kugrin
Member

CloudFlare

Is anyone else having to pass a security check by entering a CAPTCHA each time they try to access oDesk or is it just me?

 

upwork_captcha.jpg

24 REPLIES 24
suznee
Member

I am not having an issues.

No, fine here also.

sadanmasroor
Member

This usually happens when you try to access a website using a proxy or any proxy is using the same IP pool alloted to you by your ISP.  

I have no idea what Cloudflare is, but it's exciting to see William Gibson's then hypothetical constuct of cyberspace becoming a reality. It's a brave new world out there and no mistake!

pandoraharper
Member

I've signed into Upwork twice so far today, and haven't seen that message or had any issues connecting.

 

When Upwork goes down, I have seen Cloudflare "stuff" on the homepage, but that's just related to the site being off-line.

 

Like someone else said, I'd bet Upwork wonders who you are if your trying to connect from an IP you don't normally use with your login credentials.

francine10
Member

I've not seen anything like it.

Diligence is the mother of good luck...Benj. Franklin

Please post a higher resolution screenshot. This might be the case if you're using a proxy or any authentication to bypass the regular access, as it's possible to receive it from a third-party. Also, I can't see the link with CloudFlare. It's just a CDN (content delivery network) that helps a leverage the cache for a certain website and to speed up pages doing so, and doesn't have any relevance for your issue. Although the nameserver has to point firstly to CloudFlare and then back to Upwork host, they won't interfere with your files throughout the process.

kugrin
Member

Thanks to all that replied.

 

@Cristian - if you right click the image and select "open image in new tab" you can see a higher resolution version.

 

@Sadan - you wrote "This usually happens when you try to access a website using a proxy or any proxy is using the same IP pool alloted to you by your ISP. "

 

I am not using a proxy. I am on a static IP so if a proxy is using the same IP pool, I assume I'll just have to deal with this, or ask my ISP to assign a different IP to me? It's the first time in 6 years that I am running into this issue. Support said it's normal behaviour as it's just an additional layer of security but I don't find it normal having to enter a CAPTCHA every single time I want to use the forum or main site. I have a similar issue where I am blocked from leaving feedback because my leaving of feedback is triggering a "security event" - I wonder if these two things are related, although the feedback issue has been going on for 12 days while this one is new.

 

@Pandora - my IP and even laptop I am accessing oDesk from is the same, so no idea what triggered this.

 

@Ramon - please tell us more.

 

If anyone has any suggestions on how to make this stop, please share! Thanks


@Krisztina U wrote:
<snip>...

I am not using a proxy. I am on a static IP so if a proxy is using the same IP pool, I assume I'll just have to deal with this, or ask my ISP to assign a different IP to me? It's the first time in 6 years that I am running into this issue. Support said it's normal behaviour as it's just an additional layer of security but I don't find it normal having to enter a CAPTCHA every single time I want to use the forum or main site. I have a similar issue where I am blocked from leaving feedback because my leaving of feedback is triggering a "security event" - I wonder if these two things are related, although the feedback issue has been going on for 12 days while this one is new.

 

@Pandora - my IP and even laptop I am accessing oDesk from is the same, so no idea what triggered this.

<snip>

 

If anyone has any suggestions on how to make this stop, please share! Thanks


Krisztina,

 

In that event, I would run (not walk) to the Support area and:

1) try to get someone who pays attention in live chat (I know that's hard)

2) send in a support ticket (don't hold your breath for a fast resolution)

 

I could be way off base here, but if I was in your shoes, my paranoia would kick and I would be concerned that perhaps Upwork thought my account had been hackedNot saying that has happend to you, and not trying to alarm you...but...At least you have made the effort, and now it's documented with them.

 

 

Kristina you need to run the trace route. I am assuming you are on Windows based PC so this link will help. If you are on Mac this link would do. If some where during the process you see stars or dots ( ..... ) than that means an issue with the network. If there is an issue get in touch with your ISP to get it resolved. Also create a support ticket because couple of days ago some one  in the forum had his account suspended when he logged in to Upwork from his office IP as Upwork I think considers it an "irregularity". In case something happens you can use that support ticket as proof of this issue with your internet connection.

 

'ask my IP to assign a different IP' - maybe ISP? If you are sure that's a static, and you don't have the DHCP enabled, yes that worths a try. However, I don't any possible reason for captcha on entry. Very strange


@Cristian-Adrian F wrote:
'ask my IP to assign a different IP' - maybe ISP? If you are sure that's a static, and you don't have the DHCP enabled, yes that worths a try. However, I don't any possible reason for captcha on entry. Very strange

Yeah, I meant to type ISP. I corrected it.

 

I don't know what DHCP means other than for the cryptic explanation Google just came up with, but I have not made any changes to my settings, nor did I install new software or made any software updates over the past couple of weeks so that can't be it either. It is strange! Which just reminded me of The Doors.

ISP should provide you straight forward guidance, hope it gets solved.

kugrin
Member

I filed a support ticket for my feedback issue 12 days ago and complained about it on the forum so there's a trail for that, and I logged a ticket a couple of hours ago for this weird CAPTCHA issue but was told it's normal, but there should be a trail for that too. Now if support is able to put 1+1 together, is a different question.

 

@Sadan -- thanks! I am on Windows 8.1 and was able to load up my command prompt after watching a Youtube video, but I don't know what I am running a tracert for. Since I didn't know what to run it for I just typed www.upwork.com, and 3 out of 11 lines returned stars. Does this mean the issue is on my end? I attached a screenshot, but my computer speaks German, so I don't know how helpful this is. Should I be running a tracert for something else? And should I even be posting a screenshot of this? Thanks for your continued help!

 

 

tracert.JPG

 

Kristina I am attaching a trace route from my Mac of the same IP where you ran the trace route for your reference. If you look at the image you will see that it completes 13 steps. Your trace route dies at 9th step which indicates possible network issue. 

 

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 23.44.53.png

 

 

Also one more thing. There is a possibility that your ISP might have blocked access to couple of ports causing this because of a possible DDoS attack. This happened with me 2 months ago as my tracker was working in offline mode and on contacting my ISP I came to know that because of a possible DDoS attack they blocked the port on which oDesk was operating causing the team room app to work in offline mode. 

Sadan, spot-on! (that's a good thing). Also, it looks like Cristian has the best idea, that is, contact the ISP.

Ron aka LanWanMan
shaneb76
Member

The reason you are seeing the CAPTCHA is a security layer added by Cloudflare. The reason this is done is due to one of the following reasons:

 

1. You have been reporting for spam (example forum spam)

2. Someone in your IP neighbourhood (example IP address very close to yours) has been engaged in spamming. spammers often use consecutive IP's to try to avoid being detected as spamming.

3. Botnet behaviour from your IP or an IP close to your IP.

 

Most of the time it is to prevent forum spam, where people either manually or automated spam by creating profiles and links in forums to spam their website, or to build links for search engines.

 

You can find more information here:

https://support.cloudflare.com/hc/en-us/articles/203366080-Why-do-I-see-a-captcha-or-challenge-page-...

 

Basically to have the captcha removed would be Upwork's responsibility by either removing the block on your IP, or whitelisting your IP. Otherwise you'll have to continue entering the captcha.

 

I run a webhosting company and use Cloudflare myself.


@Shane B wrote:

The reason you are seeing the CAPTCHA is a security layer added by Cloudflare. The reason this is done is due to one of the following reasons:

 

1. You have been reporting for spam (example forum spam)

2. Someone in your IP neighbourhood (example IP address very close to yours) has been engaged in spamming. spammers often use consecutive IP's to try to avoid being detected as spamming.

3. Botnet behaviour from your IP or an IP close to your IP.

 

Most of the time it is to prevent forum spam, where people either manually or automated spam by creating profiles and links in forums to spam their website, or to build links for search engines.

 

You can find more information here:

https://support.cloudflare.com/hc/en-us/articles/203366080-Why-do-I-see-a-captcha-or-challenge-page-...

 

Basically to have the captcha removed would be Upwork's responsibility by either removing the block on your IP, or whitelisting your IP. Otherwise you'll have to continue entering the captcha.

 

I run a webhosting company and use Cloudflare myself.


Thanks, Shane. I am fairly sure none of those pertain to me and that the issue is on oDesk's end. It all started when my freelancer and I closed the contract and left each other feedback at or around the same time (same 10 minute window). That activity was viewed as suspicious (??) and my IP was flagged in some way or the other. Since I wasn't able to leave her feedback, I've been trying it once a day since, which I think made matters worse. Technical support asked me to provide all sorts of information, and regular support confirmed these two issues are related. I really don't understand why closing a contract at the same time would trigger this, or why it's taking 13 days to fix it. 

 

 

Kristina,

             I am a system algorithm developer by profession and do Web/Application development atleast 10 hours a day and from my experience I can tell you that CDN or Upwork will not supend your IP or mark it malicious until it is shown as malicious by your ISP.  The project I am currently working on have thousands of assets being hosted on CDN and we never got a complaint like this from any of the customers using the application. For your clarification all the traffic between your PC and Upwork is shared through different channels and what gets displayed to Upwork is not information from your PC but instead your ISP. This is an issue with you network and has to be resolved by them. Upwork cannot do anything to help you here. They are blocking you because your ISP is protraying you as malicious to Upwork so it needs to be fixed by them.

lanwanman
Member

IMPORTANT: Referring to the image, follow the instructions under "What can I do to prevent this from happening in the future." That is, instructions regarding scanning your computer for virus infections or malware.

 

Judging by the image provided in the original post, while the user attempts to access Web address https://www.upwork.com/find-work-home/ (or is redirected to that URL), instead of DNS sending the user's browser session to the actual core site for domain name upwork.com, the user has been channeled through Upwork's CloudFlare CDN service (a service Upwork pays for). Since the Upwork core site is probably hosted in the US, users outside the US are more likely to be sent to the copy of Upwork pages cached on CDN servers.

 

From Wikipedia: Content delivery network - "A content delivery network or content distribution network (CDN) is a large distributed system of servers deployed in multiple data centers across the Internet. The goal of a CDN is to serve content to end-users with high availability and high performance." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_delivery_network

 

Troubleshoot, isolate, and determine the cause: If you are using proxy services or VPN service (probably neither), attempt to isolate the problem's cause by changing the proxy service IP, or try accessing the site without use of the proxy server.

 

Whether using a proxy service or not, your computer should be setup to use either a static (uncommon; costs more) or dynamic (more likely) IP address. A dynamic IP should change automatically at intervals pre-determined by your Internet service provider. A static IP typically stays unchanged unless you ask your Internet service provider to change it (get it changed). My pointy is, change your computer's IP to determine if for some reason CloudFlare does not recognize the IP, CloudFlare has flagged the IP as suspicious, or maybe the IP has been banned or blacklisted. (IP or IP range)

 

The troubleshooting advice above is just a shot-in-the dark based on the information provided, and by no means covers all of the possibilities that exist. Between the IP address of your computer, there are also IP addresses in devices along the path to CloudFlare e.g., your in-house router, cable or DSL modem, etc.

 

Did this help at all, or is everyone even more confused than before I wrote the post? Either way, absolutely no Ks or BAs please.

Ron aka LanWanMan


@Ronald T wrote:
<snip>

Whether using a proxy service or not, your computer should be setup to use either a static (uncommon; costs more) or dynamic (more likely) IP address. A dynamic IP should change automatically at intervals pre-determined by your Internet service provider. A static IP typically stays unchanged unless you ask your Internet service provider to change it (get it changed). My pointy is, change your computer's IP to determine if for some reason CloudFlare does not recognize the IP, CloudFlare has flagged the IP as suspicious, or maybe the IP has been banned or blacklisted.

 

Did this help at all, or is everyone even more confused than before I wrote the post? Either way, absolutely no Ks or BAs please.


Ron, I'd like to add something to your mention of IP's in general, and why that topic in particular prompted me to add the post earlier this week.

 

But first, thanks for posting that.

 

I can't speak for Internet Providers outside of the US. So what I say below is only pertinent to US companies. Also, it's been quite a long time since I worked for an ISP, so my terminlogy might be a bit off.

 

Typically, big chain ISP's (such as Comcast, who I have used both resdentially and commercially) will give all resendential customers a dynamic IP from their pool. This IP will very likely change every week or three or four, but it will probably be from the same pool as the last one. ISP's buy these IP's in big blocks. So, while all of us who are on resdential connections have been assigned an IP from the same pool for weeks and months on end, should they buy a NEW block, and you get assigned an IP from that new block, it can cause issues. This happend to me ONCE, but the site that I had issues was Google.

 

In addition, I've also had issues when Comcast changed DNS servers. (I now keep a list of DNS servers handy just in case, and manually set them). Some sites would load, and some would not.

 

I'd also like to mention that when I first started on Upwork, I was living on the East Coast. When I moved to Colorado in 2013, I had a ton of problems with Google. And, for about 36 hours, Upwork, which was then Odesk. I was able to log in, but got messages about my location being incorrect, and I was asked to update it, at which point I could bid on jobs. Some 24 hours after that, everything was fine.

 

Point being, even if your with the same ISP in 2 different states, chances are the dynamic IP you were assigned will be from a different block in one state, and from yet another block in another state.

 

Finally, I do know that Comcast charges an arm and a leg for a static IP, and often they don't even offer that to resdential customers. Not sure about the other big providers.

 

 

All good points Pandora except that they should not have to pay anything for an IP change...IP range, IP block, whatever we choose to call it. Back when I was doing a lot of social media marketing and off-site SEO I had to have my ISP change my IP to new IP in an entirely different Class "C" IP address range at least once per month. Their systems flagged my account for excessive traffic. They said they were having problems with "kids" playing vidoe games and overloading their servers...lol.... Of course, I eventually fired my ISP!

 

Off-topic: Why does anyone need a paid static IP anyway these days? There are so many better ways around it. Check out HMA (**Edited for Community Guidelines**) free and paid VPN services. Hmmm...where's my affiliate link when I need it....

Ron aka LanWanMan
lanwanman
Member

It's refreshing to see so many techies jumping through hoops all at once to answer this one! Now, that's what I call "Community" service! A really great bunch of people here -- great people worldwide!

Ron aka LanWanMan
kugrin
Member

Thanks to all that replied. I am not the only one who's affected by the issue and it's something that was not caused by me, as confirmed by support, but is a configuration issue on Upwork's end that they're not able to solve...