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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 1:53 pm   #1
Julesomega
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Default Posting new thread in Modern Technology 10+ (403 error)

I'm trying to post a request for help on the Modern Technology forum but I only get 403 FORBIDDEN

I have just posted to another thread in the Modern forum and I have made sure my login is refreshed - is there a bug or or it just me?
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 1:56 pm   #2
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Default Re: Posting new thread in Modern Technology 10+

That is a server error. We will investigate.
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 3:18 pm   #3
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Default Re: Posting new thread in Modern Technology 10+

Julian, can you let us know the exact title and text of what you were trying to post, either in this thread or via a PM? We think there may have been an erroneous security alert.

Computers can be very dim sometimes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scunthorpe_problem
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 3:53 pm   #4
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Default Re: Posting new thread in Modern Technology 10+

You may need to do a screenshot of the text if you can't post it here due to the alert.
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 4:03 pm   #5
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Default Re: Posting new thread in Modern Technology 10+

Or send it in an email using Contact Us.
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 5:07 pm   #6
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Default Re: Posting new thread in Modern Technology 10+

"Windows Media Player not showing Album Info"

Not very contentious, I hope, but I could try again without mentioning Ws
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 5:13 pm   #7
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Default Re: Posting new thread in Modern Technology 10+

I agree. What was in the text?

The filters tend to be tripped by possible SQL directives. This is an attempt to harden the server against SQL injection attacks, but does result in false positives sometimes.
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 5:49 pm   #8
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Default Re: Posting new thread in Modern Technology 10+

There have been a few isolated one-offs in the past few days where I have clicked on a link to open a thread or a post and been greeted with a 403 error. On each occasion when I tried again a few seconds later it just proceeded to the post or page I had originally been trying to reach.

If it happens again I'll screen capture the error pop-up.
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 5:56 pm   #9
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Default Re: Posting new thread in Modern Technology 10+

The really important thing is to record the time as accurately as possible. The hosting company can then check the server logs to see what happened. These errors are generated by the underlying database, not the forum software which runs on top of it.
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 8:35 pm   #10
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Default Re: Posting new thread in Modern Technology 10+

My text had phrases like

this site uses unsafe TLS security settings

The Change Settings button reports "An error has occurred in the script on this page, Line 220 Character 1, Error Object doesn't support property or method 'msLaunchinternetOptions', Code 0, URL res://ieframe.dll/httpErrorPagesScripts.js"
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 9:46 pm   #11
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Default Re: Posting new thread in Modern Technology 10+

Obviously nothing there is triggering the error as you've been able to post.

Try resubmitting your Modern Technology post and if fails let us have the full text as a screenshot or email. Then we can try to reproduce the problem.
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 11:18 pm   #12
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Default Re: Posting new thread in Modern Technology 10+

The server uses a system called ModSecurity which attempts to block malicious commands in website posts and URLs etc that could do harm if the website wasn’t well coded.

Issues we have had previously have been text that appears to be like email headers, SQL queries and Linux shell commands etc.

It doesn’t know whether the text could cause harm, it just blocks regardless before it even gets to the website code, hence the 403 server errors. It’s rule based and the usual fix is to have the offending rule that’s giving a false positive disabled for this website only. Before that can be done I need to narrow it down to a short piece of text that causes the problem consistently that I can send to the hosting company so they can reproduce the error.

Some of the text that is in your examples does look like the sort of thing that could potentially hit one of the ModSecurity rules. Because it is quite obscure and not typical text that would be posted, it may not be possible or sensible to have the relevant rules disabled (the hosting company have the final say).

My suggestion is to try again, perhaps writing it in a word processor first and just copying and pasting. Use the preview facility and if you hit the error then remove one paragraph or sentence at a time to narrow it down, and see if you can change the offending part. Alternatively put the offending part or the whole thing in an attachment such as a PDF.

If you do find the specific culprit please let me know, you can PM me for my email address (as you won’t be able to send it by PM either).
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 12:06 am   #13
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Default Re: Posting new thread in Modern Technology 10+

I started the thread ok, and a 2nd post was rejected so I have contined the thread by uploading a textfile. I hope someone can help

The offending passage is the paragraph which begins
Right-click on "Unknown Album [today's date]" and from the drop-down menu select 'Find album info'. ..
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 12:10 am   #14
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Default Re: Posting new thread in Modern Technology 10+

It is still rejected if I add it by editing my last post, btw
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 11:27 am   #15
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Default Re: Posting new thread in Modern Technology 10+

I have narrowed it down to the specific text, see attached, and put in a support ticket with instructions to reproduce. I suspect it is triggering because it looks like part of an SQL query.

Once they have (hopefully) sorted that I will try the whole text from your attachment again, in case there's anything else in there.
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Name:	Screenshot 2022-11-03 at 10-25-12 UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum - Pos.png
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Size:	12.2 KB
ID:	267325  
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 12:07 pm   #16
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Default Re: Posting new thread in Modern Technology 10+

Offending rule now excluded.

I have now added the text to your post and removed the attachment version, which confirms it's now sorted.
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 11:52 pm   #17
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Default Re: Posting new thread in Modern Technology 10+

Thanks so much Paul
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Old 4th Nov 2022, 11:50 am   #18
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Default Re: Posting new thread in Modern Technology 10+

I will close this thread now as the issue is sorted. If anyone else gets any repeatable 403 errors when trying to do something here, please PM me so I can try to get it resolved.
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