Andrew T.

Websites automatically blocking and banning Windows 95 users

32 posts in this topic

In between Flash 8, kludgy scripts, and restrictive browser checks, I've experienced quite a few frustrations using Windows 95 on the web over the last few years. Only rarely have I encountered downright hostility, though...but this takes the cake.

Over the last year or two, I've stumbled across sites that run some server-side PHP package called Spambot Security ZB Block. If you access one of these sites from a Windows 95 computer (or any browser with a Win95 useragent), this arrogant and absolutely obnoxious message appears:

win95forbid.png

They're not kidding. If I try to access any page on the site from any computer from the same IP afterward (regardless of OS), a plain screen with a "Error 503 : Service Temporarily Unavailable" message is all that results.

Thankfully ZB Block seems to be pretty rare, but I have encountered it here, here, and here. It also afflicts the vendor's own site...including this confrontation thread, ironically enough.

Has anyone else encountered this?

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Thankfully never saw it before. Guess these people don't realize that people on these forums have found ways around the issue. Lament.

Crazy that. You could always go out of your way to complain and explain the situation, but chances are that won't work out well.

Haters gotta hate.

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Interesting. Does just changing your UA string fix this? (prior to the detection/ban, of course)

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Since they apparently block the IP, he'll have to go take his computer to a different site and/or go through an anonymizer to change his IP in order to try it and see. And if it doesn't work, he'll have succeeded in blocking that IP from that site.

Cheers and Regards

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Windows 95 is unusable.

Now that makes just about as much sense as someone pulling up to the toll booth on a roadway in a completely restored 1957 Chevy (or pick your own classic vehicle) and being told that they are not allowed on the road. Because, the vehicle is to old to use the road.

DOS is still very usable, as are some old COBOL programs that are still being ran today. I guess, that when one is young, that anything older than you are is totally outdated and can't be used. But, we all know better and continue to use our old OSes and programs.

Andrew T. I am guessing that your first link of where it has happened was done by their hosting company, not them. That is assuming that they are not total Penguin addicts and that nothing else is any good, which is not the impression I got from the little I read.

bpalone

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Now that makes just about as much sense as someone pulling up to the toll booth on a roadway in a completely restored 1957 Chevy (or pick your own classic vehicle) and being told that they are not allowed on the road. Because, the vehicle is to old to use the road.

That's why toll booth jumping :w00t: has been invented, AFAIK ;):

:lol:

jaclaz

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Would some one here elaborate on what the Z Bot instigator means by this statement :"MS never updated the Windows TCP/IP stack to handle random port DNS, thus any machine identifying itself with that string, is actually a bot with a B.S user agent."

Could someone explain the technical aspects of the process he alludes to, and how he (if serious) could misconstrue himself into believing no can still use 95 anymore?

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Would some one here elaborate on what the Z Bot instigator means by this statement :"MS never updated the Windows TCP/IP stack to handle random port DNS, thus any machine identifying itself with that string, is actually a bot with a B.S user agent."

Could someone explain the technical aspects of the process he alludes to, and how he (if serious) could misconstrue himself into believing no can still use 95 anymore?

The guy himself provides a more extended explanation here:

http://www.spambotsecurity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=2373

The word for today is "syncookies":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SYN_cookies

Though I can understand how a Windows 95 user agent string may be nowadays be more likely connected to a bot of some kind than to a real user, using this only parameter to permanently block an IP makes clearly no sense whatsoever, at the most it could be used to "raise a flag" for monitoring the behaviour of that connection and ONLY when suspicious activity is actually detected, then block (and in any case TEMPORARILY and NEVER permanently) an IP. (if enough people using Dynamic IP actually connect to these stupid sites through a Windows 95 computer, before or later a whole ISP address range will be blocked :w00t: ).

jaclaz

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Google on

"windows 95" "tcp/ip stack" "random port dns"

reveals that these are the only morons indisciminately blocking stuff. Read this thread as well (post #15) -

http://www.stopforumspam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=12852

Blocking EVERYONE using AOL? Get real!

It appears that ANYONE utilizing this software can indiscriminately block ANYONE for ANY REASON, based upon "supicion". IOW, those sites you mention using "ZB Block" are ignorantly blocking, so just don't go there using Windows 95.

Wondering about the SpamBot Blocking that MSFN uses? Seems Win95 isn't block "just because", correct?

Googling on just

"random port dns"

yelds this additional link - http://marc.info/?l=gauntlet-user&m=98450705427468&w=2

Googling this (google "suggested")

microsoft dns random ports

somewhat explains the previous link statements. Plug in "windows 95" (use the quotes) yeilds more info. (All first links directly from MS.)

In other words, (IMHO) stupidity on the part of said SpamBot Blocking Software and/or the "setup" of said software based upon ignorance and fear.

Hmmm.... of course this may explain it (also all about fear) - http://debian.fmi.uni-sofia.bg/~dimo/OTHER/dos101.txt

Here (web archive) is the subject from the above text. Had to dig "backwards" for it.

http://web.archive.org/web/19981206105844/http://www.sophist.demon.co.uk/ping/

So it appears that it's the SITE end that has the problem and NOT the Windows 95 -or- (as stated) Windows NT (which also is "afflicted"). Note the date of the article.

Also see this - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/177719

:}

edit - I believe jaclaz stated it more succinctly. And I provided a link that states they did just that!

Edited by submix8c
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Thanks for all the info guys! The Z bot fellow seems to especially pride himself upon his belief that the "death of IPV4" will finish Win 98--(meaning all 9x of course).

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Thanks for all the info guys! The Z bot fellow seems to especially pride himself upon his belief that the "death of IPV4" will finish Win 98--(meaning all 9x of course).

For NO apparent reason ;), married to the sea! :w00t::

survival-of-the-spitefullest.gif

:lol:

jaclaz

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Would some one here elaborate on what the Z Bot instigator means by this statement :"MS never updated the Windows TCP/IP stack to handle random port DNS, thus any machine identifying itself with that string, is actually a bot with a B.S user agent."

Could someone explain the technical aspects of the process he alludes to, and how he (if serious) could misconstrue himself into believing no can still use 95 anymore?

The entire quote is:

It means that there are no windows 95 machines that can access the net anymore since they went to random port DNS. This was done to stop domain spoofing/dns server stuffing.
Microsoft never updated the Windows 95 TCP/IP stack to handle random port DNS, thus, any machine identing itself with that string, is actually a bot with a B.S. User agent.

Don't you wish someone would have told you that you can't access the internet on Windows 95 before you did Andrew T.? I'm going to have to get the ol' Win 3.1 system up and running to see if I can access the site.

Edit: User adwade is getting quite an edumacation from that post. :crazy:

Edited by Steven W
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Yeah, I've gotten those many times. Not sure it's the same domain but it happens when I run an extension that checks for defunct URLs and the likes.

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User adwade is getting quite an edumacation from that post. :crazy:

He appears to have been brainwashed, since he seems to have bought the misguided, though well intentioned, reasoning by the the site admin. I understand the site admin's thinking from his apparent experience, but he is obviously uninformed since there are indeed a few diehards that still happily use Win95.

Cheers and Regards

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Blocking EVERYONE using AOL? Get real!

Believe it or not, this is actually an OLD technique. Before such repositories as SFS or security company lists, even ISPs used some archaic methods that I would have hoped would no longer be used. Think back to the turn of the century. Email spam was the thing back then and an ISP would subscribe to some service that would provide information on how to block them so that their users would not get spam. But there was usually another mechanism. When enough spam/junk complaints would come in for a certain email host for a period of time (say 24 hours) the ISP would block that email host, then contact it to inform them they have a spammer there. The problem would be then that the ISP would tell the host that it would keep blocking them until they cleaned up their servers. If this happened, they would do a trial run and if the spam was under some number or percentage, the block would be lifted.

Well in 2002 or so, the ISP I worked for blocked AOL.com. At that time, AOL was still one of the top email providers so you can imagine the uproar this caused. :thumbdown

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