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Difficulty creating forum account

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:14 am
by link
I had issues creating my account due to the apparently overzealous protections on account creations. I tried from multiple locations and it said my ip was blacklisted for multiple reasons. The best I can tell they're using services meant to prevent e-mail spam to filter account creation. If my phone's 3G IP hadn't been accepted, I'd probably given up on the forums altogether. I realize forums are a favorite spammer target, but it seems like this will drive users away since residential IPs are almost always blacklisted by antispam lists (and apparently even business ones can be affected as well).

Anyways, I have my account now, but I thought I would post this in case the administrators were unaware of the problems this is causing.

Re: Difficulty creating forum account

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:23 am
by stuarta
Thanks for the report. Do you have any of the error messages handy? Or an approximate time and date and I can look into it.

Thanks
Stuart

Re: Difficulty creating forum account

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:03 am
by link
Here is the message I got from my home IP when I tried to register a test account just now. The details were different from the other location I tried but the message was similar.

Your IP XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX has been blocked because it is blacklisted. For details please see http://www.sorbs.net/lookup.shtml?XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX
Your IP XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX has been blocked because it is blacklisted. For details please see http://www.barracudacentral.org/lookups ... XX.XXX.XXX.
An entry on the blacklist may have several reasons:
1. You are a well-known spammer.
2. Last time a well-known spammer was using the dynamic IP address which you got from your ISP (Internet Service Provider), your e-mail address or the username you have choosen.
3. Your ISP is well-known for a lot of spamming customers and is not fighting against spammers enough.

Re: Difficulty creating forum account

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 5:15 pm
by stuarta
Thanks, I'll look into it and see what I can find.

Regards
Stuart

Re: Difficulty creating forum account

Posted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:35 pm
by stuarta
We've made some changes. Hope you can access the forums now.

Regards
Stuart

Re: Difficulty creating forum account

Posted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:35 pm
by stuartm
It appears the IP addresses you were trying from were listed by several well respected blacklists. I've tweaked the weightings but it simply wouldn't have made any difference in your case since so many sources were in agreement. These blacklists are used almost universally by everyone from small sites to huge ISPs, for everything from forums to email, if you've managed to end up listed on them then it might be time to talk to your ISP about getting a new IP!

Some of the backlists will allow appeals and delisting so that's something you might also consider trying.

Re: Difficulty creating forum account

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:00 am
by link
They are respected blacklists for e-mail. However I have never run into this problem on other forums, and it seems like you'll be gating people out of your forums by using them this way. In the US at least, most ISP addresses are likely to be on some of these lists thanks to botnets, and a typical user will likely just give up trying to join. Even if they knew they could appeal and tried (most probably won't), I don't know if appealing a dynamic IP would be useful, sometimes just BEING in a dynamic IP pool is enough to land you on these lists.

Anyways, it only applies to account creation, and I have my account now, so it doesn't affect me whether you use the e-mail blacklists for your forum registration or not. But I wouldn't recommend using them in this way.

Re: Difficulty creating forum account

Posted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:00 am
by stuartm
We're happy with the setup. The sheer volume of spam it's blocking would overwhelm us otherwise (every refusal is logged, 99% are for usernames with random characters and disposable email addresses).

The DNS blacklists we're using are configured by default for phpbb's anti-spam plugin, not ones we've added ourselves, and though I've now decreased the weighting given to individual blacklists, if you appear on three or more you probably will be blocked.

While I sympathise with those caught in the crossfire, we'd much rather focus our efforts on writing code and helping users than cleaning up spam. If your ISP is unwilling to clean up their network, including notifying users when their machines are infected, then I can only suggest you look for a better ISP, more resposible ISP, they do exist.

Re: Difficulty creating forum account

Posted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 10:26 pm
by stuarta
I was checking this late yesterday. We are blocking multiple attempts per minute with these blocklists, so as stuartm said, we won't be removing them any time soon. We've done what we can to reduce the impact of them.

Regards
Stuart