Several problems going on now

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Several problems going on now

Joined: March 7th, 2011, 9:52 pm

May 3rd, 2012, 12:30 pm #1

<p>Over the last few days I and my posters have experienced many problems with N54.  The Cloudflare problem, the photobucket problem and the captcha problem are already mentioned and seem to be getting worse.  However, We are recently experiencing very long waiting periods between entering a post and it actually getting posted.  Sometimes we sit for several minutes waiting for it to show up; sometimes we just give up.  The only way we have found to get out of the "spinning wheel" is to simply go to another website, and then come back to N54 if we're still wanting to mess with it.   It is getting very frustrating with all the other problems that have already been mentioned.  It's another straw on the camel's back.</p><p>I do not recall having any of these problems before Cloudflare.  Is it really worth having to Cloudflare to have to work around all these issues?</p>

******************


Use whatever talent you possess:
the woods would be very silent
if no birds sang except those
that sing the best.
- Henry Van Dyke
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Joined: April 25th, 2002, 12:58 am

May 3rd, 2012, 8:21 pm #2

<p>Network54 offers a service that many people find appealing. A free or cheap way to post blogs, bulletin boards and other places where users can express themselves, sometimes to the detriment of others. This free exchange of opinions can sometimes cause ill feelings with people that have more skills than morals, bringing about hacking, spamming and other annoyances. Network54 has been fighting this since I've been around here (over 10 years now), so this is not new and not since they have employed Cloudflare for security. </p><p>Cloudflare is just the latest attempt to slow these people down. Part of the problem is forum owners who allow anonymous posting. I have long said and stand by it, that Network54 should not allow anonymous posting at all, leaving the choice out of the hands of stubborn forum owners who just don't get it. The problem there is they would lose users who are too idiotic to understand that if you leave your front door not only unlocked, but wide open, you shouldn't expect your belongings to be there when you get home.</p><p>Hackers and spammers are only 50% of the problem, the people who allow them free access to their forums are the other 50% of it. They are as bad as the people who are hacking and spamming.</p><p>I hope you understand that this is not directed a you, but meant to explain why there have been such issues lately. Remember, these issues are not new. Way back when I first started with Network54 (it was called something else back then), they had far more reliability issues. When they first changed to Network54, people jokingly called them Notwork54 because of all the down time and 404 error issues. things have improved considerably and this last wave of attacks will be figured out and dealt with and things will be OK again until a new batch of hackers start it all over again. It is a neverending battle if you host a website.
</p>



Customs by Ripper

49 N. Main Street.
Freeport, NY 11520
516-543-5540
Network54 Forum Tech Tips
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Joined: April 7th, 2000, 9:51 pm

May 3rd, 2012, 8:29 pm #3

<p>Over the last few days I and my posters have experienced many problems with N54.  The Cloudflare problem, the photobucket problem and the captcha problem are already mentioned and seem to be getting worse.  However, We are recently experiencing very long waiting periods between entering a post and it actually getting posted.  Sometimes we sit for several minutes waiting for it to show up; sometimes we just give up.  The only way we have found to get out of the "spinning wheel" is to simply go to another website, and then come back to N54 if we're still wanting to mess with it.   It is getting very frustrating with all the other problems that have already been mentioned.  It's another straw on the camel's back.</p><p>I do not recall having any of these problems before Cloudflare.  Is it really worth having to Cloudflare to have to work around all these issues?</p>

******************


Use whatever talent you possess:
the woods would be very silent
if no birds sang except those
that sing the best.
- Henry Van Dyke
Mostly, the issues the last couple of days have been because I turned CloudFlare off. The site has gone down three times since then.

While it was on, last week I asked them to flag more people that were coming from know suspicious IP addresses (usually those machines have a virus and the owner doesn't know). Since we were getting bombarded with spam, this was a way to cut back on it for a period of time. This is the thing that pops up a captcha. I'll set it to go back to normal now that we have the spam temporarily under control.

Now... the main issue leading up to this is that people have been seeing a CloudFlare page far too often recently. The reason is that CloudFlare could not connect to us at that moment. So they show an error page instead of leaving it to the browser to show a connection error page.

So the real issue has been -- why can't CloudFlare connect? We have two theories:

1) Our ISP is blocking them. After all, most traffic is coming from a very small number of IP addresses. That looks like a DDOS attack. Or maybe just a regular DOS attack. So their equipment is blocking traffic, CloudFlare sees a dropped packet, and shows their error page.

2) Our equipment, notably our switch and firewall, is failing, leading to the same type of problem as above.

It could be #1 or it could be #2. Or it could be both. We are working on both fronts:

1) We turned off CloudFlare early yesterday to run tests between our two datacenters without the traffic in between. Unfortunately, the attacks continue on our site and we no longer have their filters, so the site has been very unstable, and fallen prey to the attacks. It has made the testing difficult.

2) We ordered new networking switches and firewall servers. Some gets installed tonight, and the rest will get installed on Saturday.

We are working hard on this issue. So is CloudFlare. So is our ISP. God willing, it will be resolved by the end of the weekend.

Update: Tonight's new equipment install is done. We have CloudFlare back on, but with catchpa's not up like before. Another update later this weekend.

N54 / Steven Roussey / My Weblog / Follow on Twitter
Last edited by sroussey on May 4th, 2012, 5:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: April 7th, 2000, 9:51 pm

May 3rd, 2012, 8:38 pm #4

<p>Network54 offers a service that many people find appealing. A free or cheap way to post blogs, bulletin boards and other places where users can express themselves, sometimes to the detriment of others. This free exchange of opinions can sometimes cause ill feelings with people that have more skills than morals, bringing about hacking, spamming and other annoyances. Network54 has been fighting this since I've been around here (over 10 years now), so this is not new and not since they have employed Cloudflare for security. </p><p>Cloudflare is just the latest attempt to slow these people down. Part of the problem is forum owners who allow anonymous posting. I have long said and stand by it, that Network54 should not allow anonymous posting at all, leaving the choice out of the hands of stubborn forum owners who just don't get it. The problem there is they would lose users who are too idiotic to understand that if you leave your front door not only unlocked, but wide open, you shouldn't expect your belongings to be there when you get home.</p><p>Hackers and spammers are only 50% of the problem, the people who allow them free access to their forums are the other 50% of it. They are as bad as the people who are hacking and spamming.</p><p>I hope you understand that this is not directed a you, but meant to explain why there have been such issues lately. Remember, these issues are not new. Way back when I first started with Network54 (it was called something else back then), they had far more reliability issues. When they first changed to Network54, people jokingly called them Notwork54 because of all the down time and 404 error issues. things have improved considerably and this last wave of attacks will be figured out and dealt with and things will be OK again until a new batch of hackers start it all over again. It is a neverending battle if you host a website.
</p>



Customs by Ripper

49 N. Main Street.
Freeport, NY 11520
516-543-5540
Network54 Forum Tech Tips
Airbrush and Paint Tech Forums
Hi!

We have two major types of hackers to deal with:

1) DDOS attacks. They are using the network layer to try and shut things down. Without CloudFlare, they tend to succeed. It is too sophisticated for our ISP to handle. Definitely too much for us at N54.

2) Spammers. CloudFlare helps, but is not a full solution. And yes, having open forums makes this worse. Sigh. There are things we can do without forcing the use of logins. Forcing logins tends to get the spammer to just make as many logins as they do spam. I'd rather just deal with the spam than the added complication of spam accounts. But we can make a better balance here, I agree.

N54 / Steven Roussey / My Weblog / Follow on Twitter
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Joined: March 21st, 2005, 9:03 pm

May 4th, 2012, 8:43 am #5

Mostly, the issues the last couple of days have been because I turned CloudFlare off. The site has gone down three times since then.

While it was on, last week I asked them to flag more people that were coming from know suspicious IP addresses (usually those machines have a virus and the owner doesn't know). Since we were getting bombarded with spam, this was a way to cut back on it for a period of time. This is the thing that pops up a captcha. I'll set it to go back to normal now that we have the spam temporarily under control.

Now... the main issue leading up to this is that people have been seeing a CloudFlare page far too often recently. The reason is that CloudFlare could not connect to us at that moment. So they show an error page instead of leaving it to the browser to show a connection error page.

So the real issue has been -- why can't CloudFlare connect? We have two theories:

1) Our ISP is blocking them. After all, most traffic is coming from a very small number of IP addresses. That looks like a DDOS attack. Or maybe just a regular DOS attack. So their equipment is blocking traffic, CloudFlare sees a dropped packet, and shows their error page.

2) Our equipment, notably our switch and firewall, is failing, leading to the same type of problem as above.

It could be #1 or it could be #2. Or it could be both. We are working on both fronts:

1) We turned off CloudFlare early yesterday to run tests between our two datacenters without the traffic in between. Unfortunately, the attacks continue on our site and we no longer have their filters, so the site has been very unstable, and fallen prey to the attacks. It has made the testing difficult.

2) We ordered new networking switches and firewall servers. Some gets installed tonight, and the rest will get installed on Saturday.

We are working hard on this issue. So is CloudFlare. So is our ISP. God willing, it will be resolved by the end of the weekend.

Update: Tonight's new equipment install is done. We have CloudFlare back on, but with catchpa's not up like before. Another update later this weekend.

N54 / Steven Roussey / My Weblog / Follow on Twitter
Hi,

Thanks for some explaination of the recurring problems and I can sympathise where practical to do so.

I own and operate a vert successful N54 Forum and obviously am a 'Premium' account holder so pay to keep the junk off and I'm happy with that. My forum is also MEMBERS SIGNED ONLY access.

However there are somethings that some of us out here in LA LA land do not understand, in my case 'DDOS/DOS' attacks so would someone please explain in simple terms !!. I spent a considerable period of time in the wonderful world of electronics during my early days of employment way before the whackee world of the INTERNET was what is is today ..... the problem is, as I see it, that so many of the illiterate spammers originate in the USA and only a few years ago, I'm sure I'm correct, the US federal government outlawed spamming and it did die down considerably but seems to be gaining strength yet again.

Surely one positive way and method of stopping spam unless carried by a traceable computer address detail, the 16 digit number, would / must be to stop / prevent the use of 'PROXY' virtually untraceable servers. Yes that would be difficult in places such as Russia and China But even they find a way to stop INTERNET ACCESS in their own countries so why can't we find a way to stop use of 'proxy servers'by SPAMMERS ??..

Rgds Alan , In the UK

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Joined: September 11th, 2006, 6:03 pm

May 4th, 2012, 8:49 am #6

Mostly, the issues the last couple of days have been because I turned CloudFlare off. The site has gone down three times since then.

While it was on, last week I asked them to flag more people that were coming from know suspicious IP addresses (usually those machines have a virus and the owner doesn't know). Since we were getting bombarded with spam, this was a way to cut back on it for a period of time. This is the thing that pops up a captcha. I'll set it to go back to normal now that we have the spam temporarily under control.

Now... the main issue leading up to this is that people have been seeing a CloudFlare page far too often recently. The reason is that CloudFlare could not connect to us at that moment. So they show an error page instead of leaving it to the browser to show a connection error page.

So the real issue has been -- why can't CloudFlare connect? We have two theories:

1) Our ISP is blocking them. After all, most traffic is coming from a very small number of IP addresses. That looks like a DDOS attack. Or maybe just a regular DOS attack. So their equipment is blocking traffic, CloudFlare sees a dropped packet, and shows their error page.

2) Our equipment, notably our switch and firewall, is failing, leading to the same type of problem as above.

It could be #1 or it could be #2. Or it could be both. We are working on both fronts:

1) We turned off CloudFlare early yesterday to run tests between our two datacenters without the traffic in between. Unfortunately, the attacks continue on our site and we no longer have their filters, so the site has been very unstable, and fallen prey to the attacks. It has made the testing difficult.

2) We ordered new networking switches and firewall servers. Some gets installed tonight, and the rest will get installed on Saturday.

We are working hard on this issue. So is CloudFlare. So is our ISP. God willing, it will be resolved by the end of the weekend.

Update: Tonight's new equipment install is done. We have CloudFlare back on, but with catchpa's not up like before. Another update later this weekend.

N54 / Steven Roussey / My Weblog / Follow on Twitter
Thanks, Steve ...

We really appreciate your keeping us informed about what is going on and how you are handling things.

We do feel part of a community here, and wish you well in solving all the recent problems.

Sincerely,

Tatia

http://www.network54.com/Forum/172251/
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Joined: April 25th, 2002, 12:58 am

May 4th, 2012, 5:50 pm #7

Hi,

Thanks for some explaination of the recurring problems and I can sympathise where practical to do so.

I own and operate a vert successful N54 Forum and obviously am a 'Premium' account holder so pay to keep the junk off and I'm happy with that. My forum is also MEMBERS SIGNED ONLY access.

However there are somethings that some of us out here in LA LA land do not understand, in my case 'DDOS/DOS' attacks so would someone please explain in simple terms !!. I spent a considerable period of time in the wonderful world of electronics during my early days of employment way before the whackee world of the INTERNET was what is is today ..... the problem is, as I see it, that so many of the illiterate spammers originate in the USA and only a few years ago, I'm sure I'm correct, the US federal government outlawed spamming and it did die down considerably but seems to be gaining strength yet again.

Surely one positive way and method of stopping spam unless carried by a traceable computer address detail, the 16 digit number, would / must be to stop / prevent the use of 'PROXY' virtually untraceable servers. Yes that would be difficult in places such as Russia and China But even they find a way to stop INTERNET ACCESS in their own countries so why can't we find a way to stop use of 'proxy servers'by SPAMMERS ??..

Rgds Alan , In the UK
<p>For your DOS vs DDOS question:</p><p>http://www.crime-research.org/articles/ ... os-attacks</p>



Customs by Ripper

49 N. Main Street.
Freeport, NY 11520
516-543-5540
Network54 Forum Tech Tips
Airbrush and Paint Tech Forums
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Joined: September 28th, 2005, 4:31 pm

May 4th, 2012, 7:46 pm #8


Thanks, Steve ...

We really appreciate your keeping us informed about what is going on and how you are handling things.

We do feel part of a community here, and wish you well in solving all the recent problems.

Sincerely,

Tatia

http://www.network54.com/Forum/172251/
Thank you Steve!


Cheers,Bob
KLEX - USA


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Joined: April 7th, 2000, 9:51 pm

May 6th, 2012, 10:04 pm #9

Mostly, the issues the last couple of days have been because I turned CloudFlare off. The site has gone down three times since then.

While it was on, last week I asked them to flag more people that were coming from know suspicious IP addresses (usually those machines have a virus and the owner doesn't know). Since we were getting bombarded with spam, this was a way to cut back on it for a period of time. This is the thing that pops up a captcha. I'll set it to go back to normal now that we have the spam temporarily under control.

Now... the main issue leading up to this is that people have been seeing a CloudFlare page far too often recently. The reason is that CloudFlare could not connect to us at that moment. So they show an error page instead of leaving it to the browser to show a connection error page.

So the real issue has been -- why can't CloudFlare connect? We have two theories:

1) Our ISP is blocking them. After all, most traffic is coming from a very small number of IP addresses. That looks like a DDOS attack. Or maybe just a regular DOS attack. So their equipment is blocking traffic, CloudFlare sees a dropped packet, and shows their error page.

2) Our equipment, notably our switch and firewall, is failing, leading to the same type of problem as above.

It could be #1 or it could be #2. Or it could be both. We are working on both fronts:

1) We turned off CloudFlare early yesterday to run tests between our two datacenters without the traffic in between. Unfortunately, the attacks continue on our site and we no longer have their filters, so the site has been very unstable, and fallen prey to the attacks. It has made the testing difficult.

2) We ordered new networking switches and firewall servers. Some gets installed tonight, and the rest will get installed on Saturday.

We are working hard on this issue. So is CloudFlare. So is our ISP. God willing, it will be resolved by the end of the weekend.

Update: Tonight's new equipment install is done. We have CloudFlare back on, but with catchpa's not up like before. Another update later this weekend.

N54 / Steven Roussey / My Weblog / Follow on Twitter
OK, the remainder of the equipment is in (replaced). Whoot! Likely had a few warnings from CloudFlare that the site was not connecting today, but that should pass now.

Tomorrow we get to do more tests as this completes everything we can do on our side.

N54 / Steven Roussey / My Weblog / Follow on Twitter
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Joined: September 16th, 2005, 3:35 pm

May 18th, 2012, 3:10 pm #10

Guys,

During the last couple weeks I have received more spam from the Russian Federation trying to sell bootleg drugs than I have during the last 8 years of running my forum all together.

I have therefore been spending lots of time every day blocking out ISP addresses, including using the "0" feature to block out entire blocks of addresses.

Quite frankly now, I would like to blank out the entire Russian Federation, because they apparently have no controls over their spammers there, and this has ruined the purity, simplicity, and ease of using my forum for very many people.

Any tips will be appreciated.

Many thanks for the tips, but no thanks for the spam,

Paul
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