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Old 08-22-2016, 01:05 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by SilverGate View Post
Yes, that's the problem here... looks like the problem is not reCAPTCHA, but how the website responds after you complete answering reCAPTCHA. When finishing responding to reCAPTCHA, you should not be stranded on a blank, white page! You should then be able to proceed in accomplishing your sending of a message or post.

This seems to be an issue that the site's Tech Support people need to look at.

The new reCAPTCHA uses a Risk Analysis Engine that makes it easier on humans and harder on bots, as seen in the video above.

The Tech folks are looking at the white page issues but the overarching issue is the browser challenges - they unfortunately are sometimes a necessity and we apologize for the slow downs. The check browser message and bot check is provided by a service the helps keep the forum online during a DDOS attack.

You are more likely to see these messages if you use a vpn, login from overseas or have an old operating system. If you see these after a long period of inactivity (like writing a long message) it's because the server logged you out. I urge you to copy that text before hitting submit so that it won't be lost if the browser check appears. Sometimes (and depending on your own browser) you can recover this by using the back arrow... but not always.

Your individual systems are not in jeopardy but access to the forum is being slowed down by malicious attempts to crash the server. The site has been targeted several times in the past year in this manner and your understanding is appreciated.
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Old 08-22-2016, 01:42 PM   #30
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I haven't gotten the Captcha thing here. I have seen them on other websites and they can be difficult to read and annoying to use. I have a strong dislike for Captcha. I believe there are alternatives to Captcha that are easier to use.

Maybe the question is why someone is attacking this Forum. Have the administrators angered someone, have they been unfair to someone who knows how to do DDOS attacks? Maybe treating the effect is not as important as looking for the cause. I can't imagine why someone would pick on a forum about trailers unless they had a specific agenda.

Gene
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Old 08-22-2016, 01:58 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Gene View Post
I haven't gotten the Captcha thing here. I have seen them on other websites and they can be difficult to read and annoying to use. I have a strong dislike for Captcha. I believe there are alternatives to Captcha that are easier to use.

Maybe the question is why someone is attacking this Forum. Have the administrators angered someone, have they been unfair to someone who knows how to do DDOS attacks? Maybe treating the effect is not as important as looking for the cause. I can't imagine why someone would pick on a forum about trailers unless they had a specific agenda.

Gene
Gene - I cannot go into detail but this has to do with organised scams for used trailers. We have several times had members post the name of a craigs list resellar who has an extremely shady website and bogus rigs for sale. The IP leads to overseas websites that look legit but are not. They do not want this info displayed publicly, do not want questions raised about the legitimacy of these rigs and most of all want to cover evidence of a possible scam.

Our members are adept at finding them and reporting them we always investigate these reports and when warranted notify law enforcement.
Several other large RV related forums have suffered the same and one was actually offline for almost a week after an attack this year. it's serious business and expensive and inconvenient to defend against. We have chosen to allow this info to stand rather than remove this content as we believe that prospective buyers should be aware that there are shady operations out there and be able to ask for advice about purchases..
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Old 08-22-2016, 02:00 PM   #32
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DDOS attacks do not always result from anything in particular.

They are, however, difficult to defend against and can screw up sites totally.

If there was a way to permanently stopping them short of nuking from orbit, believe me, it would have been done by now...


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Old 08-22-2016, 03:41 PM   #33
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Janet, thanks for the explanation. I have seen warnings about various scams for trailers as you have described. It is admirable that you have allowed them to be posted to protect us from them. Having just gotten one of our daily calls from a fake number with no one at the other end, I wish there was a way to prevent those calls too, or ones like "your computer is infected…." We all wish for a magic box that sends a signal down the phone line that melts the other phone (though such property destruction is probably asking for a lawsuit).

I am confused about when Captcha is used and from reading the above posts find it impossible to know when except that some people reported it when they had long posts and some did not.

By the way, you can remove "formerly posted as…" since it has been a year or two.

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Old 08-22-2016, 04:06 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene View Post

I am confused about when Captcha is used and from reading the above posts find it impossible to know when except that some people reported it when they had long posts and some did not.

By the way, you can remove "formerly posted as…" since it has been a year or two.

Gene
Your sig has been updated.

Regarding the browser challenge... there is a complex set of parameters to determine who and how often this challenge is advanced but they will appear more often when we have unusual web traffic and for those with VPNs, using public networks, and those with IPs that have matches with known spammers. These can be valid IPs from known providers but if a spammer used one (say, AOL..) recently to send a bunch of spam and that IP was identified as the underlying source anyone else using that same IP may see this challenge as well.

It's worth noting that our server automatically disconnects after 30 minutes of inactivity. No page changes on the site for 30 minutes and the server believes you have abandoned your session. Your connection is severed (for your safety and ours) and so you may see the challenge again upon reentering the site. Unfortunately when you are composing a long message you are not moving around the site and may be disconnected.

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Old 08-22-2016, 04:30 PM   #35
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Thanks for the further info Janet.

Gene
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Old 08-22-2016, 05:05 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet View Post
. . .
. . . when you are composing a long message you are not moving around the site and may be disconnected.

Thanks for this bit of information. I have noticed that if I Save a new reply fairly often, and then go back to add/edit more, that the Captcha process does not kick in. Of course the Edit time window starts running when one posts a message, but I can generally deal with that more easily than hitting the Captcha dead end blank page.

Thanks!

Peter

PS -- I have also found the above approach [Post Save -- edit -- add -- etc. ] works well when on the road and using a phone or iPad to post.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:48 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet View Post
Your sig has been updated.

Regarding the browser challenge... there is a complex set of parameters to determine who and how often this challenge is advanced but they will appear more often when we have unusual web traffic and for those with VPNs, using public networks, and those with IPs that have matches with known spammers. These can be valid IPs from known providers but if a spammer used one (say, AOL..) recently to send a bunch of spam and that IP was identified as the underlying source anyone else using that same IP may see this challenge as well.

It's worth noting that our server automatically disconnects after 30 minutes of inactivity. No page changes on the site for 30 minutes and the server believes you have abandoned your session. Your connection is severed (for your safety and ours) and so you may see the challenge again upon reentering the site. Unfortunately when you are composing a long message you are not moving around the site and may be disconnected.

Hi Janet,

Since it sounds like you're an Admin or with the site owners, can you please have them also look at not doing successive challenges on replies or posting, once we've successfully done the challenge & been posted during a session.

For some reason, there have been many times over recent months where it makes redo the Captcha thing several times in a row on each successive post/reply - whether it's on the same thread, or different threads - there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it.

There also really is no reason to it - as in why keep challenging the same member!!??

It really is a PITA, & added work to have to copy out the text of each of my messages every time I want to post something, as I'm doing since this Captcha thing came in.

Also, as to the different browsers issue you mentioned - I don't have this problem with other forums & evil-bay, etc. which also use Captcha (I'm using Win10, Firefox & Norton Security fyi) - only here.

TIA,
Tom
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Old 08-23-2016, 05:28 PM   #38
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I always use Yahoo, always my IPad or MacBook Pro, and have never had the CAPTCHA problem...tho I often do long posts.


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Old 08-26-2016, 06:32 PM   #39
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Summary of CAPTCHA and posting strategies

CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart) is a computer program that protects websites against bots by generating and grading tests that humans can pass but current computer programs cannot (CAPTCHA web site).

This challenge/response test is used here as a response to increased DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks that arise for a variety of reasons, including disgruntled, used trailer scammers in the Classifieds section (Janet, post 31).

The CAPTCHA challenge test appears sporadically, but seems to show up more frequently when composing a long message, reply, or post and/or taking a long time (over 30 minutes*) composing prior to submitting. One strategy is to first compose a post or message on a word processor (such as Microsoft Word**), then copy and paste it into your reply, new thread or new message on AirForums. It may also help to check “Remember me?” when logging on to AirForums.

Additionally, CAPTCHA may appear more often during times of high or unusual website activity, and/or for those who have an older operating system, log in from overseas, use VPNs (virtual private networks) or public networks, or those with IP (Internet Protocol) addresses that have been used by spammers (Janet, post 29 & 34).

CAPTCHA has been improving its risk analysis engine to make it easier for humans and harder for bots, but sometimes a technical issue arises in its interface with websites, such as the white blank page following the challenge test seen here, which is being addressed by Admin Tech Support (Janet, post 29).

Some forum members have had difficulty deciphering the test images, especially when displayed on a small screen. During the process of composing a message or post, the CAPTCHA test might lead to its loss prior to posting (richw46, post 21). One way to prevent the loss of a new post is to make a copy of the text before submitting the post (Janet, post 29).

* One additional and helpful note from Janet: “It's worth noting that our server automatically disconnects after 30 minutes of inactivity. No page changes on the site for 30 minutes and the server believes you have abandoned your session. Your connection is severed (for your safety and ours) and so you may see the challenge again upon reentering the site. Unfortunately when you are composing a long message you are not moving around the site and may be disconnected” (Janet, post 34).

** The composing of this post occurred during several days of researching material and gathering the best and appropriate supporting links. The composition was created on a Microsoft Word document. When it was time to post, I logged on to AirForums and opened an Advanced Reply to this thread. I copied and pasted the composition into the reply window and hit the "Post reply" button. The actual posting process took less than 5 minutes, and curiously, I still got the CAPTCHA challenge tests, first one to select the images with food, and another to select images with store fronts. I then got the white blank screen and used the "back button" to return to my un-posted reply and clicked again on "Post reply". I then got a third CAPTCHA test, this time to choose the images with auditoriums. Upon successfully jumping through these hoops, I finally got the green check mark and my post was posted! I then used the edit button to add the appropriate line of space between paragraphs that did not make the transition from Word to AirFourms! (I Ching says "Perseverance furthers!")
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Old 08-27-2016, 03:19 AM   #40
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Thanks for the summary, SilverGate. I had read most of it last night, before you added the final paragraph about your drafting/editing/posting process, and will review the entire post later today.

One factor which would be helpful to track -- IMO -- is your own internal IT process for cleaning cookies, deleting your Internet Cache, erasing history, etc.. As has been discussed on other threads, each time a user opens the site, the airforums site apparently leaves a cookie about the daily pop-up [ Edit -- daily "nag" per Janet -- see PS ], which a user must "X" out in order to log in. After the login, the site has the user's IP address, [ maybe leaves another cookie which is part of the Captcha process? ], and then proceeds to track the details of the user's current session, including periods of inactivity, as you have summarized.

What additional cookies and standards are tracking our sessions? If we log out, delete cookies and clean cache, then log back in, does any information from the previous session "follow us" to the new session?

In particular, does the site continue to track usage by our IP address (unique to each computer/phone/tablet in the Universe), and is this part of the Captcha process?

Many questions, but knowing the site's cookie and IP address tracking processes would help most of us to avoid being Captcha'd IMO.

Thanks again for the summary, SilverGate.

Peter



PS -- FYI -- Daily pop up take two thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f138...wo-143858.html

See Janet's Post #24 et seq..

PS2 -- No Captcha events on this session.
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Old 08-27-2016, 12:57 PM   #41
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Thanks for the summary, SilverGate. I had read most of it last night, before you added the final paragraph about your drafting/editing/posting process, and will review the entire post later today.

One factor which would be helpful to track -- IMO -- is your own internal IT process for cleaning cookies, deleting your Internet Cache, erasing history, etc.. As has been discussed on other threads, each time a user opens the site, the airforums site apparently leaves a cookie about the daily pop-up [ Edit -- daily "nag" per Janet -- see PS ], which a user must "X" out in order to log in. After the login, the site has the user's IP address, [ maybe leaves another cookie which is part of the Captcha process? ], and then proceeds to track the details of the user's current session, including periods of inactivity, as you have summarized.

What additional cookies and standards are tracking our sessions? If we log out, delete cookies and clean cache, then log back in, does any information from the previous session "follow us" to the new session?

In particular, does the site continue to track usage by our IP address (unique to each computer/phone/tablet in the Universe), and is this part of the Captcha process?

Many questions, but knowing the site's cookie and IP address tracking processes would help most of us to avoid being Captcha'd IMO.

Thanks again for the summary, SilverGate.

Peter



PS -- FYI -- Daily pop up take two thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f138...wo-143858.html

See Janet's Post #24 et seq..

PS2 -- No Captcha events on this session.
Thanks, Peter, for your comments and interesting questions!


Regarding my own computer’s IT (Information Technology) process, I do have an older system, which in itself, may trigger the presentation of the CAPTCHA challenge test when posting.

But beyond that, I think you’re on to something regarding the roles cookies (see the many types), browsing history, and cache may play in relation to CAPTCHA.

So perhaps, if one does not clear recent browsing history, cookies and cache, CAPTCHA will remember or recognize you as a human and not a bot, and not proceed to challenge you!

Since my operating system and computer is older, I have found that it seems to function better when I routinely (daily) clear my recent browsing history, cookies, and cache on Firefox. (Additionally, I recently discovered that Firefox’s “New Private Window” for browsing keeps cookies and other stuff from being downloaded as each web page loads in, speeding the load-in time!)

-- Bill

P.S. When posting this note, I was not surprised that CAPTCHA challenged me. I was presented with two tests to pick out which images contained street signs and then I got the white blank page. I then used the "back button" to go back to my un-posted post and clicked on "Submit Reply" again and got a different CAPTACHA street sign test and, upon successful completion, I was given the green check mark and the post was posted!
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Old 08-27-2016, 01:47 PM   #42
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Test post

For this test post, I continued to stay logged on to AirForums, and left my browsing history, cookies, and cache "as is" (since my previous post above) and will see if it gets posted without getting challenged by CAPTCHA.

Edit update: I was not surprised that this post was not challenged by CAPTCHA. Factors for this could be that it was a very short post, made via "Quick Reply", and that I did not clear my browsing history, cookies or cache.
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