Network issues, new features.

We have figured out that the issue with UnderNet is their Tampa.* server, which has recently started killing our BNCs with the following message: (:Closing Link: ****** by (Sorry, your connection class is full – try again later or try another server)). Either they have hit a limit, or have changed either their connection limit per IP or started limiting the BNC server IP ranges. Either way, it is affecting all of our BNC servers. We are adding other UnderNet servers to users as their accounts are killed. When the request suspension ends, we will resume adding accounts to the network, but we will leave the Tampa.* server out of the server list until such time that it is working normally again. We have already set up other servers to add for now. In the meantime, UnderNet will remain suspended from new requests until tomorrow. Check the status in any of our channels with the !suspended command.

Additionally, we have suspended a number of networks for 2 primary reasons. MindForge and ICQ because of requesting abuse, and EFNet and IRCnet because of DDoS concerns. The DDoS attacks this week on the servers have been on user IPs, not the main server IPs, which tells us it is particular users that are being attacked and not us directly, unlike what happened last week. We have found 2 such users on EFnet that were responsible already, so that is the network of highest suspicion for this week’s attacks. Unfortunately, without the network using any hostmasking, it is impossible to prevent such attacks, especially the large-scale attacks that have overwhelmed measures to protect the servers. The MindForge and ICQ suspensions are because of repeated hoarding issues. For ICQ, this is now the third time in 3 months. The next time it happens, I will close that room and suspend requests to the network for 30 days. This network has gone beyond ridiculous with the amount of abuse the users have caused. I am no longer willing to put up with it.

We have added a couple of new features, the first one I mentioned on the last post. There have only been a handful of people using the email request system so far, but they have been happy with the ability to keep their email private. This method is taking longer as we still put our priority with the normal requests first. This slower response time is also a preventative measure for abuse, as hoarders and other abusers such as ban evaders generally do not want to wait for their BNC account. The other new feature is the ability of a user to !cancel their own pending request if they made a mistake, instead of waiting for staff to fix it for them. This can only be done by the user as long as they remain on the same ip/host they requested from. If they ping timeout and return on a new IP, the !cancel will not work. This new feature has already seen some use, and makes things a lot faster for both staff and the users when they can fix their own request.

We continue to move forward in adding new features for our users. Thanks for the continued support!

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