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 Post subject: AOL Users Having Problems?!!!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:20 pm
Posts: 1208
Location: USA
It's come to my attention that, if your internet provider is AOL, you may be experiencing problems in accessing the phpBB Group forums, such as this one. There seems to be a problem between the way phpBB conducts its internal security measures and the way in which AOL utilizes random IP numbers for its users on the internet. The following is a paraphrased statement by phpBB concerning this problem.

"phpBB2 uses sessions to keep track of users as they browse the board. These sessions use a combination of a unique session id and the users IP to identify each user. phpBB makes use of the IP as an extra safe-guard to help prevent sessions being hijacked (by discovering the unique session id).

"Unfortunately this only works when the users's IP is constant as they browse the board. For most users this will be the case. However certain providers route their users via a cluster of proxys. In some cases, particularly AOL this results in different IPs being forwarded as the user moves between pages. phpBB takes account of this by not checking the entire IP but only the first 'three quads'. Again in most cases this will be fine. However again AOL uses IPs which can vary so much that checking only the first two quads results in a fairly static IP being available for session validation."

What this amounts to is that AOL users can typically find themselves unable to register onto a forum of this type, since they keep getting logged out each time they attempt to log in! It is possible for the board administrator to make changes to the security program to help alleviate some of this, but it is no real or consistent guarantee. Additionally, doing so increases the chances of a highjacked session.

If anyone has any additional information as to how this problem might be fixed for our own AOL users, I'd like to hear from them. Up to this time the best cure I've discovered to this point seems to be changing your Internet Provider service; in other words, getting off AOL! That would seem like a rather drastic solution just to be able to access phpBB forums. But it might be the only real solution.

General Jos. C. Meyer,
Union Army Chief of Staff
Commander, Army of the Shenandoah
(2011-2014 UA CoA/GinC)


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