I’m repeatedly asked why people get blocked by our firewall solution, the answer to this is very simple.
We’re protecting your data!
When somebody who doesn’t know your password wants to break into your account they may try a random sequence of passwords to get in. The easiest way for them to do this is through what’s called a “dictionary attack”, where an automated script is setup to test using all the passwords in a file one after another (this is why we encourage you not to use real words as your password!).
The above is also a brute force attack, hammering away at a single account – at BetterWebSpace we see hundreds of these every single day.
“So what are you doing about it?”
That’s the common next question, the answer is blocking the IP address of the malicious user or script when they’ve had several failed attempts at a password.
Unfortunately, when a user then proceeds to enter their own password wrong a number of times our servers have no way of knowing that you are not trying to break into an account, so it blocks their IP. Some blocks are just for several minutes whilst others are more permanent.
“How do I know if I’m blocked?”
If you can’t login to your email, ftp or see your website then you have probably been blocked (alternatively if you can access any one or more of these services it’s likely that you haven’t been blocked).
If you have been blocked, contact support with the following information:
Your domain name:
The server your account is on:
Your IP address (visit http://www.whatismyip.com if you are unsure):
In the above scenario – at the end for “you haven’t been blocked” ie You can access one or more of the denied areas – there is no thread of what to do in that situation. Being unable to access say email or FTP – that is quite important (?) even if the Website is live and working.
Is there a course of action for this ?
Are there questions I need to ask myself or things to test before contacting you ?
If I still can’t self-diagnose the problem what information should I send – presumably similar to the being “blocked” scenario ?
Brian is quite right that you should contact us with the same information.
For some services we may have limits in place that mean you get blocked occasionally for exceeding those limits. If that happens contacts us so we can look into this for you!