Recent CloudFlare Hassles

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Recent CloudFlare Hassles

Post#1 » Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:42 pm

Has the security level for CloudFlare been increased recently? I browse primarily through a proxy, and because of this when visiting icefilms, I periodically get a CloudFlare "Attention Required!" screen requiring me to enter a captcha.

This would happen typically once or twice a day (annoying, but tolerable). However, in the past week or so, this screen (and captcha request) is popping up about every 5-10 minutes (if I click on a link or refresh a page). I realize that CloudFlare is used to protect icefilms, but this recent behavior is making visiting the site a major pain.

If this is due to an internal change within CloudFlare, I guess nothing can be done, but if it's due to a change in icefilm's security settings with CloudFlare, then I'm wondering if the settings can be relaxed at all.

Is anyone else experiencing similar hassles? Can something be done about it?

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Re: Recent CloudFlare Hassles

Post#2 » Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:41 pm

Not that I know of. I would say it is something to do with your proxy's creds...
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Re: Recent CloudFlare Hassles

Post#3 » Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:14 pm

Here's the problem: https://support.cloudflare.com/hc/en-us/articles/203306930-Does-CloudFlare-block-Tor-
Due to the behavior of some individuals using the Tor network (spammers, distributors of malware, attackers, etc.), the IP addresses of Tor exit nodes generally earn a bad reputation. Our basic protection level issues captcha-based challenges to visitors whose IP address has a high threat score. The level for the basic protection is set for each site on CloudFlare by the site owner. In order for a visitor to pass a captcha challenge, the visitor must have cookies and JavaScript enabled in the browser.
Since this change in CloudFlare behavior started, it's become a real pain to visit icefilms. Even posting this message required me to answer three separate challenges before the post was finalized. And sometimes (I'm guessing from some "dangerous" IPs), no captcha is presented at all, so there's no way to continue other than wait for the IP to change and then refresh (and hope that the new IP is "safer").

I'm not sure how requiring captchas helps protect icefilms from malware or spammers (DoS attacks maybe, though I don't know how often these occur), but maybe the "ice powers that be" could see about reducing the CloudFlare protection level?

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Re: Recent CloudFlare Hassles

Post#4 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:00 pm

Not sure how it can be done, but there should very definitely be a better way to protect the site and still ensure trusted user's privacy is not compromised. One thing is for sure; that will never happen with cloudflare.
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Re: Recent CloudFlare Hassles

Post#5 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:00 am

Unless there is a reason to use Tor. Maybe we can help with your connection problem. Yes the Security is needed, we have not noticed a DoS in months. They happen quite frequently.
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Re: Recent CloudFlare Hassles

Post#6 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:03 am

Russtronic™ wrote:Unless there is a reason to use Tor.


Not quite sure what you mean by that, it plain does not make sense; as I am certain you know why people choose to use Tor.

As far as helping with connection for tor users, the only way to help is to reduce the security level. Whitelisting an ip or extending the TTL will not work due to Tor's automatic rotation of exit nodes.

Simply put, Tor and Cloudflare simply do not get along.
The internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.
I may not believe in what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it
Those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it

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Re: Recent CloudFlare Hassles

Post#7 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:44 am

The reason I said that is to see if there was another way. Excluding Tor from the equation. If at all possible. Tor is slow at best for Ice.
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Re: Recent CloudFlare Hassles

Post#8 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:56 pm

Russtronic™ wrote:The reason I said that is to see if there was another way. Excluding Tor from the equation. If at all possible. Tor is slow at best for Ice.
It may be slow, but at least it's private (or at least more private than other options). If all I had to do was enter captchas, maybe the current situation would be acceptable (albeit annoying). Unfortunately, more and more exit nodes are being blocked from even allowing a captcha. Here's a screen I'm getting more and more frequently:

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Notice that there isn't even a captcha presented for me to try (it should be above the line that says "Enter above text"). Because of this recent hassle, it took me over an hour to compose and submit this post. Almost every time I pressed "Preview", I'd get a CloudFlare screen, and about 1/2 of those screens didn't have a captcha I could enter, so I simply had to wait and periodically refresh the page until I had a new IP.

Hopefully there's some sort of balance that protects icefilms, yet allows users to maintain their privacy. As Repdaddy already said "One thing is for sure; that will never happen with cloudflare." (at least not with the current settings level). Since CloudFlare's been in use for quite some time, yet these problems have surfaced only within the past 5 or 6 weeks, I am again asking if CloudFlare's security level for iceflms has recently changed.

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Re: Recent CloudFlare Hassles

Post#9 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:11 pm

Based on what you have said and the fact there was/is no reason for icefilms to change the security settings in cloudflare(that I know of), I am led to think cloudflare may have changed defaults for their users, possibly related to an internal upgrade as you have previously suggested. I suppose the only way to achieve clarity here is for Abe to chime in.

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That is my official Abe-signal, akin to the bat-signal.
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The internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.
I may not believe in what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it
Those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it

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Re: Recent CloudFlare Hassles

Post#10 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:39 pm

There are other privacy options that are fast and secure and anonymous. But are not free, but relatively inexpensive. Is what I was talking about.
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Re: Recent CloudFlare Hassles

Post#11 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:47 pm

Russtronic™ wrote:There are other privacy options that are fast and secure and anonymous. But are not free, but relatively inexpensive. Is what I was talking about.
Please elaborate (though I'm skeptical about the level of privacy available when there is an online payment).

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Re: Recent CloudFlare Hassles

Post#12 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:18 pm

There are are a number of VPN's Out there that guarantee privacy. http://lifehacker.com/5940565/why-you-s ... your-needs
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Re: Recent CloudFlare Hassles

Post#13 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:15 am

After doing a bit of snooping around on this topic;

It seems if cloudflare detects a high level threat to a site they service, they throw up the multi-level captcha test for every "risky" ip that attempts to connect to any and all sites they service on that server. I could find no info on how long.

Using a vpn will not help at all, especially in instances such as mentioned. Cloudflare is server side protection and vpn is surfer side anonymity. Seems to me they would have to bump heads. This exact issue is a discussion in many vpn forums.

On a side note; I wonder how many ip addys cloudflare has cached and how long they keep that info for.
The internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.
I may not believe in what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it
Those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it

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Melting Point
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Posts: 139

Re: Recent CloudFlare Hassles

Post#14 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:38 pm

Well, it looks like these screens aren't going away, so here are my tips for surviving the captcha (actually, the recaptcha):

    1) Ignore the easy word, it does not need to be entered at all (and ever since Google took over recaptcha, it no longer helps anyone).

    2) Case does not matter, so just enter the one 'word' in all lower case.

    3) Depending on the settings, you can normally make a mistake on (at least) one of the letters and it will still work, so go ahead and try it, even if you can't figure out all the letters.

    4) Increase your screen magnification, that will often help a lot with reading the word.

    5) You don't have to click the on-screen "Submit" button, just hit Enter on your keyboard.

The last two tips may be obvious, but sometimes you just don't attempt something obvious when you're simply trying to quickly get to the next screen.

It still can be a pain to deal with, but hopefully the above tips make it a bit more tolerable.

Since none of the above tips helps a bot (and blocking bots is the primary reason for the screens appearing), I'm assuming it's okay to post them here. If not, go ahead and delete my post.

BTW, in the past few days, many (but not all) of the recaptcha screens have displayed only one word, and a relatively easy one at that (not too much distortion). If this is a result of icefilms - thanks! If CloudFlare is becoming more discriminating in when they display the easy vs hard screens, then good for them. If this is because of a Google decision (as I've read in a few places, but without any verification), then I don't give a...

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Re: Recent CloudFlare Hassles

Post#15 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:25 pm

Starting today, CloudFlare is blocking all attempts to access icefilms through Tor. Every attempt to type in a captcha simply results in a new captcha set being displayed. I tried over 12 times in a row, and could never access the site.

If someone increased the CloudFlare security level, they've now made it impossible to access icefilms through TOR (and I assume using VPN's as well).

If this is intentional, and not going to change, please post that here. Otherwise, could you please fix?

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