Why does our website appear to be down and showing a 403 error?

What's happened?

A 403 error denotes that your specific request has been blocked as "unauthorised".

When accessing a web page on the internet, your computer attaches an IP address to the request. Sometimes in larger offices you may share an IP address with your colleagues.

We operate a system on our websites to protect our servers from malicious attacks. It works by identifying unusual behaviour that doesn't match the pattern of a normal user. This might be that a large number of requests come to a single page (e.g. if you sit and refresh the page repeatedly) or if a request is made to a "honeypot", which is an item hidden on the website which can only be seen/requested by using specific methods to inspect the page.

When this system detects unusual activity, the IP address of the request is added to a temporary block list, which prevents anyone using that IP address from accessing the website for an hour. This appears to the user as a 403 error.

When this block is in place, it only applies to the IP addresses that have been detected. Everyone else including your listeners will be able to visit the web page as normal.

How to fix

If you believe this block has been added to your IP address, contact us and we will be able to assist you in being added to the 'allowed' list - where further blocks cannot be added. In rare circumstances, some computers will change IP addresses over time, so there is a possibility that a future block is applied to a "new" IP.

Users of our platform

We've built a system which ensures that the IP addresses of computers or devices which use our platform cannot be blocked from our websites.

Improving the accuracy of our system

We are always working to improve the accuracy of our automated security systems, finding a careful balance between not hindering the ability for you to work on your station website, but also being able to detect activity that causes a significant impact on our systems and speed and reliability of your website.

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