403 error on www.tomshardware.com

May 18, 2019
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Good day all,

I have run into an issue. I loaded www.tomshardware.com, then any subsequent page loads I get the 403, on Chrome, Firefox. I'm on windows 10.

I get the error on my android device too when connected to my wifi. If I switch my phone to mobile data, I don't get the error at all.

Is tomshardware having firewall issues?

How do I get help with this?
 
May 18, 2019
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My primary dns is 192.168.0.1. I'm changing it to google's, and will report back.

Changed dns to 8.8.8.8, 8.8.4.4. Didn't work.

Restart router, and I get assigned a new ip, then it loads. As soon as I click on any article I get the error again, and its like I've been blocked by website.

I get a successful response when I ping www.tomshardware.com
 
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Tanyac

Reputable
Aug 30, 2014
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I am having the exac same issues.

This is the third time it has happened to me in about a year. Everytime it has turned out to be when I use my VPN I am getting this error. Off VPN it's fine. At this rate, if this is another IP Ban there will be no IPs left that aren't banned.... Assuming it's another block of IP addresses that have been banned.

If this is a ban on VPN addresses, it's really becoming quite harsh. Not everyone using VPNs are Cyber criminals. It's the minority making it bad for everyone else...
 
May 18, 2019
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Unfortunately not. I get successful page load on first load of new IP, then as soon as I refresh, I get 403.

I am having the exac same issues.

This is the third time it has happened to me in about a year. Everytime it has turned out to be when I use my VPN I am getting this error. Off VPN it's fine. At this rate, if this is another IP Ban there will be no IPs left that aren't banned.... Assuming it's another block of IP addresses that have been banned.

If this is a ban on VPN addresses, it's really becoming quite harsh. Not everyone using VPNs are Cyber criminals. It's the minority making it bad for everyone else...
I'm not using VPN. Although I tried a couple of servers with my Nord subscription, and the same first load, then 403.

I'm based in South Africa, and my ISP is Afrihost. Most ISPs here don't assign static IPs. If we redial our PPPoE connection(like restart modem router), we most likely get assigned a new IP address. I'm on a 100megabit residential fibre line.

The fact that it loads first time on a new IP, leads me to believe that my IP is accepted, but then gets added to a blacklist, as any subsequent tries to load the main site from any browser or device via the wifi gives me instant 403.
 

Tanyac

Reputable
Aug 30, 2014
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I only get errors when connected to my VPN.
Off VPN everything works perfectly.
I jumped on the VPN bandwagon because this is the third time in two years I've had exactly the same issue, and both of those times it was because my IP was blocked.

@rgd1101 - A router issue with only one website? Well, I rebooted my router and problem is still there.

There is a site here that engages in IP blocking. PCCaseGear.com.au. I've confirmed with them that they are are blocking the IP address Pool NordVPN uses. The error I get attempting to use their site is IDENTICAL to the error I get here. Possibly using the same blacklist?
 

rgd1101

Titan
Moderator
I only get errors when connected to my VPN.
Off VPN everything works perfectly.
I jumped on the VPN bandwagon because this is the third time in two years I've had exactly the same issue, and both of those times it was because my IP was blocked.

@rgd1101 - A router issue with only one website? Well, I rebooted my router and problem is still there.

There is a site here that engages in IP blocking. PCCaseGear.com.au. I've confirmed with them that they are are blocking the IP address Pool NordVPN uses. The error I get attempting to use their site is IDENTICAL to the error I get here. Possibly using the same blacklist?
if you have issue, please start your own thread
 
May 18, 2019
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Why not try www.tomshardware.co.uk - see if that helps - although the UK site always has problems of not showing tables/graphs in some reviews.
As for forums it's only .com
Tried it, didn't get the immediate 403 as expected, but same as with .com, I get 403 for any subsequent page loads on the domain. So they are on different web servers, using technology, that results in me getting a 403. Whether it is firewall blocking, or blacklisting of sorts. Or geolocation blocking.

Same result with vpn with server in USA, Canada. First load is fine, then subsequent are 403.

I tried disabling my av, Kaspersky Internet Security, and same result. On the Canada server, a huge big Norton Symantec ad popped up though. I will do some more testing with AV disabled.
 
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Tried it, didn't get the immediate 403 as expected, but same as with .com, I get 403 for any subsequent page loads on the domain. So they are on different web servers, using technology, that results in me getting a 403. Whether it is firewall blocking, or blacklisting of sorts. Or geolocation blocking.

Same result with vpn with server in USA, Canada. First load is fine, then subsequent are 403.

I tried disabling my av, Kaspersky Internet Security, and same result. On the Canada server, a huge big Norton Symantec ad popped up though. I will do some more testing with AV disabled.
I'd say then you have something wrong with your computer, as there is no way if you are connecting to this many different servers around the world and then connecting to Toms the only thing they ALL have in common, is your computer.
Maybe you have malware on it
 
I'm also getting this, but from the Company network. For obvious reasons, I can't give the information so openly about provider (as it's not a single one), but traffic may be similar to VPN behaviour.

From home, I didn't see this happening to me (Virgin Media, UK).

I'm also using the UK mirror to access the main page. And yes, I'm getting into the page from the UK (office and home).

Cheers!
 

rgd1101

Titan
Moderator
Tried it, didn't get the immediate 403 as expected, but same as with .com, I get 403 for any subsequent page loads on the domain. So they are on different web servers, using technology, that results in me getting a 403. Whether it is firewall blocking, or blacklisting of sorts. Or geolocation blocking.

Same result with vpn with server in USA, Canada. First load is fine, then subsequent are 403.

I tried disabling my av, Kaspersky Internet Security, and same result. On the Canada server, a huge big Norton Symantec ad popped up though. I will do some more testing with AV disabled.
can you get to the modem/router log and see what going on?
 
May 18, 2019
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I'd say then you have something wrong with your computer, as there is no way if you are connecting to this many different servers around the world and then connecting to Toms the only thing they ALL have in common, is your computer.
Maybe you have malware on it
The same happens from my phone, Google Nexus 6P.

I turned on my phone mobile data, created wifi hotspot, connected pc to it, and site works fine.

can you get to the modem/router log and see what going on?
Hi, sure. What am I looking out for? Anything specific?

When I do a traceroute on either mobile or cable, I get the same final destination, akamaitechnologies. So routing isn't different. Which doesn't make sense, since many websites are served through Akamai.

Edit: Tried a different ISP, put in pppoe account settings, saved, restarted router. Also tried direct connection to router using LAN cable.

I haven't yet tried a different router. But since I can load the page fine on first attempt on a new IP, I believe it is tomshardware website adding IP to blacklist pool or pulling from IP range ban. Not sure how to continue.
 
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rgd1101

Titan
Moderator
, I believe it is tomshardware website adding IP to blacklist pool or pulling from IP range ban. Not sure how to continue.
doubtful. if we going to blacklist the ip, it will be blacklist so you can't even get in the first time.

the closest thing is that you have malware on your system and akamai blocked you for that. can't find where you can contact them about unblocking it

here https://community.akamai.com/customers/s/article/Why-is-Akamai-blocking-me?language=en_US&searchIndex=5&searchId=6a76766a-383c-409a-b7c0-8730494b043c&sr=search
try this tool https://www.akamai.com/us/en/clientrep-lookup/
 
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May 20, 2019
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+1 for all reported symptoms for both www.tomshardware.com and www.tomsguide.com. I can, however, get to the above-mentioned UK site. The symptom is both device- and browser-independent (happens for Win, Mac, and Android with Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge)... but only while connected through company VPN.

Akamai's client reputation results reveals "The IP Address 32.xx.x.x did not receive a bad risk score". Our service provider is AT&T, and whois confirms they own 32.x.x.x addresses.
 
May 20, 2019
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Have your IT test it outside the VPN?
As I explained in my post, the symptom shows itself only while connected through VPN. That means I can get to it outside our VPN. Our IT folks are reticent to be of help since they see it as a toms*.com issue.
 
May 18, 2019
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Have your IT test it outside the VPN?
Yes, I generally run without vpn.

doubtful. if we going to blacklist the ip, it will be blacklist so you can't even get in the first time.

the closest thing is that you have malware on your system and akamai blocked you for that. can't find where you can contact them about unblocking it

here https://community.akamai.com/customers/s/article/Why-is-Akamai-blocking-me?language=en_US&searchIndex=5&searchId=6a76766a-383c-409a-b7c0-8730494b043c&sr=search
try this tool https://www.akamai.com/us/en/clientrep-lookup/
I would hope I am virus/malware free thanks to Internet security and safe internet practices. Although I won't rule it out, I get the same issue from mobile phone.

I get result from Akamai: The IP Address 169.1.x.x did not receive a bad risk score.

According to that same page:
Akamai does not block users from accessing our customers' websites. However, our customers can use tools and policies which may in turn block you (the end user). Our customers use these rules to protect them and you from malicious actors on the internet. Some common reasons could include:
  • Explicit IP blocking / blacklisting
  • Location-based backlisting
  • Rule-based blocking (i.e. web application firewall protections)
  • Reputation-base blocking
  • HTTP request rate controls (e.g. DoS protections)
The following activities may trigger application security controls:
  • Web application layer attacks such as: SQL Injection, Cross-Site Scripting, Local File Inclusion, Remote Command Execution, Remote File Inclusion, etc.
  • Volumetric attacks or similar high rate HTTP traffic
  • Web contents scraping, data mining, web content indexing and similar automated web activities
  • Web vulnerability scanning using automated tools
Perhaps it could be
  • Location-based backlisting
+1 for all reported symptoms for both www.tomshardware.com and www.tomsguide.com. I can, however, get to the above-mentioned UK site. The symptom is both device- and browser-independent (happens for Win, Mac, and Android with Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge)... but only while connected through company VPN.

Akamai's client reputation results reveals "The IP Address 32.xx.x.x did not receive a bad risk score". Our service provider is AT&T, and whois confirms they own 32.x.x.x addresses.
I can successfully use tomsguide.com, loading various links.
 

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