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Site not accessible from Romania


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Hello,

For the last 3-4 months or so MSFN isn't accessible from Romania anymore. I can easily browse through a VPN, but I was curious about what happened. I thought the website was gone.

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  • 3 weeks later...

MSFN is also inaccessible from where I live. I initially thought that the website and forum were down. I have tested with my home network and also a mobile network. It does not work in both cases.

Have you perhaps introduced some kind of new filters (e.g. to fight spam), which as a result block traffic from certain areas?

I am writing this post using Tor Browser.

Edited by tomasz86
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I cannot tell for sure, as I had only been visiting MSFN quite irregularly in the recent times, but the board was definitely still working in December 2019, because that is when I posted for the last time in https://msfn.org/board/topic/156521-unofficial-sp-52-for-microsoft-windows-2000-wip/?do=findComment&comment=1175170. I also remember reading the following post by win32 on January 28, but I do not remember whether I actually visited the forum or just received an e-mail notification and read it there.

I delete all my browser history, so I cannot say any specific dates, but from my memory, I was definitely trying to visit the site two or three times sometime around February and March, and it was already not working. I just thought that the site was down all together though.

Just for the record, this is what I see when trying to open MSFN from a regular browser:

 MSFN.png.bf5e23c4210018c1800564e1a6d18204.png

Ping also fails:

Pinging msfn.org [151.106.17.234] with 32 bytes of data:
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
	Ping statistics for 151.106.17.234:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss)
Edited by tomasz86
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I had talked to Xper last week about this issue. He says that there are some IP ranges that are blocked due to Google Adsense abuse. It effects a lot of countries including, at least, Poland.

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Tripredacus said:
> I had talked to Xper last week about this issue. He says that there are some
> IP ranges that are blocked due to Google Adsense abuse. It effects a lot of
> countries including, at least, Poland.

Whole MSFN domain is BLOCKED? Since MONTHS? In LOTS of countries?!
Oh no :-(
But I'm not buying that this were only "accidentally", otherwise it would long since be open again, not obviously permanently :-(

Suggestion to update the title accordingly, sounds way too harmless for such a desaster.

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I do not know what is involved with the Adsense issue and/or why Xper chose that particular mitigation.

If I were to guess, this could be a starting point:

https://msfn.org/board/topic/178681-whered-the-ads-go/?tab=comments#comment-1165751

That basically, we could see a large amount of "invalid traffic" from specific IP ranges. As the linked google support thread says "if we are unable to verify the quality of your traffic, we may limit or disable your ad serving." which did happen to us a few times as you can see in that thread.

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Thank you for investigating the issue. I am actually located in South Korea right now, and the site is not working here. It does work in Tor Browser with the exit node set to Poland though. It also used to work from Korea before January 2020 with no issues.

I understand that there was a problem with the ad serving, but this sounds like a very radical approach, which will likely block many users and other legitimate visitors from accessing the website :(.

I am not sure what the "specific IP ranges" are, but when it comes to my home connection, I am using a dynamic IP from one of the largest Internet providers here, with more than 4 million registered users. The site also does not work on my mobile connection, which is from a different company, with 18 million users. All this means a very large number of people potentially impacted by the blockade, without even thinking about all the other countries affected.

Edited by tomasz86
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  • 2 months later...

The site has ceased to open in Russia, with different providers in different cities. Connected through a foreign VPN, and found this topic. Is it really impossible to disable these blocks? At this rate, the whole world will soon be banned, and no one will be able to enter here. :(

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

I just want to say that MSFN is still unavailable in South Korea. I also do not seem to be able to receive any e-mail notifications for my followed forums and threads.

Edited by tomasz86
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  • 3 weeks later...

Block most of Eastern Europe and you should be able to call it a day, most of the spam farms there operate under the same kinda ISPs and web hosts too, so this may help for weeding things out. I remember having to block Ukrainian/Russian/Romanian hosted spam farms before on a tiny forum and it was... insane to say the least.

Doesn't help matters that Bing has no means of detecting spambot traffic either, so bots regularly use it to scrape for new sites.

I guess the idea of country wide blocking is done by the proportion of legitimate to spam traffic and if there happens to be a pattern.

Edited by MintChocAero
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  • 3 months later...
5 hours ago, xper said:

Block removed for several countries including Russia, South Korea, Romania etc.

Thank you, although it did take a while… Better late than never, I guess :angel.

I suddenly got an e-mail notification for one of my threads, and then tried to log-in, which worked (without using Tor Browser, that is).

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/12/2021 at 11:36 PM, xper said:

Block removed for several countries including Russia

Oh, that's why MSFN became accessible for me... earlier I had to use Tor to read some information from here. :(

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