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Access Denied: What to do if some web sites don't work

Have you ever encountered the problem of not being able to access certain websites? Do they show Access Denied, You don't have permission to access xxx on this server? There may be several reasons for this, but at least one of them is hidden but easily detected. Let's see how to solve the problem.

The Access Denied, You don't have permission to access xxx on this server message above means that you have been denied access and do not have permission to access xxx - instead of xxx you will typically see a web address. If you see such a message on one site and it is not common on others, then the cause may be a misconfiguration of the site in question and the only solution is to contact its owner. However, once you find that the problem is showing up more often, the fault is likely to be elsewhere.

If, in addition to the above message, the sites may also show an addendum similar to this one: reference #18.4b4bd417.1682936257.1566b22. If this is the case, then you have probably encountered a problem with Akamai. This is a company that promises website owners, among other things, that it will protect them from suspicious traffic - and if it considers yours to be suspicious, you won't be able to access some sites. Akamai's services are used by sites such as Wizzair.com, Mailchimp and Fox.com - and, of course, Akamai.com.

Needless to say, you won't be happy to hear that you can't check in with Wizzair before you fly, but neither will you be happy if you get an interesting offer via Mailchimp and when you click on it, you just get the Access denied message.

Is Akamai behind this?

Akamai representatives officially say that they don't block anything, that the service works the way their clients set it up. But the sad truth is that for all the clients we tested, the anonymous message - Access Denied, You don't have permission to access xxx on this server - always appears. Reference #18.4b4bd417.1682936257.1566b22 - where the number is of course always different. Completely anonymous report, with no mention of what is behind the problem. One can only speculate why this anonymous and uninformative message is displayed, instead of information about who is blocking you and why.

How do you verify that Akamai is behind the problem? Easily. For example, run a command prompt (in Windows, right-click on the Start button and select Command Line from the menu) and type ping address.site, where the site address is the address that doesn't work for you, such as wizzair.com. This will reveal the numeric address of the site (e.g. IP address for Wizzair.com is now) and you can enter this address into e.g. ipinfo.io. And on the right you will see the owner, in this case it shows just Akamai Technologies, Inc.

Once you have verified that Akamai is behind the problem, you can check their site to see if you are on their blacklist - specifically here: https://www.akamai.com/us/en/clientrep-lookup/. If you want to be unblocked, you will have to enter your personal information - without Akamai informing you how it is going to handle or process it. Does this seem like a suspicious practice to you? Well, let's just add that a company that behaves in this way is not a small garage company, but a company whose shares are traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Unbelievable? Yes! Let's add: In our experience, entering the information is probably useless because no information has ever come from Akamai.

How to solve the problem

So how to solve the problem? We recommend that you use a tool to verify that no malicious traffic is actually coming from one of your computers (perhaps one that has been compromised). If you don't know what to do, try https://app.crowdsec.net/cti and enter your address (you can find it out on Google by typing: what is my ip). Crowdsec.net has a huge number of users from whom the site collects reports of IP suspicious addresses. So if after searching you see that nothing bad is coming from you, you may be blacklisted by Akamai unfairly and you can try to address the situation with your ISP.

And if you do see fraudulent traffic? Then, fortunately, you can also find out (thanks to Crowdsec) on which days it happened. Then, for example, you can find out which of your computers, tablets or mobile phones were switched on at the time and, step by step, you can find out which of them may be compromised and sending bad traffic to the network. Then you have no choice but to try to clean it or reinstall it. Once the malicious traffic stops coming from you, your IP address should disappear from the blacklist within a few days and you should be able to connect to any web site again.

It goes without saying that in our opinion, Internet security would benefit greatly if the reports from Akamai and its clients were more informative. Many users will no doubt never know that the Access Denied, You don't have permission to access xxx on this server, Reference #18.4b4bd417.1682936257.1566b22, message may mean that some device on their network is infected with malware. Thus they can't do anything about it.

We have asked Akamai, or rather their PR department for our region, for a comment, but no response was received. If they make any further comments, we will add their comments here.

This article has been translated from Czech version published on the site OnBusiness.cz. Let's hope it would be useful for English audience as well.

(1. 6. 2023 | DavidX)

Autorem tohoto textu není redakce těchto webových stránek, ale jeden ze čtenářů/ek: DavidX

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