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Thread: Anonymous Proxies Are Now Banned

  1. #1
    Administrator John Pierce's Avatar
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    Anonymous Proxies Are Now Banned

    Based upon the recent attack on the forum, the increasing number of human spammers we are seeing and the dozen or so 'Doug' puppets I had to ban this morning who were all using Tor exit nodes, I have instituted a policy of banning all anonymous proxies including all Tor exit nodes.

    I apologize if this is an inconvenience for members who use Tor for legitimate purposes but we have to protect the forum from these types of issues.

    I have also added a number of Eastern European countries to the banned list as well since Doug was using a Slovakian proxy to get one of his sockpuppets in this morning (County Prosecutor).

    Please let me know if you encounter any problems.


    John

  2. #2
    Administrator John Pierce's Avatar
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    PS. This will be an ongoing process as we identify new proxies to add to the block-list.


    John

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    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    Illiterate

    Being mostly computer illiterate, could you explain in English what happened? I am interested, but don't understand.

    Mike
    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
    (unknown 'gun~writer')

    Remington 1911 R1 (Back to Basics)
    SERPA retention or concealed...

    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
    (Borrowed from "The Perfect Day" by LTC Dave Grossman)

  4. #4
    Regular Member anmut's Avatar
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    Wow - so the entire forum has been under an active attack or this is just a way of eliminating puppets?

  5. #5
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    Keep up the good work guys. Its bad enough to hide behind a keyboard saying what you wouldn't say to someone in person.

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    When a poster comes back after being banned and maliciously attacks the site from which he was banned, it validates the wisdom in banning him.

    You showed tremendous patience in tolerating him. Thanks for all you do to keep the experience here enjoyable. I am sure your investigation and correction took some time and effort. Again, thanks.

  7. #7
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSC 45ACP View Post
    Being mostly computer illiterate, could you explain in English what happened? I am interested, but don't understand.
    Mike
    Spammers (commercial interests) and sock puppets (false IDs) are prone to hide their IP addresses via rerouting their messages through different sources - may be overly simplistic, but you get the idea.

    TOR is one such program that masks the senders location - can be a good thing as it helps to prevent return mail spam and worse

    Quote Originally Posted by anmut View Post
    Wow - so the entire forum has been under an active attack or this is just a way of eliminating puppets?
    Not speaking for John, but I suspect yes and yes, coupled with issues on the recent upgrade. Has there ever been an upgrade that went seamlessly?
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 12-23-2010 at 05:14 PM. Reason: fixed
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  8. #8
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    Banning proxies is somewhat effective for spammers, but it's only a minor inconvenience for sockpuppets. There is unlocked wifi in every neighborhood.

    I live in a suburb with larger than average lots (half acre), all the houses are brick, and I can still sit in my living room and get at least three usable and unlocked signals. Double that if I go outside in the yard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    Banning proxies is somewhat effective for spammers, but it's only a minor inconvenience for sockpuppets. There is unlocked wifi in every neighborhood.

    I live in a suburb with larger than average lots (half acre), all the houses are brick, and I can still sit in my living room and get at least three usable and unlocked signals. Double that if I go outside in the yard.
    They'd keep having to find new unlocked wifis--and they aren't as plentiful as they used to be. That could be a lot of driving. Let 'em keep making sock puppets. They aren't that hard to ID. Then, as they get banned, and more and more available IPs get blocked, it'll get harder and harder for them to find IPs, and easier and easier for the admins here. Not to mention it will become easier and easier to prove who is sabotaging the site and easier and easier to prove any crimes that they have committed.

    The owners of this site are clever folks--and willing to take the necessary steps. Good.

  10. #10
    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    Thank you for the explaination, Sir Cannoneer et al.
    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
    (unknown 'gun~writer')

    Remington 1911 R1 (Back to Basics)
    SERPA retention or concealed...

    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
    (Borrowed from "The Perfect Day" by LTC Dave Grossman)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    They'd keep having to find new unlocked wifis--and they aren't as plentiful as they used to be. That could be a lot of driving. Let 'em keep making sock puppets. They aren't that hard to ID. Then, as they get banned, and more and more available IPs get blocked, it'll get harder and harder for them to find IPs, and easier and easier for the admins here.
    Ah, but the problem there is that by banning IPs not belonging to the person who has been banned, you're also blocking innocent people who might be legitimate visitors.

    "Borrowing a cup of Internet from the neighbors" (as my wife calls it when one of us unintentionally connects to a neighbor's router) is one thing, but will the admins IP-block every Starbucks, McDonald's, public library, junior college, coffee shop, KOA or other RV campground, truck stop, etc., etc., ad infinitum, that all provide free unlocked wifi access to the general public?

    IP blocking just doesn't work. But, it does result in confused visitors, and some registered members, wondering why they get a message that they have been permanently banned from the forum, when the truth is it's just their IP that has been banned.

  12. #12
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    Let me add: anyone who is determined to create multiple sockpuppet accounts is certainly willing to drive 30 minutes in any direction to find dozens of new IPs. That would indicate an unusual level of vindictiveness, which certainly wouldn't be countered by any IP or proxy ban.

    Personally, I'm fairly lazy in that regard, and not very willing to go out of my way to participate where I'm not welcome. But, despite having been banned "permanently" multiple times by a certain other forum, I have no problem registering and participating there, all from the comfort of my own home, without using TOR. I'm only "not welcome" by a certain administrator; other than that, I've been a pretty valuable contributor -- okay, "contributors" -- with good feedback from other members.

    BBL; gotta check my cotton patch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    Ah, but the problem there is that by banning IPs not belonging to the person who has been banned, you're also blocking innocent people who might be legitimate visitors.

    "Borrowing a cup of Internet from the neighbors" (as my wife calls it when one of us unintentionally connects to a neighbor's router) is one thing, but will the admins IP-block every Starbucks, McDonald's, public library, junior college, coffee shop, KOA or other RV campground, truck stop, etc., etc., ad infinitum, that all provide free unlocked wifi access to the general public?

    IP blocking just doesn't work. But, it does result in confused visitors, and some registered members, wondering why they get a message that they have been permanently banned from the forum, when the truth is it's just their IP that has been banned.
    What are the odds that a stolen IP will belong to a legitimate OCDO user? If it does, the person likely has easy recourse. One option would be to jump on a smartphone (or go to a WiFi cafe) and PM the admins. The admins could unblock the IP and keep an eye on it. Plus, the owner of the IP is now alerted that someone is using his WiFi and can secure it.

    If someone is willing to drive 30 minutes to find a WiFi IP to create a sockpuppet, their sanity is severely in question. But, that is OK. It takes our admins far less effort to identify and dispose of the sockpuppet than the perp would be putting into creating it!

    This is going to be a test of resolve. The admins can exercise that resolve more easily than the attackers can. Plus, with every attack, the perps expose themselves more, making any case that would be pressed easier to prove.

    I think the admins are taking the perfect tack.

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    a couple days ago I found that the forum was prompting me to enter word verifications before allowing me to post. Did this have anything to do with it?

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nova View Post
    a couple days ago I found that the forum was prompting me to enter word verifications before allowing me to post. Did this have anything to do with it?
    It was to help control bots, but John indicated that was not intended to effect members and has been modified. You should not be seeing that now.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  16. #16
    Activist Member nuc65's Avatar
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    I tried to do a search but the following was displayed:
    The string you entered for the image verification did not match what was displayed.
    The following words are either very common, too long, or too short and were not included in your search:

    The problem was there was no image verification... no other input box and no displayed Kaptchka...

  17. #17
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    The search function has been less than ideal, but I understand is being worked on to make improvements.

    You should not be getting a request for verification - if you are still getting this, I would suggest reporting it.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  18. #18
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    The search function has been less than ideal, but I understand is being worked on to make improvements.

    You should not be getting a request for verification - if you are still getting this, I would suggest reporting it.
    As I understand from this post (http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...=1#post1425533 ), the CAPTCHA was always intended for searching, but not for posting.

    This is a reasonable solution to the problem the admins having. Searching places a large demand on OCDO's servers and the fact that there used to be essentially no limits placed on searches was being exploited by those with an interest in taking down the forum. Unintentionally, the CAPTCHAs were needed to post for a few days. As it would take much more effort to bring down the forum by spamming, and as we are not having problems with registered users spamming the forums, the CAPTCHAs are a major inconvenience and unnecessary for posting, but are appropriate for searching because searching is typically performed less often than posting.
    Last edited by t33j; 12-25-2010 at 04:03 AM.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    The search function has been less than ideal, but I understand is being worked on to make improvements.
    Here's the ideal: google "sitepencarry.org {search term}"

    It also works wonders with government websites that return tens of thousands of hits using their internal boolean search engines.

    Okay, here's yet another example of vBulletin sucking: the quoted section above is "site (colon) opencarry.org {search term}", but vB wants to translate it to something else that makes no sense.
    Last edited by KBCraig; 12-25-2010 at 04:30 AM.

  20. #20
    Regular Member Douglas in CT's Avatar
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    Cool Not me!

    Be it known and this news spread spread far and wide that the "Doug" in question is NOT ME!

    I have never been known by that abbreviation.
    Besides, I am not that technologically advanced.
    - Where is the "Any" key that I am supposed to press?

  21. #21
    Regular Member 4angrybadgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    Here's the ideal: google "sitepencarry.org {search term}"

    It also works wonders with government websites that return tens of thousands of hits using their internal boolean search engines.

    Okay, here's yet another example of vBulletin sucking: the quoted section above is "site (colon) opencarry.org {search term}", but vB wants to translate it to something else that makes no sense.
    You can use the "CODE" tags to keep vBulletin (and other forum software) from parsing your text into smilies, etc. It's the "#" icon above the text box.

    Code:
    site:opencarry.org {search term}

  22. #22
    Regular Member Tomas's Avatar
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    Cool Another way...

    Quote Originally Posted by 4angrybadgers View Post
    You can use the "CODE" tags to keep vBulletin (and other forum software) from parsing your text into smilies, etc. It's the "#" icon above the text box.

    Code:
    site:opencarry.org {search term}
    One can also prevent smilies from appearing where they are not wanted by simply clicking "Disable smlies in text" below the message window prior to posting...

    site:opencarry.org {search term}
    No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: The officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets. -- Edward Abbey

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    I know that action has to be taken to combat spammers and attacks, but can I request that an alternative course of action be investigated to serve as a replacement for blocking tor exit nodes?

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    Do you have a specific suggestion that would be as effective against spammers? We don't want people who recently got the boot make the site go up and down like a yo-yo. Before banning the anonymous proxies, they were able to do this. Since the admins took action, the site has been up continuously.

    Unless your idea is equally effective, booooooo!

  25. #25
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kubel View Post
    I know that action has to be taken to combat spammers and attacks, but can I request that an alternative course of action be investigated to serve as a replacement for blocking tor exit nodes?
    I'm sure that John considered all of the ramifications and took the most effective action available.

    Have you an specific solution in mind that meets the criteria?
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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