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Forum and website admin => Support => Topic started by: Strigulino on January 29, 2014, 06:09:16 PM

Title: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Strigulino on January 29, 2014, 06:09:16 PM
I haven't been able to get on from a PC for ages - when logging in I get "We're sorry, but we could not fulfil your request for [long complicated URL] on this server.

An invalid request was received. This may be caused by a malfunctioning proxy server. Bypass the proxy server and connect directly, or contact your proxy server administrator.

Your technical support key is: c2b0-6993-41fe-ed15

You can use this key to fix this problem yourself.

If you are unable to fix this problem yourself, please contact the WEBMA5TER and be sure to provide the technical support key shown above. "

I took one look at "WEBMA5TER" with that 5 in it and thought it looked suspicious so I'm not clicking on that or the "fix this problem yourself" which is also a link.

What is going on here? I can connect fine on my phone, and the PC I'm using is my work one and therefore very hot on virus checking etc. Havent had this error page from anything else.
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Pete Dunk on January 29, 2014, 06:59:45 PM
I think it's time to take it in for a good cleanout, don't click that link!
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Strigulino on January 29, 2014, 07:10:57 PM
It's not my PC, and I know it has super-paranoid settings. Which may in fact be the problem.
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: deltasalmon on January 29, 2014, 07:16:42 PM
even under super-paranoid settings you shouldn't have to contact a WEBMA5TER
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Helena Handcart on January 29, 2014, 07:19:23 PM
It's not my PC, and I know it has super-paranoid settings. Which may in fact be the problem.

I just googled the error message and the hits I got suggest a problem with an anti-spam plug in on SMF. 
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Clive Williams on January 30, 2014, 03:20:00 PM
It does indeed come from the anti spam software that's part of SMF; your IP address is probably banned, not because of what you've done, but because other people who share the same address as you have been naughty in the past and got themselves on a blacklist. If you can let me know the ipaddress of your PC (go to www.myipaddress.com) I'll have a look in the tables and try and unblock it. It may not be a blacklist under our control, but we can but try.
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Strigulino on January 30, 2014, 03:43:42 PM
Ah. Well my current IP address is the NHS. Which is huge.

It is 194.176.105.147. Apparently I'm just north of Skipton. I'm not.

The NHS has 1.3 million staff. We send a lot of emails. They are not spam. :)
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Helena Handcart on January 30, 2014, 03:51:42 PM
Apparently I'm just north of Skipton. I'm not.

That's the location of your point of presence on N3.
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Clive Williams on January 30, 2014, 04:10:03 PM
Is that the IP that's blocked?
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Strigulino on January 30, 2014, 04:25:04 PM
I imagine so. It's the IP that's where I am when that error comes up.

Like Helena says, it's an in-house network. With super-paranoid settings. I imagine that the NHS produces so much mail that a computer set to assume that high volume equals spam would block it?

I can always use my phone, but a PC is so much faster to type on.
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: KLR on January 30, 2014, 04:33:36 PM
I had that problem, but only a time or two, couple weeks ago.  My laptop is only semi-paranoid. 
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Anahata on January 30, 2014, 06:12:45 PM
If you're getting complaints about a malfunctioning proxy server when connecting from the NHS network, it's extremely likely (because the NHS is a big network) that it does have a proxy server or several and there's a reasonable chance that something might be wrong with it, either breakage or misconfiguration.

Perhaps a word with NHS IT department...
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Strigulino on January 30, 2014, 06:53:57 PM
Well yes, but then I'd have to explain what the only website I was trying to look at was about. I only try at lunchtime but as my lunch hour is at 3pm I'm worried they'll think I'm skiving.

It's not a big deal. I was hoping it was something at the Melnet end that could be tweaked.
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Chris Ryall on January 30, 2014, 07:41:42 PM
Perhaps a word with NHS IT department...

[rant]
… story of my life, and a complete waste of time. eg they foisted an unworkable PACS (image system, mainly Xrays) on us in 2006, and we couldn't do anything about it. But a word in the ear of the chairman of parliamentary accounts committee … well, shall I say the contract was cancelled a month later [all Public Domain, an Audit Commission report was published one wet Wednesday in about 2006].   Most NHS IT is awful: "Connecting for Health"was cancelled last year, about £11billion written off. Many other examples in Public domain. I won't go on.
[/rant]

My IT supplier is great; and plays melodeon ;)
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Anahata on January 30, 2014, 08:35:19 PM
My IT supplier is great; and plays melodeon ;)

And has just sent you an email  (:)
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: syale on January 31, 2014, 01:11:59 AM
I live behind a corporate firewall at work.

If I have logged in to the site on the work laptop whilst I am home I do not have any errors at work.

If I clear my temp internet files and I go to work and try to log in it gives me the 400 error (I am behind a proxy and the IP that the world sees is 161.51.0.49)

Stephen
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Strigulino on January 31, 2014, 11:03:29 AM
That might explain it. We have Win 7 and I think it's set to clear cookies every session now.
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Strigulino on July 11, 2014, 05:10:47 PM
It does seem to be something to do with IE7 or maybe the connection, as I've just got so frustrated with being able to read but not post I tried a virtual online browser to see if pretending to be Firefox would help and here I am.  Using a virtual browser is horribly laggy though.  If I could just log in once it could stay logged in... oh well.
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Anahata on July 11, 2014, 06:22:00 PM
It does it with my Nexus tablet too. Strange at it's running (an Android version version of) Google Chrome and I don't have any trouble with several desktop installations of Chrome or SRware Iron, all of which are basically the same browser.

Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Andrew Wigglesworth on July 11, 2014, 09:10:36 PM
It does indeed come from the anti spam software that's part of SMF; your IP address is probably banned, not because of what you've done, but because other people who share the same address as you have been naughty in the past and got themselves on a blacklist. If you can let me know the ipaddress of your PC (go to www.myipaddress.com) I'll have a look in the tables and try and unblock it. It may not be a blacklist under our control, but we can but try.

If that is true, then the smart arse who thought of it and those who implemented it ought to be taken out and (figuratively) shot.

An "anti-spam" programme has no business sending out a HTTP 400 error when refusing access to resources.

It's things like this that continually degrade the Internet as a useful system, and add useless hours to the workload of people who work on it.

Given correctly, an HTTP 400 error response is saying that the server did not understand the request. That it was malformed in some way. The vast, vast majority of the time this means an issue with the client software (ie. in this case the web browser on your machine). This could be caused by a bug, some "extension" or even (in the case of operating systems notorious for these things) malware interfering with the way that the browser is working.

Basically, if just about everyone else is happily using the server, and you get a 400 error, then it's your problem ... unless some smart alec has decided to break with the IETF standards and send out misleading error codes   >:( >:( >:( >:(
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Anahata on July 11, 2014, 09:38:33 PM
It does indeed come from the anti spam software that's part of SMF; your IP address is probably banned, not because of what you've done, but because other people who share the same address as you have been naughty in the past and got themselves on a blacklist.

It happens to me at home when I use my tablet on the home WiFi, but other devices on the home network can post to melnet. Melnet sees my home broadband IP address in each case, so it's not IP addresses per se that are blocked.  Also the message comes with a link to a place that suggests deleting all my cookies and restarting because the cookies are corrupt, though that looks bogus to me.

Anyway, IP addresses are terrible way of identifying a user. Most can change randomly, especially with mobile devices. Most broadband connections don't guarantee the same IP address each time you connect either. My ISP does let me have a static IP at no extra cost and I have one, but many don't.

An "anti-spam" programme has no business sending out a HTTP 400 error when refusing access to resources.

Yes, 403 "Forbidden" might be a better fit.
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: KLR on April 18, 2015, 11:36:56 PM
Would it be possible to ease up on the site security here so this bug goes away?  I have to delete my cookies about every week to post something, and it's really gotten old.  And no other site I frequent has anything remotely similar or annoying, and they're by no means overrun with spambots. 
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Theo on April 19, 2015, 11:02:31 AM
Would it be possible to ease up on the site security here so this bug goes away?  I have to delete my cookies about every week to post something, and it's really gotten old.  And no other site I frequent has anything remotely similar or annoying, and they're by no means overrun with spambots.

Please post a copy of a recent error message and I'll investigate.
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: KLR on April 19, 2015, 04:58:28 PM
It's the same one in the first post of this thread, the message with "If you are unable to fix this problem yourself, please contact the WEBMA5TER and be sure to provide the technical support key shown above. "  Didn't take note of the "technical support key."
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Theo on April 19, 2015, 05:19:05 PM
Ok thanks. The technical support key is not helpful so don't worry about that. I have made some adjustments.  If it happens again it would be helpful if you can make a note of the date and time then I can check error logs more easily.
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: KLR on May 31, 2015, 06:48:42 PM
OK, just ran into this bug once more.  10:45 PST Sunday March 31 if that helps - my post time should tell you that, though.  I imagine I would have run into it even if I posted last night, though. 
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Theo on June 01, 2015, 07:44:28 PM
First I'm assuming you meant Sunday May 31st. 

I have checked all the site logs and can find no error from the forum software or our security add-ons, so I think that means the error is being generated somewhere between your connection and the site.  That could be your ISP, which I think is unlikely because one or two other members have reported the same error.  The next most likely place is the server software where the forum is hosted.  If I can find some error logged there that may lead us to the root of the problem. 

If it happens again it would be most helpful if you could capture the screen showing the error.  I will need this if I want to raise a ticket with our web hosts.

Sorry your still having this problem.
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Strigulino on June 03, 2015, 03:13:35 PM
Just reporting that mine magically seems to be working now.  So if someone did something, it worked.  :)
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: KLR on June 03, 2015, 05:12:09 PM
Strigulino copy pasted the text of the error on the 1st page of this thread, Chris did the same here. (http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,13940.msg171614.html#msg171614)  There's a link which I followed once and it lead to a page with some more text.  Do you really need screenshots when you have the text of the error?  If you Google "WEBMA5TER" you get all kinds of discussion of this bug, including this one (http://szapp.com/blog/your-technical-support-key-is-8e36-ac82-2b02-lblf.html) which has a screenshot too. 
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Theo on June 03, 2015, 06:19:53 PM
Yes I know the text of the message has been posted, but even with that I'm drawing a complete blank.   Clutching at straws really to see if the screenshot might have some subtle clues.   But if you don't have time to do that don't worry.
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Theo on June 03, 2015, 08:21:52 PM
KLR, I have made the first of a number of changes which may help.   Please check and tell me if the problem persists, or has gone, then if necessary there are a couple of other steps I can take.
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: deltasalmon on June 19, 2015, 01:52:38 AM
Here's the screen shot. Funny enough, I actually got the error when trying to post on this thread.

EDIT: and the way I got around it was by clearing my browser cookies.
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Theo on June 22, 2015, 11:56:52 AM
Thanks for the screenshot.  I forwarded it to our web hosts and it seems to be coming from the server.   If you, or anybody,  get this error again please send me a note of the exact time when it occurred and I should be able to get it fixed.
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Lester on June 22, 2015, 01:18:37 PM
Thanks for the screenshot.  I forwarded it to our web hosts and it seems to be coming from the server.   If you, or anybody,  get this error again please send me a note of the exact time when it occurred and I should be able to get it fixed.

Just had a 403 at 22/26/15 13:13 when trying to logon  Your technical support key is: 3eff-beac-b40c-8ddc
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Theo on June 22, 2015, 01:46:31 PM
Thanks Lester, I've passed this on to the web hosts.
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Theo on June 22, 2015, 03:17:16 PM
Lester, can you try again please and see if it's any better.
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Lester on June 22, 2015, 03:39:17 PM
Lester, can you try again please and see if it's any better.

Managed to logon successfully after 10 mins or so. Just seems to come up intermittantly

Got another 403 trying to post this, clicked out of mel.net and back in, posted successfully  ???
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Theo on June 22, 2015, 04:47:57 PM
If you get another one please let me have a note of the time it happens.
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Gromit on July 03, 2015, 08:14:27 PM
Had a 403 notice twice yesterday and today at 20.12
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Theo on July 03, 2015, 08:21:06 PM
Had a 403 notice twice yesterday and today at 20.12

What was the text of the message?
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Gromit on July 04, 2015, 09:56:19 AM
Same as posted by deltasalmon June 19, 2015, 01:52:38 AM - just tried posting a reply again and this time it worked.
Title: Re: Error 400 - a bit suspicious-looking
Post by: Theo on July 04, 2015, 01:05:56 PM
Thanks Gromit.  I have raised a support ticket with our web host for this one.
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