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View Full Version : Why would using a particular word make Preview Post fail?



01101001
2006-May-25, 07:04 AM
In a recent article (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=749440#post749440) I listed some buildings and linked them to their Google Map satellite images. Using a particular word to describe one building gave me a persistent problem.

When I used the word "Casino" I'd consistently get on Preview Post (and I think when I tried Submit):

The page cannot be displayed
There is a problem with the page you are trying to reach and it cannot be displayed. [...]
HTTP 500 - Internal server error
When I used the word "Hotel", Preview Post and Submit worked fine.

At this point in writing, I previewed this post, fearing the word "Casino" would cause failure, but it worked fine. I just went back to that recent article and tried quoting it, changing "Hotel" to "Casino" and it still failed. Perhaps it is just links labeled "Casino" that are a problem. It wasn't just that article or thread. I just pasted the same link into this article, labeled "Casino" and I couldn't preview it.

I wonder if some guard-dog code in the forum software does something funny for casino links.

Fraser
2006-May-25, 08:30 AM
Maybe. I've got a security mod running on apache designed to catch spammers who try and use the forum to promote their websites. I'm not sure why it worked inconsistantly, though. Strange.

HenrikOlsen
2006-May-25, 04:21 PM
There was a burst of email spam promoting online casino's a while ago, perhaps the blocking of links with casino in the text is a result of that.

Swift
2006-May-25, 05:26 PM
In this (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=749382&postcount=1) BABBling thread about pyramids, I tried posting something about the Luxor in Las Vegas (with a link to some pictures) and everytime I tried I would get a weird errror message, I think it was something about thread not accessable. I just gave up. I wonder if this is related.

Fraser
2006-May-25, 05:52 PM
Please give me more details if you can. If you get an error, send me an email describing the error you go, and the text you were trying to post.

Swift
2006-May-25, 06:41 PM
I didn't remember, but I reproduced it (and with a different link).
The error I get, after hitting submit, says:

The page cannot be displayed
There is a problem with the page you are trying to reach and it cannot be displayed.


I was trying to do a quote to this posting (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=749632&postcount=9). It worked fine up to the submit. This was the link I tried to put in (http://ci.uofl.edu/tom/photos/USA_West/vegas-luxor.jpg)

01101001
2006-May-25, 08:07 PM
There was a burst of email spam promoting online casino's a while ago, perhaps the blocking of links with casino in the text is a result of that.
I can understand that, and I suspected that at the end. The trouble is the feedback, an HTTP 500 internal server error, isn't very helpful. It took me many minutes of altering text, checking URLs, experimenting, to figure out that a Google Map link that was titled "Casino" was my problem. If the software had just obfuscated the forbidden word with asterisks, like it does with bad language, I probably would have got a clue a lot sooner.

Oh, in experimenting here, it seems to be a little more general, in that an innocent URL I tried to place right here, not mentioning "casino", caused the Preview to fail because of the word appearing above. Preview woldn't work until I replaced every instance of "casino" in this text with "xxxx".

01101001
2006-May-25, 08:13 PM
Another experiment:


1. http://www.01101001.com
2. Casino

That works fine, but if I swapped the order of lines 1 and 2, Preview Post, and I presume Submit, fail with HTTP 500.

Fraser
2006-May-25, 08:54 PM
This must be getting matched by the ruleset of the security mod I'm running on the webserver. Interesting. I'll keep an eye on this, and try removing extraneous rules to just the stuff we need.

HenrikOlsen
2006-May-25, 09:05 PM
Perhaps having a look at why matching the rules cause the 500 server failed would be an idea, there's probably supposed to be a reasonable error message which somehow cause a failure.

Fraser
2006-May-25, 10:59 PM
Yeah, I'll look through the error logs. This is going to be a difficult one to track down and still maintain the security benefits.