply #14 - Apr 24th, 2012 at 2:47am
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Well, it does look like one of the banned IPs for my forum is in their smart phone roaming area. Now that they know this, maybe they won't panic the next time it happens.
  

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