Customizing SMF > Building Your Community and other Forum Advice

frequent visits from banned member


Hi Friends,
I'm posting in this board, because I saw another similar message here (older topic, which didn't really help).  The question certainly isn't about version 2.0.x support, in any case.

Recently I've noticed a banned member has been visiting my forum regularly.  I had banned them shortly after opening the forum (4 years ago) and mostly just to see what banning was all about (rather than letting the spam mods handle it).  Currently I let Stop Spammer and other security mods handle them. 

But a couple of months ago, I started noticing in the Error Log where this IP address has been visiting 2 to 4 or 5 pages, almost every day.  I can't figure out why! Why??!

They're banned, and so I assume when they try to visit any page, they get nothing but "Sorry Guest, you are banned from using this forum!" (according to the Error Log, that's what they see)  They don't really see any contents, do they?

Could it be this is not really a person, but is bot.  And the bot doesn't realize it doesn't "see" anything?  And so it just keeps coming?  Or is it maybe a broken bot?  Ooh, maybe whoever was using the IP address when I banned it, sold it to another spammer, and the new owner doesn't even realize it's been banned??  Hah!!

Well, I guess there could be any number of explanations.  I guess I find it a little curious that the visits from a banned member shows up as an error.  Is this really anything to be concerned about?

Interesting -- I just found the Ban Log.  There must be some use for having visits by banned members recorded or listed.

Thanks for any thoughts or comments  :)

Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen:
The log is mainly to help you diagnose situations when a ban might hit an innocent bystander :)

It is however more than likely that if you have banned them based on username or email instead of IP or hostname,
you are just seeing recurrent visits from a banned member just because they are a stupid bot

Hhm, no they were banned on IP address only.  Haha - "stupid bot".  I like that.  Well it definitely is not behaving as if it were clever.

It pretty much has to be a bot, the more I think about it.

Well anyway, thanks for your comments!

Banning by IP is a poor choice. You are likely to affect normal users, too...    and there are better ways to deal with IP bans other than the SMF ban system (specifically, DENY in your htaccess) if you insist on using IP.


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