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Thread: Blacklist message when trying to open web pages

  1. #1

    Default Blacklist message when trying to open web pages

    About 2 weeks ago I was notified by a couple of people who regularly access my web site (hosted on BlueHost server 'box503') that they were getting an error message displayed.


    For one of them, it has been sporatic. 24-hours may go by with the error. Then it stops. A week goes by, then it starts happening again. She uses Firefox and says it happens while using her computer at home. Her ISP is 'Socket.net ':

    "Access denied. Your IP address [216.106.50.2] is blacklisted. If you feel this is in error please contact your hosting providers abuse department."


    For the other, it consistently happens at a wi-fi hotspot at their local Panera Bread Company. It works for him at home, though. He is using Firefox. His ISP is 'HARRISONVILLE TELEPHONE COMPANY':

    "Access denied. Your IP address [64.241.37.140] is blacklisted. If you feel this is in error please contact your hosting providers abuse department."


    I have had my web site with BlueHost for years and this is the first time that error has been reported. I am curious why it is happening and what can be done to remove the barrier for customers trying to get to my website.

  2. #2
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    This sounds like something you're going to need to ask BH about directly (this is a user-to-user forum). IP addresses usually get blacklisted when there are repeated unsuccessful login attempts from those addresses, but there may be other causes.

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    <speculation>
    The two IP addresses that you've listed are so drastically different that I have to wonder about them. Do either of them correspond to the IP address that's listed on your main cPanel page? (Mine is currently listed as 69.89.xx.xx. I could be mistaken but I think that I've seen it change on occasion. I don't recall the top numbers ever being anything other than 69.89, though.)

    I wonder if there ever would be two IP addresses that different being used by the same Bluehost server?
    </speculation>

  4. #4

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    The shared IP of my web site starts with 69.89. I am sure their error message contains the IP they were assigned when they logged into their ISP.

    My first thought was this was one of those mysterious cases where someone with an IP address from ISP 'A' spammed someone at ISP 'B' and now entire series of IP addresses from ISP 'A' are being denied any connectivity to a server hosted by ISP 'B'. The sportatic nature in the one cases makes me think there is an automated blacklisting program running somewhere and sometimes excess activity temporarily blacklists a series of IP addresses. Or, in the other case, all of the IP addresses for Panera Bread are denied because of one guy using his laptop doing something bad from an ISP 'A' IP address.

    I hate for it to be another case of a powerless interested 3rd party (me) trying to get faceless ISP 'A' or faceless ISP 'B' to help resolve the issue - cause you never know who to contact to get to the heart of the matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Barr View Post
    I wonder if there ever would be two IP addresses that different being used by the same Bluehost server?
    You've got the wrong end of the stick, here. Those IP addresses are the addresses of users who are being denied access to the BH servers. The first one, for example, 216.106.50.2, is simply part of the pool of IP address assigned to Columbia Socket Internet. So, for some reason, the user who has been given that IP address by his ISP is not being allowed to access BH, ostensibly because of some prior bad behavior (like trying to hack into the BH system).

    But this is all just pointless - only BH can tell you why an IP address is being blocked. ASK THEM!!!

    (By the way, if someone is banned from these forums, yet persists in trying to re-register under different names, the mods sometimes request that the user's IP address be blocked.)
    Last edited by Early Out; 03-09-2009 at 05:56 PM.

  6. #6

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    I should mention that there are no logins required to access the web site. Noone is trying to log into an email account. The customers try to go to http://www.<domain_name>.com like they have, without error, for years, and now get the blacklist error.

    I know how important internet security is these days, but I also know that automated tools that look for 'patterns' can return false positives. That often results in many innocent web surfers being penalized.

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    An IP address is not a unique identifier. It should almost never, alone, be used to identify a specific visitor. It may be combined with some other variables to temporarily deter access, however other people may share the IP address at the same time (like on a college campus, or a cafe), or may be assigned that address later (typical ISP behavior).

    The best part is, anyone can just use a proxy if their IP address is blocked, and there is nothing you can do to stop them.

    What you should do is come up with a way to prevent whatever the person is doing to warrant a ban in the first place.

    That isn't to say there aren't times when banning entire network blocks is a perfectly reasonable action, but it should definitely be done sparingly, not out of laziness.
    Have you tried turning it off and on again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JackKonecker View Post
    I should mention that there are no logins required to access the web site.
    If an IP address is blacklisted by BH, it's not blacklisted only for access to your site - it's blacklisted for access to any site on BH. So, whether or not a login is required by your site is irrelevant.

    As wysiwyg correctly observes, blocking access by IP address is a poor choice because IP addresses change frequently (my current ISP gives me only a 4-hour IP lease - it doesn't always change at lease renewal, but it does change often). But the fact that it's a bad idea doesn't stop web hosts from doing it.

    I'm not surprised that one of the IP addresses that has been blocked is that of a wi-fi hotspot. There, an IP address is being shared by a large number of users, all going through one router. So, to the outside world, they all have the same IP address. All it takes is one problem user to get up to some kind of mischief to lead to a block.

    My own IP address got blocked by BH, by the way. They were moving my account to a new server, without telling me about it. My email client program sat there happily trying to connect to my account, and getting errors all the while. That led to my IP address being blocked. By the time the account move was completed, I couldn't connect at all - I had to call BH to get the block removed.

    And once again, this is what you have to do - contact BH. The block message is pretty clear about this, so I'm mystified about why you seem to be unwilling to take action, and want to continue to argue about whether or not BH should be doing this. This is a user-to-user forum. It's not up to us to determine BH's blacklisting policy.

    Which part of the following statement is confusing?

    "If you feel this is in error please contact your hosting providers abuse department."

  9. #9

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    > Which part of the following statement is confusing? "If you feel this is in error please contact your hosting providers abuse department."

    That's an insulting response.

    I'm here on the user-to-user forum because I want USER feedback. I want to know others experiences. I'm trying to help my web visitors who are panicked they did something wrong and are asking me for help. THEY are the ones who got the error and don't know what to do.

    > The block message is pretty clear about this, so I'm mystified about why you seem to be unwilling to take action, and want to continue to argue about whether or not BH should be doing this.

    Unwilling? For your information, I opened a ticket with BH after my first post. Does that mean I can't post here and continue to discuss (and learn from the experiences of others)?

    Early Out - You've been nice to me before and I've respected your opinions here on these forums. But the tone of your last post made my heart sink and honestly, ruined my day.

  10. #10
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    Other users can't solve your problem.

    Opening a ticket is the slowest way to get action.

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