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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Member Banned for No Reason (Read 1,615 times)
Willi
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Member Banned for No Reason
Nov 8th, 2013 at 1:49am
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On my YaBB site, version 2.4, I have a long-standing member (9388 posts) who has suddenly found herself banned from the site. I have not done it (no one else has access to the backend). I cannot un-ban her. Things to note:

1. When I access her profile, all the links under username, e-mail and IP addresses show [Ban this IP address] ...in other words, yet to be banned through this method.

2. I cannot log in with her login information from my location (a different IP address).

3. Her IP address does not appear in any htaccess file.

4. There is no "banned" caption under her name. It's just when she/I attempt to log into her account that an error message then appears, not allowing a successful log-in.

5. I changed her password but that didn't work.

6. Other members seem to log in okay, as do I (admin).

So, I'm at a loss. Can anyone offer any help? Thank you in advance.
  
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Willi
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Re: Member Banned for No Reason
Reply #1 - Nov 8th, 2013 at 1:52am
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...oh, and I also made sure there is more than enough server space for the site.
  
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Bill Myers
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Re: Member Banned for No Reason
Reply #2 - Nov 8th, 2013 at 5:01am
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Some things to try ...

Willi wrote on Nov 8th, 2013 at 1:49am:
1. When I access her profile, all the links under username, e-mail and IP addresses show [Ban this IP address] ...in other words, yet to be banned through this method

I'll presume that "Username:" in her profile as you access it is showing "[Ban this username]" correct?

And her "E-Mail:" is also showing "[Ban this username]" correct?

Also, if she's showing more than one IP address, then make sure none of those have been banned somehow.

As silly as it may sound, you might want to try banning each of those variants one at a time, and then unbanning each of them until you see that her membership is working properly again.

Willi wrote on Nov 8th, 2013 at 1:49am:
2. I cannot log in with her login information from my location (a different IP address).

I'm guessing her membership files have 644 permissions, correct? If so, try changing those permissions to 666.

Willi wrote on Nov 8th, 2013 at 1:49am:
3. Her IP address does not appear in any htaccess file.

In your Admin Center, go to Member Controls, Ban Members, and check for her IP, Email, and Username in the 3 different ban lists for those categories.

Lastly, if none of these suggestions work, upload from a local copy her vars membership file if you have that file backed up. It's possible that the same file on your server got corrupted somehow.

Because you can't log in with her login information, and you're using a different IP address, I'm thinking the problem is either a corrupted membership file, or the permissions on her membership files need to be changed.

Good luck!

  

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Note: This forum doesn't allow for us to freely edit our posts or topics to make corrections as needed, so please remember to look for subsequent posts if you see any mistakes or outdated information. Sorry for the inconvenience.
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Dandello
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Re: Member Banned for No Reason
Reply #3 - Nov 8th, 2013 at 6:10am
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You don't say exactly what the error message she gets when attempting to log in. Is it a ban message? Because it that's the case, YaBB logs attempts by banned members to access the forum. (But you have to access it via download from FTP or via your site's file manager. The file is called 'Variables/ban_log.txt' and it lists the attempt time in Perl time and the IP address and if the ban is on something other than the IP address, the user name or email address that triggered the log.)

Anything other than a 'ban message' would indicate a different problem with the vars file or possibly memberinfo.txt. Have you checked you error log? That should tell you something as well.
  

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Willi
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Re: Member Banned for No Reason
Reply #4 - Nov 9th, 2013 at 4:01pm
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Thank you Bill for responding. I truly appreciate it.

Bill Myers wrote on Nov 8th, 2013 at 5:01am:
Some things to try ...

I'll presume that "Username:" in her profile as you access it is showing "[Ban this username]" correct?

And her "E-Mail:" is also showing "[Ban this username]" correct?


Yes, that is correct.

Bill Myers wrote on Nov 8th, 2013 at 5:01am:
Also, if she's showing more than one IP address, then make sure none of those have been banned somehow.


Yeah, I did a search and I don't see anything. Also, my own IP address isn't banned from the site, whether I attempt to log in as myself (admin) or as her.

Bill Myers wrote on Nov 8th, 2013 at 5:01am:
As silly as it may sound, you might want to try banning each of those variants one at a time, and then unbanning each of them until you see that her membership is working properly again.


Not silly at all. Actually, I had tried that already but forgot to mention it as one of the things I had tried. No change, though.

Bill Myers wrote on Nov 8th, 2013 at 5:01am:
I'm guessing her membership files have 644 permissions, correct? If so, try changing those permissions to 666.


Her permissions are 644, that's right. I tried changing them to 666 but that didn't help. That might have been something of a longshot anyway seeing that everyone else, including myself, has 644 permissions. Directories, btw are 755, not that it matters.

Bill Myers wrote on Nov 8th, 2013 at 5:01am:
In your Admin Center, go to Member Controls, Ban Members, and check for her IP, Email, and Username in the 3 different ban lists for those categories.


She's not in any of them.

Bill Myers wrote on Nov 8th, 2013 at 5:01am:
Lastly, if none of these suggestions work, upload from a local copy her vars membership file if you have that file backed up. It's possible that the same file on your server got corrupted somehow.

Because you can't log in with her login information, and you're using a different IP address, I'm thinking the problem is either a corrupted membership file, or the permissions on her membership files need to be changed.


Yeah, I may need to do that. I try to keep at least 3 backups on my local machine. Hopefully that will do it. I guess you mean all her member oriented files, right? All of these: .ims, .log, .msg, .outbox, .rlog, .vars?
  
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Willi
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Re: Member Banned for No Reason
Reply #5 - Nov 9th, 2013 at 4:33pm
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Dandello wrote on Nov 8th, 2013 at 6:10am:
You don't say exactly what the error message she gets when attempting to log in. Is it a ban message? Because it that's the case, YaBB logs attempts by banned members to access the forum. (But you have to access it via download from FTP or via your site's file manager. The file is called 'Variables/ban_log.txt' and it lists the attempt time in Perl time and the IP address and if the ban is on something other than the IP address, the user name or email address that triggered the log.)

Anything other than a 'ban message' would indicate a different problem with the vars file or possibly memberinfo.txt. Have you checked you error log? That should tell you something as well.



Thank you for responding Dandello. I also appreciate it.

The exact error message, as it appears (copy pasted over to here) is:

"System Information

Banning Notification. Sorry, you are banned from using this forum!"

This appears after pressing the login button at the bottom of the page.

The Variables/ban_log.txt file doesn't show much, in fact, this is a direct and complete copy/paste from it;

"1194010622|banditos_hunter@web.de (91.124.133.180)
1207601655|iledygoro@yandex.ru (200.114.162.194)
1207663773|iledygoro@yandex.ru (190.36.189.169)"

(without quotes, of course). Interesting that the date stamp on that file is 4/8/2008.

The error log lists many attempts by what appears to be spammers or other visitors who are not part of the site. The site is a small niche forum with a small (under 600) membership and I know by sight that the visitors on the error log are not normal members. I did a search for my member's username and IP addresses in that file but she was not on it. This is typical of the error message, but is only one of many such entries (minus the quotes):

"1383675565|1383675565|112.101.64.92|Username / Password mismatch. <br />The Username you specified does not exist or you entered a wrong password.|login2|||smarmaTaist|R9lw4j8khX"
  
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Re: Member Banned for No Reason
Reply #6 - Nov 9th, 2013 at 4:38pm
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There are two places were banned IPs, user names and email addresses are stored

The Guardian - info stored in .htaccess

Member Controls > Ban Members - info stored in Variables/Settings.pl
  
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Dandello
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Re: Member Banned for No Reason
Reply #7 - Nov 9th, 2013 at 5:06pm
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What's boggling me is that the error log and ban log are not registering the banned login attempt.

Try clearing out ALL the ban info. (Save it first, of course.) Long lists of banned IPs and email addresses can occasionally get corrupted or otherwise mess up.
(You can also try editing her profile e-mail address - if there's still a ban with that changed you know the problem resides with the user ID being banned - somewhere. )

If all else fails, create a new membership for her - since you know how many posts she had before this happened, that can be edited to be correct.
  

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Willi
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Re: Member Banned for No Reason
Reply #8 - Nov 9th, 2013 at 9:08pm
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Dandello wrote on Nov 9th, 2013 at 5:06pm:
What's boggling me is that the error log and ban log are not registering the banned login attempt.


Yep. Boggling me, too.

Dandello wrote on Nov 9th, 2013 at 5:06pm:
(You can also try editing her profile e-mail address - if there's still a ban with that changed you know the problem resides with the user ID being banned - somewhere. )


Actually, this last part got her back in. I changed her email address to something else (one of my own, non-forum related email addresses just in case the site bans my own form email) and I was then able to get in using her log in information. Funny, two email addresses of hers resulted in banning. Then, using an email address that belongs to her daughter ended up being okay (one I'm sure she never used through my site).

Not sure if this has anything to do with anything, but my member recently moved to a new home. Could this new computer location have done anything to make the site feel threatened? I realize that's a stretch but the coincidence seems too convenient.

Thank you for all your help! I'm really impressed with the quick response of the YaBB forum. Really appreciated.
  
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Bill Myers
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Re: Member Banned for No Reason
Reply #9 - Nov 9th, 2013 at 9:12pm
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Willi wrote on Nov 9th, 2013 at 9:08pm:
Actually, this last part got her back in.

Thanks for letting us know. It really helps when we're told what ends up solving a problem. I'm glad you got this straightened out!  Smiley

Dandello comes through again! Cool

« Last Edit: Nov 9th, 2013 at 9:14pm by Bill Myers »  

Morning, noon, or night, have a great one!

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Willi
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Re: Member Banned for No Reason
Reply #10 - Nov 9th, 2013 at 10:03pm
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No problem. But, actually, I'm wondering if this is the end of the story at all.

You see, she had provided me with three email addresses, two of which ended up in a banning. The first is an email address that I think she has had for a while...a gmail one. That one was already programmed in the account. The second one, I think, is a new one that her new ISP gave her (a comcast.net one after she moved to a new home recently). The third belongs to her daughter who I doubt ever visited the site and I seriously doubt was ever configured in the member's control panel. I have to confirm all this with her.

I keep wondering why the second one, the comcast.net one, would have resulted in a banning if it was never configured in her control panel (I'm waiting to hear from her as I write this to confirm). Right now, the daughter's email address (also a gmail address) is programmed into the member's account and I can currently access it from my location.

I'm wondering if my member will get a banning again as soon as she tries to access her account by using her computer from her new home. Maybe something to do with her new location's IP address, which I just realized I don't know. The IP address of her's I was originally searching for in the banning list may have been her old address, from before the move.

I just wrote her, asking her to visit whatismyipaddress.com and have her send me her current IP address. I will do a search on that then.

It's the only thing I can think of.
  
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Dandello
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Re: Member Banned for No Reason
Reply #11 - Nov 9th, 2013 at 11:22pm
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It's possible that a comcast.net address is in the ban list with a wild card or some bad characters in it. YaBB shouldn't see them as the same as the check is supposed to be comparing at both whole e-mail addresses BUT odd things do happen.  Huh


  

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Willi
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Re: Member Banned for No Reason
Reply #12 - Nov 10th, 2013 at 1:49am
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Okay, so here's something to bounce off of you: she really needs to have one of the banned emails as a destination.

I'm thinking of duct-taping a solution here by setting up an email through my site's domain, but then have it redirect to her banned email address. I assume it would work but it shouldn't cause any ban problems to my own domain, right?
  
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Dandello
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Re: Member Banned for No Reason
Reply #13 - Nov 10th, 2013 at 2:20am
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Those systems should be completely separate.
  

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Bill Myers
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Re: Member Banned for No Reason
Reply #14 - Nov 10th, 2013 at 3:04am
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Willi wrote on Nov 10th, 2013 at 1:49am:
I'm thinking of duct-taping a solution here by setting up an email through my site's domain, but then have it redirect to her banned email address. I assume it would work but it shouldn't cause any ban problems to my own domain, right?

That should work just fine.

Coincidentally (not related to YaBB), my wife has friends whose email accounts bounce her messages back to her (bouncing back to other people as well). I did what you're thinking of doing by setting up email accounts on my wife's domain for her friends, which redirected messages to the respective email addresses of those friends.

It was a strange thing to do, and it shouldn't have been necessary had their email accounts worked as they should, but it solved that problem.

  

Morning, noon, or night, have a great one!

Note: This forum doesn't allow for us to freely edit our posts or topics to make corrections as needed, so please remember to look for subsequent posts if you see any mistakes or outdated information. Sorry for the inconvenience.
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